Posts Tagged ‘agriculture’
Wendy Gillis‘ Toronto Star article describing the last family farm operating in the city of Mississauga caught my attention. I wasn’t surprised to learn that the economics are dire, the younger Hustler men having to work off the farm as well to keep to farm going as a viable business. Will it be much longer until it’s sold off at a hefty price for real estate development?
As if he knew the house would one day sit on the edge of one of North America’s busiest highways, British settler Jacob Scott laid the red brick walls of his farm house 14 inches thick, then slapped on a layer of horse-hair plaster for good measure. For that, the Hustler family is forever grateful — their home, built by Scott in 1828, is uncannily quiet.
Outside on the farm, it’s a bizarre cacophony of urban and rural noise. Massive Hereford cattle bellow. Three dozen sheep swap nasally baas. Titan and Bailey, the Hustler farm dogs, bark replies.
The animal chorus competes against the roar of cars speeding down the 401 and the on-ramp to the 407, which together form the Hustler farm’s northern boundary. To the immediate east, the cars swerve in and out of the bustling big-box shopping centre, a maze of chain stores and restaurants.
“The cows used to summer pasture across the road,” says 34-year-old Jason, a fifth-generation Hustler, trudging through soggy grounds on a recent spring day.
“Basically, where the Rona is, the Buffalo Wild Wings, the Michael’s.”
Once just another farm in a predominantly agrarian region, the Hustlers today operate the last working farm in Mississauga, a 52-acre lot tucked in the very northwest corner of a city better known for cosmopolitan condos and sprawling subdivisions.