Sarah and Pete Nilson have only been living and farming on the Clarendon Road for a couple of years, but they have been active years for them. They have set out a large market garden and have become mainstays at the Sharbot Lake Farmers Market, have begun growing Shittake mushrooms, are about to put up a large greenhouse, and have been continually developing a product that still needs to be recognised as food by Health Canada, black soldier fly grubs
They are touted as a global solution to the problem of food waste, since they will consume almost any waste and produce no waste of their own. They are protein rich and can be used as fertiliser of animal feed, and potentially, a protein rich food for humans.
The new greenhouse will be used partially for the Soldier flies and partially to extend the garden season and enable “Unusual Acres” to have fresh produce available from May until November each year.
This week, the farm has been transformed into a pumpkin patch/graveyard/halloween destination.
“We grew a lot of squash this year, and a lot of pumpkins, all shapes and sizes. We thought that in addition to selling pumpkins we would set up for Halloween.”
Once that idea got started, it led to graveyards with hands reaching out, creepy spiders, haunted trees, a guillotine and much more. The couple used to work in the film industry creating special effects and they put that background to use creating a Halloween destination. This weekend they will be open on Saturday from 10am-9pm, when they will be offering pumpkin carving for families, a tour of the graveyard, hot chocolate and soup, in addition to pumpkins for sale. They will also be open on Sunday from 10-9 and Monday to Wednesday from 4-9.
“We are planning to add more and more elements to our Halloween pumpkin patch each year,” said Sarah.
Unusual Acres is located at 1786 Clarendon Road, which can be accessed from Road 509, by heading east from the junction with Ardoch Road. It can also be reached from Hwy 7, by travelling north on Zealand road and turning left onto Willis Armstrong Road to Clarendon road. The farm is located just west of the junction of Willis Armstrong and Clarendon roads. For further information, call 613-268-2625.