In 1974 Bill and Anne Saunders bought the Farm, literally. 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. It was a magical time for the four city-raised (until then) 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…