White Tree Farm represents a dream that we have held for some twenty five years now: a place in the country.

We’ve lived in many places in both Canada and around the world but have always found Central Elgin and Port Stanley to represent home to us. We’ve had a place in Port Stanley since 2008 and when we learned a 30-acre property was for sale nearby, we jumped at the opportunity. We named it White Tree Farm after the birch tree that stands at the front of the property.

Robin Margaret and Barry Cott


It is our hope that White Tree Farm will evolve in the following stages:

  • Stage 1 – Initially we want to feed ourselves and our family from our land while providing a peaceful place to work, play and create art.
  • Stage 2 – As we grow and learn, we want to establish local markets for products to offset our expenses, but also to donate a percentage to charities and the less fortunate.
  • Stage 3 – Finally, as we become more confident, we want to provide education and support to the local/regional food and artisan community.

As we progress on this journey, we will use the following to guide our decision making:

  • Food will be an important part of every day, keeping our resources as close as possible to where we live, growing food sustainably and building healthy soil.
  • We will look to minimize our energy footprint as well, looking at concepts like net-zero housing and renewables.
  • Wherever possible, we will build using natural building materials and methods that are beautiful, non-toxic and have a minimum impact on the environment.
  • We will emphasize quality instead of quantity.
  • We will target for simplicity in what we own and how we live. The things in our lives should be both beautiful and useful.
  • We will protect our watershed from pollution.


Trails at WTF

One of our high-priority tasks at WTF was to build a set of trails around the edges of the property. Although I did a lot of reading on trail construction, making the trails has been straightforward. To start, I used the rotary cutter on our John Deere tractor to clear the trails of the small …