Bramble Lea Farm

Just like its first owners in the 1790s, John & Melissa Ondrovcik came north from the US looking for a fresh start. (It's pronounced "on-drov-chik," in case you had trouble figuring it out.)

John, who was born and raised in Ontario, moved to the US for graduate school and stayed there for fifteen years. He taught history and literature at Harvard University for awhile, and then moved to the University of Mississippi to work as a history professor.

Melissa's education took her from her native Wisconsin to Massachusetts, where she studied and taught German at the University of Massachusetts, Smith College, and Mount Holyoke College, among others. 

We were introduced to organic farming in the summer of 2007 when, eager for a change of pace, we travelled through Nova Scotia as volunteer farmhands. That was it: we knew from then on that we wanted to farm.

Melissa built her skills at Red Fire Farm, the largest organic farm in Massachusetts, and later started her own small farm in Mississippi, Mudline Farms. When our daughter Lulu came along in 2016, we knew it was time for a change. John's parents, Wayne and Emely Bennett, had fond memories of farm life from their childhoods. They loved the idea of retiring to a farm that John and Melissa would work, and they agreed to sell their house in the Toronto suburbs. 

In June 2016, we all moved to Bramble Lea Farm.