About Windhorse Farm
Windhorse is a place and a path of celebration.
The place we now call the Maritime provinces, also known as the Acadian Forest, emerged from the recent ice age about 15,000 years ago. It has been inhabited by the Mi’kmaq people, and the ancestors of the Mi’kmaq, for at least 12,000 years. As the forest ecosystem developed over those millennia, the biodiversity steadily increased, reaching a peak a few hundred years ago at the time of European colonization. It has been “all downhill”, ecologically speaking, since then.
This particular spot in the heart of the Acadian Forest we call Windhorse Farm first came under the European axe in 1840, when Conrad Wentzell came up the LaHave River, crossed just below the lake, and “cut a hole in the woods”. He and his family built a house and barn and started growing food crops in that small clearing. He also started harvesting trees from the “woodlot.”
Conrad had very particular ideas about forestry, and he set up strict guidelines about what, and how much, could be harvested. The next four generations continued to harvest timber according to those same principles and practices for 150 years. In 1990 the last Wentzells of this farm were old and childless, and they passed on the stewardship of this land to the Drescher family, who committed themselves to continuing the “experiment” in sustainability.
Today Windhorse Farm is:
- The Drescher family home, and a temporary home for guests, visitors, students, interns, vacationers, and retreatants.
- A place for people to let go of the busyness and habitual patterns of their lives and celebrate the magical simplicity of mind and nature.
- A path of land stewardship, honouring the 150 year legacy of the Wentzell family.
- An opportunity to learn (Windhorse Farm is one of the sustainability “demonstration sites” for the climate change program of Windhorse Education Foundation.)
The context for the path of land stewardship at Windhorse Farm is meditative and contemplative practice, learned from the Buddhist and Shambhala traditions, but applicable to any situation and beneficial to people of any, or no, religious or spiritual inclination.
Windhorse Farm welcomes a great diversity of people to the farm, and offers various opportunities to enjoy and learn from this place:
- Educational programs
- Green group rental facilities
- Solitary meditation or writing retreats
- Regular and irregular tours
- Open Farm and Open Forest Days
- Seasonal celebrations
- Custom-designed work/study contracts
What do we celebrate?
Sufficiency, stillness, impermanence, diversity, kindness, humour, and natural wealth;
the experience of nothing missing.