Lothlorien Farm (Lothlorien Rural Co-op)

Ompah, Ontario, Canada

  • Last updated: March 21, 2016 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: October 13, 2004

Mission Statement

land stewardship, friendship, mutual support

Community Description

Lothlorien Farm is a rural cooperative in the forest and lake country of eastern Ontario, founded in 1972 and incorporated in 1998. It provides members with a rural natural environment in which to live, work, and/or spend recreational time in a continuing context of sharing and community.

The co-op owns our 700 acres of land, mostly rough bush in its natural state. It is no longer the working “farm” of fifty years ago, but we do have gardens and a few fields. Our buildings include houses, workshops, and outbuildings.

Currently we are a small, loose-knit but stable group of seven resident members (currently all adults over 60) in four households, and several non-resident members, all linked by various long-term friendships and a love for this piece of land. Resident members work in individual home businesses (wood-workers, weaver, artist, writer/translator) or are retired. Incomes are separate and houses individually owned, while the land itself is owned collectively.

We look out for each other as good friends and neighbours, and take care of each other’s animals and houses if someone is away. We hold an annual general meeting, and have occasional potlucks and gatherings. Several adult children of members visit often, and are developing their own group structure for their connection to this place. Residents are quite involved in the local community, through the community centre, choir, library, and other activities.

We are not actively looking for new members, but could be open to inquiries from Canadian residents living within a few hours’ drive. People might get to know us gradually through a series of short visits. There are several approved house sites that new members could build on. Costs of joining include a one-time, non-returnable membership contribution, and house construction.

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1972
  • Start Living Together: 1972
  • Visitors accepted: Yes, rarely
  • Open to new Members: Not currently, but there is a list or possibly in the future
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Contact Name: Helen Forsey
  • Phone: 613-479-2453
  • Community Address:
    RR 1
    Ompah, Ontario, K0H 2J0
  • Location


  • Type(s): Unspecified, or Other
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 700 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Lots to build on
  • Current Number of Residences: 6
  • Land owned by: the Co-op
  • Additional Comments:

    We are incorporated as a Co-operative, which owns the land.
    Two houses (and a cabin) are only used seasonally.


  • Adult Members: 7
  • Percent Women: 71-80%
  • Percent Men: 21-30%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes, rarely
  • Visitor Process:

    Contact us, explain your interest, and see if a short visit makes sense. It may not be practical if you live more than a couple of hours’ drive away. We don’t have a visitor program as such; any arrangement would depend on circumstances and a good rapport established over the phone.

  • Additional Comments:

    We tried some outreach some years ago, but people are reluctant to join such an established group of older adults. Our “second generation” are developing their own ideas for the future of this place.


  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No
  • Additional Comments:

    Formal meetings other than the Co-op’s AGM are rarely needed. When something comes up, the residents may meet to discuss it; we are also in contact by email and phone with non-residents.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: No
  • Additional Comments:

    Amount of membership contribution varies, depending on ability to pay, etc. It is several thousand dollars.

    Members pay a modest fee to cover taxes, insurance, tractor, and other shared expenses

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 26-49%
  • Energy sources: Biomass
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: Up to 25%


  • Common Facilities: Outbuilding(s), Tractor & Farm Equipment
  • Internet Available: Yes, individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for some people.
  • Shared meals: Rarely
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Shared meals are usually spontaneous pot-lucks.
    All buildings use wood heat.
    Individual members’ have gardens.

  • Additional Comments:

    Canada has universal health care that covers most costs. Dentistry, pharmaceuticals and alternative health care is paid for by individuals.

Additional Comments

Lothlorien is not technically “co-housing”, but we have individual residences on shared land.

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)


co-operative, experienced, caring, independent, progressive