Five miles to the north of Elmhirst’s Resort are the homestead lands. These lands have been worked by eight generations of Elmhirsts since it was first settled in the early 1800s. The Elmhirst homeland in Yorkshire is being worked by the 23rd generation since a peasant purchased the land in 1326, with the family assuming the name of the land over time.
Sustainability is about leaving the planet in the same or better condition for future generations. We are thankful for what has been passed down to us, for the deep roots of tradition it has provided, and the connection to place and community, that is now entrusted to us.
Throughout the resort and farm we have implemented initiatives to support the tenets of sustainability. As you make your way around the property you may notice some of the below projects:
- Naturalized shoreline and waterfront trail controls erosion and provides wildlife habitat.
- Non-invasive dockage system prevents damage to the natural lake bottom and fish spawning areas.
- Corn and Carp are used where aquatic weed control is required.
- No fertilizers or herbicides are used on the resort lawn.
- Livestock are fenced away from the lake and stream.
- Plantings at each cottage use only native plants to the area. Decorative and non-native species are used in the central garden only.
- Seaweed is used to fertilize our vegetable gardens.
- Over 1,000 trees have been transplanted from the forested areas to the resort grounds to control erosion, provide shade and wind breaks, create habitats and for aesthetics.
- In the fall we collect seeds from many plants, and in the greenhouse we germinate and propagate annuals as well as some vegetables for planting the next spring.
- Vegetable waste and yard waste are composted for use in the gardens.
- Horse and cow manure is composted to humus before spreading on the land.
- A series of sewer mains and lift stations delivers all sewage to a disposal bed set well back from the lake.
- In our onsite sawmill and woodworking shop we produce building materials used on the property.
- Cardboard, plastic and metal are collected and recycled.
- The Spa uses only vegan products.
- Emphasis is placed on environmental friendly sports (bicycles, canoes, kayaks, water bicycles, kite boarding, walking).
- Photo voltaic solar panel system on the roof of the main building and tracking systems at the farm produce energy for the grid.
- All public spaces, shops, laundry, and the indoor and outdoor pools are heated with bio mass, which is equivalent to heating 20 family bungalows.
- Energy efficient lighting is used in all public spaces.
- Waste wood and culled trees are cut and provided to the cottages for use in the fireplaces.
- Changing to tankless hot water heaters is in progress.
- Elmhirst’s Own branding on foods produced on the property.
- New orchard planted with non-mainstream species native to Canada (blight resistant without the use of insecticide and herbicide spray)
- Heirloom varieties are frequently chosen.
- A Tomato tunnel is used to extend the growing season and increase production for canning.
- Bee Hives on the property produce antibiotic free honey for use in our kitchen and for sale in the gift shop.
- The Hen House on the property provides eggs for our family homes. Regulations prohibit serving our own fresh eggs to customers. A licensed and inspected egg grading is required.
- A herd of 50-60 Angus cattle are maintained so most of the beef we serve is bred, born and finished right on the property without the use of hormones.
- Pekin ducks are raised in the pond for restaurant use.
- Turkeys are raised on the property providing birds for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Meat chickens and pigs are raised on the farm for the family’s use.
- Only Canadian wines are offered for sale in our restaurants and featured in our underground cellar.
- Gardens at each cottage contain herbs for guest’s use.
- Maple syrup is produced for use in our family’s homes in place of sugar.
- Local first policy in all staff hiring. All staff live in the local area.
- Local first policy in sourcing all food and other supplies used on the resort.
- Strengthening our community through partnerships (Trans Canada Trail, Canadian Canoe Museum).