In 2010, after a series of illnesses that were destroying his body, Steve was diagnosed with Lyme’s Disease. Lyme’s is a bacterial infection that attacks, damages and shuts down parts of the body. Eating clean was a large part of Steve’s recovery, so knowing where his food came from became critical. Initially Steve and Patty raised their own laying hens, broiler (meat) chickens and produced a small amount of maple syrup. In 2010, they bought 4 bee colonies and the love and challenges of beekeeping began.
In 2012, they decided that it was time to get their own farm, and were moved to the current location by the beginning of 2013. This farm was to be a 10-year plan. Build it up for 10 years and than decide what the next steps would be. It was at this time that the farm was appropriately named “Dare 2 Dream Farm”. There was a lot of work put into restoring the farm and surrounding property. Everyone pitched in to make it work.
In the spring of 2015, at a local tourism symposium, it was learned that there was a shortage of things to do in Clarington for both the locals and visitors from out of town. We knew that we could be part of the solution to this problem. We already knew that visitors to Dare 2 Dream Farm always wanted to know more about the bees, as well as where their food comes from. We decided that we wanted to be an agri-tourism attraction, with an area for visitors to (safely) see the inside of a beehive, as well as have a proper facility to produce Canada’s natural sweeteners that customers could view.
This project and the future were far too large of a task for Steve and Patty to handle alone. It was time to look towards the future and start a succession plan.
Tyler (Steve and Patty’s oldest son) and Lindy got married on the farm in August 2016. They did an incredible job of hosting a wedding with 160+ people, troubleshooting along the way, and proving that the farm had much more potential than it was currently being used for.
In January 2017, an opportunity was presented to Tyler and Lindy. We started a new company, Sweet Dream Food, to pack Canada’s Natural Sweeteners; Honey and Maple Syrup. It was a very busy few months, but with the new company in place, and the build of the facility complete, the future looks bright for the farm and for future generations.
MEET THE FARMERS
Steve and Patty Lawrence (nee Blaschke)
Tyler and Lindy Lawrence (nee Carnochan)
Tyler and Lindy met in Sudbury when Tyler was posted there with the Canadian Forces and Lindy was working at a gym. A few years later the military had taken them to Belleville, and eventually Tyler proposed. They married on the farm in August of 2016, and are slowly starting the transition to moving completely to the farm. Although Tyler is still with the Military full time as a Medic, his time on the farm is mainly spent as the labour-force to get jobs completed. Most of his off time is either spent training in the gym or outside fishing at the farm or hiking the trails. Lindy began work at Sweet Dream Foods in the start of 2017 leaving her management job at Sportchek behind. Although her degree is in Kinesiology, the lifestyle of the farm and running the business is her main focus. The business would not look nor function the way it does without her. In her off time she is usually floating on the pond reading, or on the field playing ultimate Frisbee.
WWOOF is World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. These young men and women are the linchpin as to why the farm can operate the way it does. Usually on a short visit (2-3wks) these amazing helpers will complete a variety of tasks around the property all while learning the skills and mindset of what it takes to be a farmer. They come from all over the world and a variety of walks of life. Don’t be afraid to spark up a conversation with one of these amazing individuals, they may even teach you something!
Tucker is “The Best Black Dog” we have on the farm for 5 years running. His best work is usually done in his off-season where he is the regular “Paper-Boy” for the weekly newspaper deliveries on Thursdays. Although his bark is powerful, we think he is really just saying “PLEASE! MY BELLY. MY BELLY NEEDS RUBBING!!!!” The one warning we have is not to look at him in the eye if you are eating something – he may just convince you to share with him!
Lilly AKA “Sweetie-pie” or “Ol’ Floppy Ears” is our Beagle cross Blue Tick hound. She has the attitude of a stereotypical beach bum – Not going to move to fast, and just hang out here in the sun. She too loves the belly rubs, and sharesies of your lunch. She thinks her number one job on the farm is wild rabbit patrol, which you might hear her hound howl when she is on duty.
Buzz is the newest addition to our farm. She usually makes an appearance when plenty of visitors are around. Although a big fan of the hugs, her sight isn’t the greatest… (Thankfully she understands English!)
AWARDS, NEWS, and PRESS
Even though we’ve only been around for a few years, our dedication to high quality all natural sweeteners has not gone unrecognized. Our golden honey has won 1st place in at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto for the last three years. Our dark and specialty honeys have also won as reserve champion and placed in the the top three for their categories.
At Dare 2 Dream Farm we provide Canada’s natural sweeteners while educating our community about local food which helps to promote a healthy lifestyle
Social Responsibility: We will be donating 1 cent from every straw sold to the Guelph Tech Transfer program to help facilitate a honey bee breeding program in Ontario and to transfer information, skills and methodologies to the beekeepers.
- We are the only bee hive tour between Toronto and Montreal
- Unique flavours and products developed with raw honey and maple syrup
- All our products provide a healthy alternative to using processed, refined sugars
- We offer education on the natural processes of where our food comes from
- Our maple syrup is produced using an Organic standards wood fire evaporator which preserves the natural flavour profile
- Our customers trust the quality of our products. We know this because they have become repeat customers
- Our standard operating procedures are continuously being improved upon to ensure we are producing the highest quality possible
We will be donating 1 cent from every straw sold to the Guelph Tech Transfer program to help facilitate a honey bee breeding program in Ontario and to transfer information, skills and methodologies to the beekeepers.