Who are Canada’s New Farmers?

 

young farmers

A few years ago (in 2014), I had the great privilege to head to British Colombia in March (winter here in Nova Scotia/spring there) and hang out with this group of amazing young farmers from all over Canada for 3 days.

We talked about our farms, our successes, our challenges, who we were and what we needed to succeed.

Building a Future with Farmers

We were all totally inspired by the U.S.-based National Young Farmers Coalition and the amazing work they had been doing down in the States to help young farmers and advocate for changes to agricultural policy towards ones that would help young farmers succeed.  They had created a really awesome report called Building a Future with Farmers and we thought Canada needed something similar.

New Farmer Canada

So, we started the National NEW Farmer Coalition for Canada. We changed the Young to New because we realized that the stage of farmer, rather than age of farmer, really impacted the similarity of challenges farmers were experiencing in Canada.

We wanted it to be an initiative led by new farmers for new farmers but we also recognized that Canada has a lot of great organizations who were already doing work on new farmer issues. We wanted to pool those great efforts with each other and with our own efforts as farmers.

So, the National New Farmer Coalition is not a stand-alone organization, but a partnership with new farmers and a bunch of organizational members (currently: Young Agrarians, Food Secure Canada, National Farmers Union, Farmstart, and ACORN, with more to come).

National New Farmer Coalition

The first thing we did was create a new farmer survey. That is also what the U.S-based National Young Farmer Coalition did and they had 1000 respondents.

We ended up getting 1374 full survey respondents (but over 1500 who at least started to respond). So, we beat the group in the States…yay!

To create the survey and to understand the responses, we had the great fortune to partner with PhD student at the University of Manitoba Julia LaForge.

We did a lot of work to make sure the survey wasn’t only filled out by people who read newsletters from those organizations mentioned above. We had a long list of organizations and people we contacted that included the provincial and national organizations of all the commodity groups, marketing boards, and other farm organizations. As responses were coming in, we would find gaps where we weren’t getting as many responses as we hoped (for example, low numbers in Saskatchewan or the Northwest Territories, low numbers in the pork or beef sectors, low numbers of respondents identifying as Indigenous farmers) and we would seek out ways to reach out more strongly to those sectors to get a well-rounded set of responses.

So, what are some of the results of the survey?

new farmer statistics

This is the National percentage. Atlantic Canada was higher in new farmers who didn’t grow up on a farm (around 74%).

This seems obvious to people like Bryan and I who didn’t grow up on a farm and the majority of new farmers we know claim the same.

But this stat is actually shocking to a lot of people. And has huge policy implications! A few years ago, I attended a presentation by an employee from Farm Credit Canada who said there is no problem with finding new (or young) farmers. They come from where they always came from…..farm families. I remember being shocked that he thought that.

And if most new farmers are not inheriting a family farm AND they didn’t grow up learning how to farm from their family members, they need to be able to access land, equipment, and knowledge some other way.

Here’s another stat:

women farmers

That means the MAJORITY of new farmers are female. This one is also not a shocker to us. But I heard a stat from the last census (which was back in 2011) that 22% of farm operators were female. And that seemed very low to me.

However, there is still a cultural tendency to think of farmers as men. When children draw farmers, they usually draw a man. I know we’ve  experienced this first hand, whether when purchasing a tractor or applying for a loan, people have first started talking to Bryan as the farmer and slowly realized during the conversation that they need to face and speak to both of us.

Next stat:

ecological farmers

This one makes my heart sing! A very large percentage of new farmers are farming ecologically. This gives me so much hope for the future.

Now, for the next few survey results, these are specific to Atlantic Canada. Because I gave a presentation on this topic to new farmers in the Maritimes and I wanted them to really see themselves in it.

But the National New Farmer Coalition is right now working on a report for the country so keep your eyes wide open for that!

access to capital for new farmers

These are the top 5 obstacles mentioned by Atlantic Canadian new farmers. I remember how challenging it was for us to figure out how to access capital for our farm since the bank and credit union we use don’t offer farm loans. And Farm Credit Canada told us they’d only consider us if one of us got a full-time, off-farm job. Luckily the NS Farm Loan Board gave us one based on our years of experience and detailed business plan.

#2, the low profitability of farming relates both to the perception and the reality. A lot of farmers are scared to enter the sector because of the perception that they won’t make enough money to survive. And a lot of farmers start farming and find they’re struggling to make a living on it.

programs for new farmers

This next one is about what’s working for new farmers now. As you can see, it’s really educational opportunities that are currently working for new farmers.

what do new farmers need to succeed

These were the top 5 recommendations from new farmers on what they would like to see (or see more of) in Atlantic Canada. Two of these (farmer to farmer mentorship programs and on-farm training including apprenticeships) were also on the list above about what’s working, but clearly new farmers want to see more of these opportunities and more supported by the government.

policy recommendations

What’s the next step for the National New Farmer Coalition? Well, the report I mentioned before, which will have recommendations for government in addition to case studies of new farmers across the country. It will be a reader-friendly report that I think any person even slightly interested in the topic of new farmers will find interesting.

Last year, I went to Parliament with a bunch of other new farmers from across the country and sat down with 5 MPs. We showed them some preliminary stats from the survey and they were surprised and also very supportive. It made me feel really empowered to be able to say my story and feel listened to. We definitely need to cultivate within new farmers the confidence to speak up and tell their stories to policy makers!

National New Farmer Coalition

If this is the kind of thing you want to stay up-to-date about, join the National New Farmer Coalition facebook group.

Once the Canadian New Farmer report comes out, the Facebook group will definitely be the first place you can hear about it. I’ll also share it here on our blog as well as on our facebook page and twitter account. I think (and hope) it will have a great impact on the success of current and future new farmers across our country!

If you know of any members of parliament, organizations that work with new farmers, or new, aspiring, or experienced farmers that might be interested in these preliminary stats, please share this post with them and get them pumped to read the whole report!

 

 

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Letter to the Minister about GE Alfalfa

alfalfa field

picture from: http://www.honey-whizz.com/alfalfa-honey.html

 

Here is a copy of a letter Bryan just sent out about genetically engineered alfalfa. This is an issue that hasn’t been getting much press in our area, even in our farming publications and we hope it spurs conversation. We’ve posted some links where they apply to parts of our letter. These are not references but rather articles you might find interesting for further reading.

We would love to read your comments and, as people send us interesting comments or information by email, we will post them in the comments section below.

 

Dear County Boards of the NS Federation of Agriculture, NS Commodity Groups, Council of Leaders members, Executive members, staff of the NS Federation of Agriculture, staff of the Department of Agriculture, staff of  Perennia and to our honourable Minister of Agriculture Keith Colwell,

I am writing to you today to make you aware of an issue you may be unfamiliar with given the lack of education and media news surrounding it, but one which will have a large impact on the risk management strategies of many farmers across the province.

This spring, after Western Canadian producers decided against the release of GE (genetically engineered) alfalfa, Forage Genetics International decided to instead release the seed for sale in Eastern Canada (Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland).

This GE Alfalfa variety is called HarvExtra. It contains 2 GE traits. One is the Roundup Ready trait. The other reduces the lignin content of the alfalfa.

The purpose of my letter is not related to genetically engineered technology in general, but very specifically to GE alfalfa.

Western producers who grow GE corn and soy have taken a stand against GE alfalfa due to the nature of this particular crop.

Alfalfa, as many of you know very well, is a perennial crop, most often grown in rotation and in combination with other crops. It is pollinated by bees, which makes it difficult to control in terms of the unintentional spreading of GE traits to non-GE alfalfa stands. It can also become a weed very easily and Nova Scotia has a population of wild alfalfa on field edges, in ditches, along roadsides everywhere which cross-pollinates with our cultivated varieties.

Beekeepers have come out against the release of GE alfalfa because there are already so many things contributing to the decline of bee health and there is a possibility that this crop could add to their burden.

Farmers who grow alfalfa as a part of a rotation and in combination with other crops see the Roundup Ready technology as a pointless, even burdensome trait. Roundup Ready alfalfa will not be able to be killed using Roundup. The Roundup Ready trait is also outdated technology for new varieties being released, since so many farmers are seeing Roundup Resistance among their most persistent weeds.

The low-lignin trait, while at first glance can seem appealing since lignin is not digestible and therefore a low-lignin crop has the possibility of offering more nutrition with less plant material, is also a potentially harmful one. Lignin is a fibre and all animals (including humans) require fibre to maintain good health.

There is also the fact that as both an industry and as a country, agriculture in Canada needs to move towards more carbon-friendly practices. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is taken up by plants and stored in the lignin (in addition to the root matter). And so, low-lignin alfalfa is actually a step in the opposite direction to the one we should be moving in for Carbon-friendly farm practices.

As farmers, we must always be aware of the risks to our business and try to mitigate them. This is what Western farmers have done in speaking out against GE alfalfa. It is a huge marketing and profitability risk, for both producers who are selling to export markets that don’t accept GE product as well as to producers who sell domestically and locally to markets that don’t want GE product (such as non-GMO and Organic markets). GE alfalfa seriously reduces our marketing options.

As an Organic farmer, I can tell you that GE alfalfa will heavily impact the organic sector which is a sector that is growing quickly around the world and offers a lot of economic benefits to farmers in Nova Scotia as well as across the country.

Organic dairy and meat producers rely on organic alfalfa. Organic crop farmers use alfalfa within their rotation and as a soil amendment due to alfalfa’s great ability to bring nutrients up from deep within the soil. Organic farmers cannot use any alfalfa that has been contaminated with GE traits.

A co-existence plan for GE alfalfa has been created however most farmers who have read it and are familiar with the way bee-pollination happens as well as the nature of alfalfa as a plant have realized how ineffective that co-existence plan will be in the long-term.

I believe it is the responsibility of each of us to ensure that we are moving agriculture as a whole in a positive direction and to not put the viability of any farmer’s business at risk where we can help it.

Farmers I have spoken to, in general, feel that regular alfalfa has not been a difficult crop to establish and that the new GE alfalfa varieties are unnecessary, however I would be very happy to talk with farmers who feel that this GE alfalfa variety is very important for the success of their personal business because I do want to hear all sides.

As President of the Cumberland County Federation of Agriculture, a member of the Council of Leaders, and a young farmer looking towards the future viability of my own farm business, I am asking you to seriously consider this issue and look at both the pros and cons of this particular crop being released in our region.

At the very least, I believe this issue should be widely discussed and disseminated by our Federation and Department of Agriculture so that farmers can make their own personal risk management plans around the GE alfalfa release into our region. The NS Federation of Agriculture and the Department of Agriculture have the responsibility of being the main ways issues like this are shared with the general farming population in Nova Scotia and need to help farmers learn about the risks to their farm businesses before it’s too late.

Thank you very much for reading my letter and seriously considering my thoughts. It is a privilege for me to be a farmer in Nova Scotia and to be able to learn so much from so many experienced farmers across the province. Through you, I am being mentored as a better farmer, better agricultural leader, and better rural community member.

You are welcome to share this letter as widely as you’d like to and I look forward to hearing your own thoughts on this issue.

Sincerely,

Bryan Dyck, farmer at Broadfork Farm and President of the Cumberland County Federation of Agriculture

 

 

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Spring Update on the Farm

 

tulips

The sun feels good! It’s been nice to see plants that spend the winter in the ground sprouting up and doing well. With the mild winter that alternated snow and thaw, we weren’t sure how things would overwinter. It’s still unknown whether everything did well….our overwintered onions seem alive but their black plastic ground cover blew off during heavy winds mixed with thawed out soil. A bed of overwintered baby kale (never harvested) looks really nice and we’ll be harvesting from it soon. This year our biennial flowers were planted into beds that were pretty wet this winter….though bulbs like tulips and daffodils are looking good in those same beds.

hoophouse

We left this caterpillar tunnel up all winter so we could plant it earlier in the spring. It was an ideal winter for tunnels (very little snow means very little shoveling snow off the tunnels). We planted into it at the end of February. Most things are still little and growing slowly but we did harvest some salad mix for market last week from it.  That bed next to the caterpillar tunnel in the picture above (with the white row cover over it) was where the baby kale lived over the winter. That was all the protection it had.

Jang Seeder

More caterpillar tunnel plastic has gone up in the last few weeks and we’re already seeing the little seedlings sprouting up!

starting seeds

Every year, we scramble for enough space to house our seedlings  before they’re ready for the big world. Bryan built an extra little space this year with a heated bench in the center and a “hardening off” section along the side (where the plastic can roll up).

salad mix

Our high tunnel has been bursting with greens. These guys lived in there all winter and started really growing as days started getting longer and warmer. We started going back to the Dieppe Market on April 9th this year, a few weeks earlier than we’ve ever gone before. It’s been so great seeing all our awesome friends (customers and other vendors) again!

organic vegetables Dieppe

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How old can a Young Farmer be? and Another Cat named Kevin

young farmers

In early March, the NFU (National Farmers Union) Youth held our annual retreat – this year just outside Edmonton, Alberta, at a historic log cabin called Rundle’s Mission. We had at least one person from each province in attendance (except for Newfoundland-Labrador and the Territories…it would be great to fill those voids for next year!).

There were some conversations about being referred to as “Youth.” All of us in attendance were clearly grown-ups…I’d say that 30 was an average age. But when we’re talking about the farming community, under 40 is often considered a young farmer (technically within the NFU right now, it’s under 35).

You can see the faces of all of this year’s attendees in the picture above…..and yes the plaid was planned (as it has been for the past few years). These faces make me so happy. This is the future of our farm and food systems in Canada!

It’s so great to be able to take a step back from thinking about our individual farms (the production, the marketing, the business management) and think about the BIG picture. Of where each of us fits in the larger landscape of farm and food. The reasons we became farmers, the problems we see with the status quo, the solutions that each of us are coming up with.

This is why I’ve attended this event for the past 4 years! (You can read my blog posts from the previous 2, here and here.)

And of course we eat great food, socialize, tell stories, dance, sing, and drink together!

young agrarians

A lot of what happens during the NFU Youth Retreats are young farmers sharing and teaching young farmers. We had one presenter, Cory Olikka, who presented ideas for hosting kitchen table meetings to us but wasn’t there for the full 3-days (Cory is a former NFU Youth President) but otherwise, the presenters were also the participants.

The current NFU Youth President, Ayla Fenton, gave a brief overview of the history of the NFU and all the work farmers from across Canada have been doing since the 60’s to improve farming and food systems.

She showed this gem of a picture below. These are NFU youth members from 1971. How great is that! The clothes! (old photos like this one can be found in the History of the NFU on the website)

National Farmers Union Youth 1971

We learned about some farmers in Manitoba who had won a provincial award through their Department of Agriculture for their sausages……then later that year had those sausages confiscated for “food safety reasons” but the sausages were destroyed by the Department before they were tested. Read more about that here.

We learned about regulations that affect small farmers in Alberta (many of the regulations are the same or similar in every province). If a farmer was selling frozen pesto, they can’t put it in a Mason jar….why not? Because apparently customers would then think it was a canned product and they would leave it on a kitchen shelf rather than in the freezer, and then would get sick after they ate it. This farmer blending their basil up before the frost hits it in the field also would have needed a certified kitchen to process it in and a food handlers certificate for themselves as well as a food permit for both the freezer they’re storing the pesto in at the farm and for the delivery van they use to get the pesto to their farmers’ market customer. All of these steps makes it less and less likely that customers will be able to access products made in small batches by the farmers who grew the ingredients.

I presented on Organic 3.0 which is a vision for the future of the Organic Movement. Because I love being both an organic eater and an organic farmer, and because I’m planning/hoping to live on into the future, this is an important issue for me. If you want to learn more about it, check out the discussion document here.

Our retreat happened to coincide with March 8th, the International Women’s Day. So, of course, with members of 2 farm organizations that have really honoured women as farmers (before it was politically correct to do so), the NFU Youth and youth from Union Paysanne (in QC) stood in solidarity with women farmers from around the world. You can see the awesome photo we took below. And here is our statement:

International Women’s Day Statement
Youth of the NFU and Union Paysanne
March 8, 2016

On this International Women’s Day, 2016, we the youth of the National Farmers Union (NFU) and Union Paysanne stand in solidarity with all of the women farmers, peasants and Indigenous women around the world who are sowing the seeds for change, which includes undertaking a disproportionate amount of the work in feeding communities everywhere.

We recognize and honour the efforts of women within the NFU and Union Paysanne who have taken on a leadership role in fighting for equality within the Canadian food system, and who continue to play a strong role in building food sovereignty in this country.

Women farmers in Canada have played a significant part in the forging of alliances with peasant women internationally, through their work with La Vía Campesina. This has been an inspiring process of movement building and knowledge sharing. Women are shaking the structures of power within the patriarchal economic system that is capitalism. We recognize that women around the world are continually putting their lives on the line through this struggle.

We collectively mourn the loss of Berta Caceres, Indigenous environmental leader from Honduras, and we condemn her recent murder, which is a manifestation of the attack on struggles for land, justice, and freedom throughout the global south. Here in the territory known as Canada, we stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities who are demanding justice for the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and who are dealing with the ongoing consequences of colonialism.

Globalize the struggle! Globalize the hope!

La Via Campesina

 

Each year I’ve attended, as we’re all hanging out in the evenings, we’ll share photos from our farms. This is a great way to get to know each other better as farmers.

During my farm slide show, the last photo was of our newest kitten, who we had still been struggling with naming (we tried out lots of names on him for a day or 2 at a time).

A few other farmers had cats named Kevin (random cat name…) and so, I suggested it to Bryan when I got home. We changed it slightly to Li’l Kevin. Li’l Kev for short. And it seems to work….it’s different enough from our other cats’ names (Yuki and Kubota) that I think he gets who we’re calling.

kitten

 

I can’t recommend the NFU Youth Retreats highly enough. I think that attending one is one of the coolest things a young/aspiring farmer in Canada can do to set the stage for their successful/empowered career/life as a farmer.

All of the participants of this year’s NFU Youth Retreat from the Maritime Provinces were so stoked about the event that we wanted to bring the event home. So, we’re organizing a mini-version (one-day only) on Sunday, April 24th at the Dieppe Market. It’s called New Farmers of the Maritimes – Fermenting the New Farm Culture! | La fermentation de la nouvelle culture fermière ! You don’t need to be “young” to attend, just young-at-heart. I hope to see you there!

You can find all the info on the facebook event page here.

During one of the annual NFU Youth Retreats, we started the National New Farmer Coalition (which is a Coalition with other Canadian organizations that are working on supporting new farmers). If you haven’t already, I recommend reading more about it here. And join the facebook group and share your thoughts.

There is also both a National Farmers Union facebook page (where you can see what the organization is sharing) and a facebook group (where you can see what NFU members are sharing). I encourage you to check them out and like or join if you want to keep up-to-date.

Here are a few online resources that I learned about during the retreat and wanted to share:

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Back at Market April 9th!

Winter greens

We’ll be back at the Dieppe Market this coming Saturday, April 9th. We’ve got lots of greens in our unheated tunnel with more ready to be planted in their spot.

We’ve got some greens you may never have tried before like Mache (aka Corn Salad) and Miner’s Lettuce (aka Claytonia).

We’ve also got the sweetest spinach you’ll ever eat, gorgeous kales, and bok choi.

Can’t wait to see you at the Market!

your farmers, Shannon and Bryan

overwintered kale

 

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Why We Started Broadfork Farm

Start with Why

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Who is your Farmer?

Moncton farmer

CSA

Mission and Goals of the Broadfork Farmers

We want to save the world. Transform the food system. Increase the health of people. Protect all the other species on this planet. Build soil for future generations.

We do this by being farmers. By stewarding the land. By farming organically.

We add nutrients to our soil that are needed for healthy human beings, not just growing plants.

We seek out the coolest, most delicious varieties we can find from many seed sources – this isn’t what you’ll find in any grocery store.

We use our knowledge of cooking, nutrition, and ecology to guide our farm.

We bring our organic vegetables and cutflower bouquets to amazing people who share our values through our stand at the Dieppe Market, local restaurants, and health food stores.

Goals:

Provide a diversity of vibrant and delicious vegetables and flowers to our community through the Dieppe Market, local restaurants, and health food stores.

Use ecological and health-promoting farming practices which include organic certification, bee-friendly farming, wildlife and biodiversity preservation, nutrient-dense farming, and soil health enhancement.

Maintain a farm scale that is manageable and inspiring for us while creating a fulfilling and viable livelihood.

Contribute to the health and well-being of our community by empowering conscious eaters with sustainable and nourishing food choices and connections to their local food and farm system.

Click here or on the Market Food Club Tab at the top for the details and registration form!

Read what we wrote about our Market Food Club last year, here.

Read what Rustik Magazine wrote about our Market Food Club, here.

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Farmer Education: Organic Seed Growers Conference

gardening quote

I (Shannon) just returned from the Organic Seed Growers Conference in Oregon.

I attended because I want to learn to improve our skill at growing seed crops (vegetable, herb, and flower) we grow on our farm

AND to meet (in-person) other seed growers from across Canada who had been part of a peer-to-peer seed exchange group during the 2016 season. (to learn who is in this group: http://www.seedsecurity.ca/en/15-program-overview/what-we-do/training-and-networking/200-the-cross-canada-peer-exchange-project)

Organic Seed Growers Conference

I found it physically exhausting to travel across the continent and 4 time zones. But after some sleep, the incredible weather in Corvallis, Oregon was rejuvenating. I was amazed to see green grass, flowers, and some huge tree trunks.

viola

Most vegetable farmers don’t grow any seed crops. It’s much more common for grain farmers though and I think many vegetable farmers would be more interested if it didn’t seem so intimidating. Also, there’s a BIG difference between saving ALL the seed you need for your farm and saving seed from a FEW of the crops you grow.

Saving ALL the seeds we grow on our farm would be a full-time job!

The workshops I ended up attending at the conference helped me to:
• Figure out how I could incorporate seed production into our farm without wasting a lot of time and money.
• Learn from people who have been growing and breeding seed crops for a long time: the Seed Elders!
• See how our agricultural policy could support seed security in Canada (seed security is a building block to food security).
• Breed our own vegetables! Especially how we can use input from our customers to do it!

Chickadee Farm

Check out these beautiful paintings! The Hudson Valley Seed Library gets artists to paint incredible pictures for their seed packets. Many of the paintings were displayed on a wall and they were incredible!

Hudson Valley Seed Library squash painting cherry tomato

We’ve been growing these Bumble Bee cherry tomatoes for a few years now.
In the picture below, you can see inside the seed packet from Hudson Valley Seed Library for a bit of the story behind the seeds.

seed packet

I LOVED the variety tasting event!

cabbage taste test
We tried 3 or 4 varieties of a crop (Delicata squash, Kabocha squash, Green chicory, Red Chicory, Green cabbage, Red cabbage). We tried them both raw and prepared (cooked, fermented, or mixed with dressing) and judged how they tasted and how they looked.

Sweet Meat squash green chicory Candy Dessert Delicata
I totally want to do something like this here. Who’s with me?

Organic Seed Growers

The seed swap was the most amazing, intense seed swap I’ve been ever to!

oxalis tuberosa

I wanted some of these hot pink Oca tubers, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to get them across the border.

breeder James Baggett
I picked up some Cascadia pea seed at the seed swap.

Cascadia pea seeds are not rare or hard to find in seed catalogues. We’ve been buying this variety and even saving seed of it for a few years. We’d been finding more and more off-types (peas without the qualities we wanted) in the seed we’d been buying, which was our primary reason for saving the seed ourselves.

Well, excitingly enough, I picked up a spoonful of seeds straight from the original breeder, James Baggett, who had sadly passed away a week prior to the conference. But his seeds were there for sharing! I’m excited to build up my stock of these Cascadia pea seeds and then bring them to market for fresh-eating, and then eventually, to share the seed with others.

I picked up a bunch of other cool seeds too and it will be great to see how they do on our farm! Some of them could end up contributing to a breeding project (like the red pepper project we have planned!).

A breeding project?

I know most of you know about heirloom seeds but we’re super inspired by the “heirlooms of tomorrow.
Heirlooms of tomorrow are the traditionally-bred, new varieties of open-pollinated and organic seed that plant breeders and farmers are working on at this time in history.

Heirlooms are, by definition, varieties that have been around at least 50 years. And a lot of them are incredible. But there are a lot of cool people working on cool varieties RIGHT NOW. And we want to support them in their awesome work!

We’re really excited about the idea of breeding new varieties on our small farm through selecting qualities suited specifically to OUR soils, OUR personal preferences, and the qualities that OUR customers seem to like best.

This will mean that some of our vegetables will be totally unique. And that our customers will have more input in our food system. What could be better than that?!

I have so much gratitude to the organization that made it possible for me to attend this incredible conference:
The Bauta Family Initiative on Seed Security (seedsecurity.ca) is a Canadian initiative working towards getting more organic, ecological seed grown in Canada and used by Canadians. You can read more of my blog posts about seed (some feature Bauta) here:

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Seasonal Snapshot: January 2016

winter greens

We planted our high tunnel full of greens for early-spring markets. We’ve been enjoying some in our winter salads and are excited for the full harvests when we’ll have enough to share with our wonderful customers!

pheasant

We’ve been seeing lots of pheasants (as well as other birds) around the farm lately. These guys are enjoying the fallen apples that were leftover before it snowed.

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Happy Holiday Season!

young farmers

We hope you have a beautiful holiday season and enjoyable “dark and cold” part of the year…..I know we’ll enjoy sleeping in a bit later and nestling in front of the woodstove with our seed catalogues, dreaming up the 2016 growing season.

Thank you so much for your support of our small farm and for sharing our values of earth stewardship and good health!

winter vegetables

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