/Homesteading becoming trendy

Homesteading becoming trendy

By Chad Ingram

The following are brief reports of items discussed during a Nov. 14 Minden Hills council meeting.

There is an increasing trend of young families moving to the county and starting small farms members of council heard from Larry Clarke and Jean Neville also a Minden Hills councillor as they made a presentation on behalf of Harvest Haliburton.

Clarke said young families are moving to the area because they want to grow their own food and raise their own livestock and that land while perhaps not suitable for all agricultural purposes is relatively cheap compared to other areas of the province.

“Homesteading has become kind of a fashion” Neville said. Clarke said because these new farmsteads are typically much smaller in scope than traditional farms – say 10 acres as opposed to 50 or 100 – Harvest Haliburton is encouraging municipalities to review their zoning bylaws to ensure they allow for this smaller capacity form of farming as well as policies and programming that support agricultural entrepreneurs.

“Young entrepreneurs they need a bit of a leg up and they need the township to help them” Clarke said.

A roundtable meeting stemming from a food forum that took place in Minden in March is set to take place at Abbey Gardens on Nov. 29.

It cost more than $73000 for repairs at the Minden Hills Cultural Centre after pipes above what was then known as the Common Room burst last January with the majority of that cost covered through the township’s insurance policy.

As economic development destination and marketing officer Emily Stonehouse told councillors the repairs essentially took place in two parts; the emergency tear-down of walls drywall insulation lighting etc. that had been damaged or were at risk of developing mould and rebuilding the room which has been renamed the Welch Family Room on the original footprint but with brighter colours and energy-efficient lighting.

The township was responsible for  $10000 as well as HST leaving the bulk of the repair costs – more than $56000 – to be covered through its insurance provider.

While the winter sand that the Township of Minden Hills provides for its residents each winter has traditionally been located in the arena parking lot with the construction of the new arena the sand pile will be located near the parking lot near the Minden Curling Club this winter.