through Theology, Ecology, and the Arts
Reflections from the Farm
About the farm
Until the nineteenth century, the land which is now known as Windstone Farm was part of the wider hunting grounds and home of the Anishinaabe. By the time the property was cleared by Scottish (Perthshire) settlers circa 1816 (our barns date to then; the log cabin is likely not much later), there were very few remaining of the Algonquin and Ojibway peoples who had once hunted, fished, and harvested rice in this part of what is now called Beckwith Township. The current stone house was built in 1840 by more Perthshire Scots – the Stewart family – who lived here continuously until 1960’s. Once 300 acres in size, Windstone Farm is now about 180 acres that stretch between 2 'Lines' of Beckwith, in Lanark county. The majority of the property is ‘arable’ (farmed land). The wooded wetlands between the fields and the road (‘The Westerlies’) are Protected Wetlands, and between the fields and the Side Road is an SSI – Site of Scientific Interest. Uniquely, three different watersheds fan out across the property: feeding the Mississippi Watershed, the Jock River Watershed, and the Middle Rideau Watershed. To learn about some of the more than one thousand different species we've documented here, visit our iNaturalist page.
Throughout the seasons various friends and family, old and new, weave in and out of life at Windstone: spontaneous informal gatherings, planned events and conferences, work parties, summer internships, reading groups, music nights, bonfires, school groups, study blocks, snow days, art retreats, ski treks, bushwacking, cider-making, cookie-decorating, neighbourhood potlucks. None of these gatherings are completely distinct each from the other - it is thus that friends and families, old and new, are shared and intermingle, and enrich and effoliate (to use a Tolkienian term) each others’ lives.
Together we learn more about the land, its innumerable inhabitants, and ourselves - and together try to learn how to live well in this place we have been planted. We laugh lots, cry some, work and play and sing and pray and eat and drink
and share many stories.
This is life in community, together.
Every summer the Linlathen Lectures are held at Windstone Farm. A weekend long conference, a public lecture or performance, and other events are part of this annual gathering that celebrates and explores the relationships between Theology, Ecology, & the Arts.