Adam and Marie own Shealand Farm, just an hour northeast of Toronto, at the southend of the Kawartha Lakes. The farmland there has rolling hills, hardwood forests, cedar swamps, and everything in between. Their farming practices are adapted to the land. Beef cattle and sheep graze the hills, and crops are grown on flatter land. Marie recognizes that they live in a beautiful part of Ontario, and want to do their best to preserve the soil for future generations. This is something that is discussed often at the dinner table. Ponds, streams, creeks, and other watercourses are fenced off so that the livestock cannot disturb them. They also practice rotatioanl grazing, which allows them to have better production and improves the relationship they observe with nesting grassland birds on the pastures, such as the Bobolinks. Cover crops are grown on the fields after the main crop has been harvested, to protect the soil from erosion and to build organic matter, improve overall soil health, and provide a pollinator habitat.
Adam and Marie Shea are two young farmers who grew up around farming. Both Marie and Adam were intimately involved with their family farms from the time that they were able to walk to the barn to help with chores. For them, life revolves around the farm. When we asked Adam about his farming experience, Adam said, "farming consumes your life, but this is the path that we have both chosen, and we're passionate about it." Marie points to the connections they make with the people who enjoy the food that they produce. Both Marie and Adam are carrying on the family farm tradition as they are bringing up four daughters with the hopes that they too will find a passion for agriculture.