On Sunday, Bryan and I headed out a few hours northwest of our farm to go visit a few other farms in southeastern New Brunswick. A few organizations (ACORN, NB Department of Agriculture, and La Recolte de Chez Nous/Really Local Harvest Co-op) had organized a Veggie Field Day at a farm called Green Thumb Farm (or Ferme Pouce Vert). The field day had an impressive turn-out with over 40 farmer participants (which of course yielded an incredible potluck lunch including a meat BBQ generously donated by the Really Local Harvest Co-op).
Since we’re rarely out in that part of the region at this time of year, after the tour at Green Thumb Farm, we were happy to also get to visit 2 other farms we’d been hoping to see for a while now: La Ferme Terre Partagee and Ferme Alva.
Green Thumb Farm is run by Roger Richard, his wife Carmelle, and his brother Jean-Louis. Like many farms in that area, it used to be a Brussels sprouts farm and that’s where the name came from: while topping 60 acres of Brussels sprouts, the farmers would end up with green thumbs. The farm now grows about 14 acres of vegetables and strawberries and sell through their CSA, local produce stands, and to the Farm to School initiative.
La Ferme Terre Partagee is run by 2 young farmers, Kevin and Rebeka on part of Rebeka’s family land. They produce vegetables and lots of strawberries! They’re very involved with the NFU-NB and Kevin attended the NFU Youth Retreat I wrote about back in March. Their greenhouse summer squash were already producing zucchini on huge, beautiful plants!
Ferme Alva (Alva Farm) is owned and operated by Eva and Alain (along with their 3 young kids). We see Eva and Alain fairly regularly at the Dieppe Market but had never seen their farm before. They’re farming on a small-scale, inspired by bio- intensive market gardener Jean-Martin Fortier. Eva and Alain are also very involved with the NFU (National Farmers Union) and Eva has been a strong advocate for access to childcare support for farmers in NB.
For Bryan and I, farm tours like these are important as sources of information, inspiration, and community-building. We’re so grateful to all of these farmers for opening up their farm to us and letting us learn from them. Having successful local family farms is a key requirement for the future of ecological land stewardship and food sovereignty.
If you’re interested in attending future farm tours, keep your eyes on the ACORN website which lists upcoming agriculture-related events, both ACORN-organized and otherwise.