A love for the family farm
It is the invaluable help of family and friends that keeps the Knox farm, originally a dairy farm, going strong.
"Many people have strong ties to this property," says Mr. Knox, "and by everyone pitching in day after day, we're able to offer the public a glimpse of life on a farm, as it was a century ago, as it is today, and as it will hopefully be a century from now."
A Family Operation
The Knox Family has been farming in Durham since 1832. On arrival from Scotland in 1832, Alexander Knox hand-built a stone house for his wife Jean and their nine children.
Seven generations later, the Knox farming traditions are still going strong, and we continue to give back to our community and help others learn about agriculture, food and farming in Ontario.
These local, provincial and federal contributions have been recognized with inductions into the Order of Canada, the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame, the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame, and by receiving Grand Champion at the Royal Winter Fair, honourary doctorates, and recognitions from 4-H, Junior Farmers and the local community. We even have a few (dairy) princess ambassadors in the family!
Right: John Knox; Alexander's great-grandson & our great-grandad
Nestled into the countryside, this historic farm offers lots of fun for the whole family. Young and old alike delight in the offering of fall activities, which include thousands of pumpkins and fall decor, wagon rides, farm animals, a straw jump, and pony rides, along with a snack shack, fresh kettle corn, and hot apple cider. Winter features Santa himself, horse drawn wagon rides and cozy campfires. The genuine farm atmosphere, coupled with century old trees that frame hundreds of orange-hued pumpkins and fall activities all add up to the ideal family outing.
Through the Generations
The farm house was built 136 years ago, in 1887, to replace the log cabin which originally stood just south of it.
Jordan Van Nest (son of John Van Nest and Lydia Trull), wife Edith, and their ten children were the first of many since to slide down the banister and play in the 'big room' with its seven doors. Today, four generations of Knox descendants come 'home' for the harvest...and to welcome y'all back for some pumpkins, ponies and popcorn!
Heart of the Family
The land is located on the traditional territories of the Wendat, Anishinabek Nation, and the territory covered by Williams Treaties First Nations.
In 1849, the Crown granted the lands to Alexander Farewell (Farewell Creek runs through the farm). The former dairy farm has now become a pure-bred Blonde d'Aquitaine cattle and Percheron horse farm, and the pumpkins once grown for the Stokely Van Camp canning factory are now shared with our farm friends and neighbours at the seasonal farm market.
With over 300 acres of crops, pasture and forest, the farm is helping to feed cities while educating the community about agriculture.