Our Farm

Ficklewood is a magical, spiritual place that touches a special part of the heart of every visitor.  Its gentle slopes and meandering paths are home to many wildlife and the playground of some very fortunate grandchildren.  

The extraordinary vision of Ron and Bonnie, Ficklewood has been a work in progress for many years.  When first purchased in 1995, the property had been used as spare land for pasture.  Ron had to help Bonnie over the ditch at the road as there wasn’t even a driveway onto the land.  

The trails were blazed by Ron for driving his beloved horses and carriages.  They are delightfully quiet and a beautiful barometer of the changing seasons.  They provide cool reprieve from the burning sun of summer and a cozy, snowy canopy of shelter in the winter.

The pond is home to some naive small-mouth bass that immigrated from nearby Lake Couchiching.  The zip-line was installed to torment mothers by providing an added element of danger for the grandchildren and their friends. For those who think it looks easy, climb to the platform and look at the first 20 feet of the ride!
In keeping with the “shop local” philosophy, the dock and raft were built of Canadian softwood lumber, obtained from a local business owner.  Few visitors realize that the pond was specifically designed for the bathing pleasure of those who swim in it.  The banks of the pond are sloped at the perfect angle to prevent weeds from growing too close to shore and brushing against the delicate skin of the bathers.  There is an even-lesser known secret of the pond if you are the type to dare to discover secrets: the treasure of Pirate Tom Tinney.  

The grassy drop-in airstrip is not only used by friendly flyers but also crazed potato-cannon enthusiasts, motorbike drag racers and soon, kiteboarding beginners.  

The towering trees of the sugar bush give shelter to deer, bears, coyote and other wildlife.  It is the best place at Ficklewood to smell the mud in the spring.  

To appease the grandchildren and prevent damage to the trails, there is an ever-changing motorbike track at the base of The Mountain.  Visitors will hear the Ficklewood Militia coming so strolling can be hazardous if one doesn’t listen carefully.  

Bike Hill, one of Bonnie’s art installations has attracted those looking for spare parts as well as others to simply marvel at the wonders of 23 red and white tricycles en masse.  

The gardens are Bonnie’s love and nemesis.  Careful planning is taken to design a place of serenity and colour only to be ambushed by hotflashes, fatigue or a good curling match on television.  Once the green thumb gets going, the gardens really showcase Bonnie’s creativity and love of colour.  Visitors should always exercise caution when dropping in unannounced as Ron and Bonnie LOVE their outdoor shower.

The dining shelter is one of the best places to visit, especially if you like good food.  The wood-burning pizza oven was built by Stephen, Holly, Lori and Ron with stones from the property.  Red wine tastes better there than anywhere else in Simcoe County.  It has been home to some fabulous dinners, especially Bonnie’s annual birthday dinner.  Ron can be found spinning yarns about his grandfather Crazy Legs Cascone or his grandmother’s recipe for pigs feet braised in tomato sauce.  With the acquisition of more and more livestock, the feasts are sure to improve as time marches on.  

 There are so many amazing parts of Ficklewood whose sum is simply magic.  There are so many more parts hiding in the imaginations of Ron and Bonnie that we can only hope we are lucky enough to witness and share.  

Remember to pass on the spirit of Ficklewood by creating something of your own with passion and enthusiasm and share it with those that matter to you.