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Profile 1 - Sally Bowen

.By Christine Hamelin with photography by Bernard Clark

When you arrive at Topsy Farms on Amherst Island, one of the first things you see is a small sign hanging on The Wool Shed that urges “Connect to the Land,” a philosophy that informs every aspect of life for Sally Bowen and her family. Stewardship of the land, harmony with nature, inclusiveness and respect, education and service are guiding principles for these determined, life-affirming farmers.

The only child of Lloyd and Helen Bowen, Sally was
“a city girl, Toronto born and bred.” Still, at the family cottage on Lake Simcoe, she says, “my dad taught me how to handle an axe, to bait my hook, to paddle a canoe, to eat an oyster. He taught me how to revel in the world when I was very young.” She spent summers at the cottage with her mother and cousins, swimming and golfing; her father, a former military member who sold china for his father-in-law’s business, would come on weekends. In later years, he promoted water fluoridation, a job he loved. “He always had an optimistic life view, which I inherited.” Helen, Sally’s mother, was “a very bright lady” who always supported her daughter. . . .

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