Flory SandersonOwner, Island Hill Farm
Flory’s first goat was a gift. She’d thought of adding them to her farm-to-table business, including chickens, lambs, eggs and cheese, but because she loved interacting with clients so much, she decided to expand and do tours to help more people connect to the farm industry. She’d hoped to attract 45 visitors a week, but with her passion for people and farming – and the undeniable charm of her animals – Island Hill Farm now sees up to 500 visitors a day.
Students and seniors’ groups travel from across the Island to commune with Flory’s goats, lambs, hens, horses and rabbits, breathe in the country air and recharge on ice cream-coloured picnic tables out front. One 80-year-old woman who hadn’t spoken in 20 years connected so deeply with the Farm and a rabbit, named Roo, that everyone around her was astonished to hear her whisper, as she stroked the bunny’s fur: “I love you, Roo.”
A family who lost their 19-year old daughter, Lisa, to a devastating illness, return time and again to the Farm – her favourite place in the world – to celebrate Lisa’s life with a new red-headed baby goat, named in her honour.
Summer campers paint pictures that Flory hangs on the barn walls so the kids can have pieces of themselves there forever. So they, like so many others, can connect with a way of life that’s disappearing on PEI. And renew themselves at the same time.