Saunders Farm Insider

About Us

Saunders Farm is an award-winning family-run Farm in the village of Munster tucked into the western part of Ottawa, Canada.

Over the years we've worked hard, tried new ideas and never stopped innovating.

We've won numerous awards for our innovation, marketing, leadership and overall excellence.

 

Recent Awards:

  • 2012 Ontario Farm Marketer of the Year
  • 2012 and 2013 People's Choice Awards- Tourism Business of the Year-Goulbourn- Kanata Chamber of Commerce
  • 2011 People's Choice Awards- Tourism Business of the Year-Goulbourn-- Kanata Chamber of Commerce
  • 2009 Premier's Award for Innovation in Agriculture

Other awards:

  • 2002 International Farm Marketer of the Year Award from the North American Farmers Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA) – the first Canadian farm to receive the esteemed award!
  • Tourism Innovation Award Ottawa Tourism and Convention Authority
  • New product Award (for its Mazes Season) Ottawa Tourism and Convention Authority

  

How We Got Here

In 1974 Bill and Anne Saunders bought a run-down Farm on the 6th Concession in Goulbourn Twonship. Both teachers at the time, they were looking for a farm to rediscover their family roots, and to satisfy their entrepreneurial spirits. They found just the ‘fixer-upper’ in a small town of Munster southwest of Ottawa. So Bill and Anne picked up and moved their young family to Munster.

 

For the 4 Saunders kids, the 100-acre farm was an exciting opportunity to explore, discover and grow. A deep appreciation for the land and for growing soon took root in them. Two years later in 1976 Saunders family moved across the street to a century old 100-acre farm that is now Saunders Farm. Saunders Farm first rose to prominence as one of the region’s original pick-your-own strawberry farms.

 

At its peak the Farm grew 25 acres of the first fruit of summer. As demand decreased (and the weeders - the Saunders kids - went off to university) strawberry production was cut back. In 1980, the flat, tree-less landscape began to be transformed with the first planting of a tree nursery. In 1991, Bill Saunders was inspired to build a new vision for the farm.

 

That vision would be a Fall season to attract customers and showcase the Farm's growing beauty. Anne too got caught up in the vision and took control of making it happen and keeping it all together. Located on BLEEKS Road, in MUNSTER, in the old township of GOULBOURN, it was the perfect location for a Hallowe’en farm attraction. An extensive renovation of the Farm's historic log buildings began and in October 1992, Haunting Season was born.

 

With just a small 4 scene haunted hayride and a 4 scene haunted house, Saunders Farm opened its inaugural Fall festival. Mark, the middle son, returned to help the farm navigate its new direction. Crowds of people visited and the rest as they say is history. Over the years Saunders Farm experienced rapid growth and redefined what a family farm was and could be. The Saunders family, the kids and their new growing families, travel extensively to fuel their creativity and thirst for new ideas.

 

They have been invited to share their story and to inspire other farms to invite people back on to the land at dozens of conference across Canada, the United States and the U.K. In 1999 Saunders Farm started hosting corporate retreats and picnics and in 2002 they launched their newest season the Mazes Season as a summertime family attraction. Saunders Farm is now operated by two generations of the Saunders family with the third, the grandkids, starting to have their own novel ideas…

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