New Moon Community Homestead was started in 2021 when Kristina and Mike Courey along with their four children migrated from Old East Village in London to begin this new adventure of community farming. Currently New Moon runs a meat, vegetable, and egg farming operation along with community programs such as a farm school and homestead farm memberships. The farm grows a full market garden (approx 4 acres this year), and currently offers pork, chicken, and beef along with various artisanal goods such as lard soap and pickled vegetables.
This year the farm had a membership of almost 30 families and organizations that participated in their Homesteading membership program. This program includes vegetable baskets, eggs, and several whole chickens throughout the season. In addition, homestead members are invited to participate in the farm in the ways that suit them and to build a strong connection with their food/farm/nature.
New Moon also attends the Ilderton Farmers Market, runs an online store, and is preparing to open its on-farm store in 2024.
New Moon is located in Ailsa Craig (27093 New Ontario Road) on a unique farm held by a nonprofit corporation called ROSE Land Care Association. The mission of the non-profit is to protect the land for future generations in ways that are ecologically sound and focus on sustainable/biodynamic farming practices. New Moon runs as a social enterprise with both economic and social/environmental impact goals. The farm is designed to encourage community participation in farming and engages in research and educational activities promoting sustainable development.
Kristina and Mike were inspired to take on this enterprise for both personal and societal reasons. On the personal side their education and work backgrounds had prepared them for this type of work and they saw the advantages for their children and physical health. From a societal level they believe that this way of land ownership and food production could prove to be an important way to address issues around agriculture, land access, environment, and local food systems into the future.
Part of the benefits of linking Non Profit land ownership with social enterprise has been that there are access to grants to help build out this model. In 2023 ROSE Land Care Association was awarded funds from the federal Investment Readiness Fund Program to create more positive social, environmental, and economic impact in the region and to build out New Moon Community Homestead operations. ROSE and New Moon are currently creating a strategic plan to do this.
From the personal to the societal reasons why New Moon exists, the farm team at New Moon is excited for what is to come. One area of the farm that has been increasing this year has been catering events and hot food sales. They have been doing meat off the BBQ at the Ilderton Farmers market this year and have served food to events for up to 200 people. Bringing food all the way from the farm to the fork is particularly satisfying for the farm team.
The farm school runs in partnership with AtLast Forest School and is offered on the farm on Thursday’s (we’re also hoping to do Tuesday’s). We are welcoming new participants and you can check out our program at this link: atlastforestschools.com/ailsa-craig/