Blog


We love Sharing our farm adventure. This is our passion. Please explore. There’s a lot of information here about what we do and why we do it.

 

organic farm moncton

Feed Your Family, Support your Farmer

Food connects us. The food we eat nourishes each cell of our bodies – that’s what inspires us every day – to grow food with our primary value of Health. Health for every person who eats our food, health for ourselves, health for every other living creature (from the tiniest ...
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Vegetable variety resistance

How do we choose which Seed Varieties to Plant?

Last summer, Shannon was invited to speak at the Nova Scotia Small Farm Expo about how we choose the varieties we grow. Here's that presentation in a nutshell. Every winter, we order seeds for the coming season. We’re always on the look-out for varieties of crops that will become a ...
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beginning farmer

Happy Winter Solstice!

We love the Winter Solstice! It was snowing lightly and we thought "We should get a photo....with the cats and the ducks!" Not easy....the ducks weren't having any of it. Kevin was preoccupied and didn't come when we called (though he suspiciously came into the house right after we took ...
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pea seed saving

Farm-Raised Seeds: The 2016 Adventure

To improve our food system, it’s not just about growing good food locally. To grow delicious vegetables, we first need to plant seeds. In the same way that vegetables don’t “come from the store,” neither do seeds. Seeds are also grown on farms. Our customers seek us out according to ...
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Ecological Farmer

Meet an Eco-Farmer

We were featured this year in Acres USA Magazine. In their section called Meet an Eco-Farmer. Here's the interview: Farm Name: Broadfork Farm Farmers: Shannon Jones and Bryan Dyck Location: River Hebert, Nova Scotia, Canada Size: 15 acre farm, 5 acres in rotation between cash crops (vegetables, herbs, cut flowers) ...
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Khaki Campbell Ducks

Learning to Raise Ducks Organically

This year, at Broadfork Farm, we decided to give duck-raising a try. We’ve kept laying hens in the past and thought it would be fun to try out ducks. Plus we were inspired by the nutritional profile of duck eggs (higher in nutrients than chicken eggs, likely due to their ...
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market in Torino

What I Learned about Food and Farming in Italy

I (Shannon) was incredibly lucky this year to be chosen as one of 56 Canadian delegates to Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in Torino, Italy. I was there for 6 days, from Sept.21 to 27th.....a fairly busy time of year on the farm....and I’m so grateful to Bryan for agreeing ...
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root vegetables

This Saturday is our Last Week at Market!!!

Well, it's hard to believe (except when our fingertips were freezing last weekend) that this coming Saturday (Oct.22nd) is our last day of market for the year! We'll miss a lot of things each Saturday: picking up our weekly treats of raw vegan desserts, cheeses, and seafood seeing all of ...
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Khaki Campbell ducks

I Think Our Ducks Hate Me

So, I’m pretty sure the ducks think I’m the worst. I tried my best to get them to love me. When they were little, I would hang out with them as long as I could and sing songs or read aloud to them. While I was busy on the farm, ...
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rototilling

Biodegradable Plastic Mulches No Longer Allowed in Canadian Organics…..What Now?

I originally wrote this article for and it was published in The Canadian Organic Growers Magazine’s Spring 2016 issue. TCOG (for short) magazine is a great magazine that you can either subscribe to online or as a print/paper copy. Check it out! This article was written as a follow-up to ...
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slow food

Do You Prefer Fast Food or Slow Food?

All photos in this blog post taken by Sonia Marwick. Have you ever even heard of Slow Food? Slow Food is a movement that Bryan and I really get behind. It’s a movement towards food (and a food system) that is Good, Clean, and Fair. These 3 simple words (good, ...
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hoophouse

The Eastern Alternative

Last month, an awesome guy named Warren came out to the farm to interview us and take shots for this really cool TV show he makes called The Eastern Alternative. The show is all about people living in Atlantic Canada and why they stay here rather than leave. In Warren's ...
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garden hoe

A Farmer’s Manifesto

When I wake up in the morning, the very first thought in my mind is whether I’ll be planting, weeding or harvesting today (or all three!).Though if it’s a market day, I’ll be up at 3:30 am and am unlikely to have formulated any thoughts yet. And after that – ...
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IFOAM

The Future of Organic Farming

Organics isn’t just a farming sector or a marketing option...Organic is a movement! And, like any other movement, it needs to change over time as it grows and people demand more from their movement. Organic farmers, leaders, processors, and eaters around the world recognize this and have been trying to ...
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organic ducks

What’s New in 2016?

We’re always excited about trying new things on our farm. Sometimes our attempts are successful and sometimes they really aren’t. But we still like to try. New things sometimes come up because it’s something we personally want. Like lots of lemon balm tea to help support our bodies during stressful ...
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What is Safe Food?

We have been dismayed by the frequent news of frozen organic produce recalls at Costco over the past few months. For us, it started with some organic frozen berries from Costco that were recalled due to potential contamination of Hepatitis A. In the news at the same time, Costco apparently ...
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Visit to Twisted Brook Farm

Who: Me- Shannon of Broadfork Farm and Del from Side by Each Farm in Amherst, NS What: a road trip and farm field trip Where: Twisted Brook Farm, a Certified Naturally Grown farm in Lawrencetown, NS (close to Middleton) When: Monday, April 25th (just over a month ago now...) Why: ...
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La Bikery hosts: an Organic Plant Sale with Broadfork Farm

On Sunday, June 5th, between 10 am and 2 pm, ride on over and find the perfect plants for your garden. We’ve got vegetables, flowers, and herb plants to go straight into your garden. Everybody knows there’s nothing like biting into a fresh homegrown tomato! And organic seeds too! Need ...
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Fermenting the New Farm Culture

On a Sunday at the end of March, around 50 new farmers from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick got together to learn from each other, share with each other, and enjoy good food together! The first ever (hopefully not last) New Farmers of the Maritimes event (click on ...
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The Cutest Thing You’ll See All Day!

They’re here! Forty-three of the cutest little beings imaginable. These are a breed of ducklings called Khaki Campbells. We’re raising them (for the first time ever!) because we want organic, pastured duck eggs. These little guys had big adventures on their first day alive! They left the incubation chamber they ...
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Nourish Your Roots Box

Here I am starting some acorn squash in the greenhouse. I’m planting these acorns for the Nourish Your Roots Box program. This program will see students from local schools fundraise by selling boxes of local, sustainably-grown produce (rather than the typical fundraisers of chocolate bars and tulip bulbs). These local ...
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Who are Atlantic Canada’s New 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, ...
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Letter to the Minister about GE Alfalfa

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 ...
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Spring Update on the Farm

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

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 ...
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Back at Market April 9th!

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) ...
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Who is your Farmer?

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 ...
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Farmer Education: Organic Seed Growers Conference

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 ...
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Seasonal Snapshot: January 2016

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! We've been seeing lots of pheasants (as well as other birds) around the farm ...
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Happy Holiday Season!

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 ...
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Our Journey with an Unusual Crop

Two years ago, Michel, a chef we were working with asked us to grow a crop called Crosnes. We had never heard of it and had never seen it in stores or seed catalogues. So, we looked around and found that there was a small local seed company (Mapple Farm ...
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Only 2 more weeks left at Market!

Bryan and I will be attending the Dieppe Market until the end of October....that means only 2 more weeks left for this year! We're sad to say goodbye to our weekly visits with our wonderful customers and all our lovely fellow market vendors. But we're already so excited for all ...
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Squash Thanks Giving

What an abundant season for Winter Squash! We planted our winter squash in a section of our farm that really seems to love growing cucurbits (squash, cucumbers, melons, etc.). We brought in all of the squash right before our first frost and there were only a reasonable amount of seconds ...
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The Obstacles New Farmers in Canada Face

This election season, Food Secure Canada has created the Eat Think Vote campaign, which is drawing the attention of politicians from all parties and citizens from all parts of the country to the critical issues facing food systems. They state that the Government elected in 2015 should work with others ...
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Flower Farming Workshop

On Sunday, September 13th, close to 30 flower-growing enthusiasts were stuffed into our old farmhouse (read: small rooms, or the opposite of open-concept) for a workshop called The Business of Cut Flower Farming. Our hope had been that the weather would cooperate and it would be an outdoor event, however ...
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Seasonal Snapshot: August 2015

The melons have been ripening during August and we'll have lots of delicious fruit for the market in September. This year, the majority of our melons were planted under a caterpillar tunnel and we're really happy with the quality (and flavour) compared to other years. Overall, we've found the abundance ...
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Why Local Cut Flowers?

Buying local, ecologically-grown food is a no-brainer. There are so many benefits, both for families as well as for our local community, economy, and ecology. Voting with our dollars and choosing food grown by a farmer we know and whose values and practices we respect is one of the biggest ...
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The Case of the Unapproved Biodegradable Plastic Mulch

I wrote this article for ACORN's summer 2015 newsletter and am now republishing it here. At the end of March of this year (2015), we found a memo in our inbox from Ecocert (the organic certifying body that we are certified with). In this memo, we were told that we ...
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Visits to far-off farms

We spent 2 days in a row away from the farm early this week, to learn through on-farm workshops that were each being held about 3 hours from our farm but in opposite directions. On Sunday, we went out to a field day at Strawberry Hill Farm in Pembroke, NB ...
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Lovin’ this Lettuce!

I know I sound like a geek....but it thrills me that our current salad mix contains a lettuce whose seed we saved on our farm. It’s one of 6 varieties of lettuce in the mix at the moment (we change up the lettuce varieties pretty often during the season). It’s ...
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Veggie Field Day in Southeastern New Brunswick

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 ...
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Seasonal Snapshot: June 2015

Right now, we’re planting (both direct-seeding like in the picture above and transplanting seedlings we’ve started in the greenhouse), weeding, mowing, preparing beds, covering crops with row cover, starting more seeds in the greenhouse for future plantings, harvesting and more. We’re basically trying to catch up to where we’d like ...
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Seasonal Snapshot: May 2015

A lot has happened since my last Seasonal Snapshot post in April. But the spring still came late. I (Shannon) was in Ottawa for a few days last week attending the final 3-day meeting of the Organic Standards Technical Committee before the newly revised Standards come out. Oh man, was ...
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How Amazing is Basil?!

We love basil! We love growing it and we LOVE eating it. This year, we decided to expand our basil repertoire. Because basil is one wild and crazy plant with so many different flavours and shapes and sizes. We're also selling basil seedlings for all the gardeners out there. Tomorrow, ...
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Growing our Communities and Supporting Agriculture

Every province and region in Canada is unique. I’ve been so lucky to develop friendships with fellow farmers from across the country. And there are some pretty cool things happening everywhere! But one province that has always stuck out for me in terms of agriculture, specifically organic agriculture, has been ...
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What spring greens are we harvesting now?

Everyone’s been waiting for them: the spring greens! And every year, we refine our collection of them (we’re like vegetable curators), growing the ones we think are the coolest around! Here’s the roundup of spring greens we’re harvesting right now: Look at that leaf size! And they get even larger ...
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DIY Germination Chamber

On our small farm, projects often come about after some internet research and using odd pieces of “junk” we’ve got hanging around. One of this winter’s projects was a germination chamber. Some of our seeds require light to germinate but most vegetable seeds don’t. They do need consistent moisture though ...
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Work Bee: Building a Seed Cleaner

Saving seed is one thing...but then cleaning it is a whole other thing. Why clean it? Well, when we first harvest the seed, we just want to get it out of the elements and keep it dry. Along with the seeds, we end up bringing in all kinds of other ...
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Seasonal Snapshot: April 2015

We’re starting a new series on our blog. It’s called the Seasonal Snapshot. It will be a picture (or maybe a collage like this one) that represents what’s going on right now at the farm. There is unlikely to be many words associated with it (except perhaps a clarifying paragraph) ...
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Pickles and Policy

Check out this group of rockstar farmers (and rockstar farm allies)! This “family photo” is from the 2015 NFU Youth Retreat, held in Wakefield,QC that I just returned from. This is a yearly event, you can read my blog post from last year’s Retreat in BC. It was beyond amazing ...
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Taste Hunters from France: what did they see in Canada?

In late August last year, 5 cool guys from Paris, France showed up on our farm to create a travel food episode for their TV show Taste Hunters. The show was hosted by young chef Benjamin Darnaud (with other episodes hosted by chef Jerome Bigot). They have been travelling around ...
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Everyone needs a Farmer. We want to be yours!

Who’s your dentist? Who’s your accountant? WHO’S YOUR FARMER? We are blessed with such wonderful and inspiring farmers in our region (though we still need more with the average age of farmers close to 60). We strongly recommend everyone get to know them through both in-person and online connections (farm ...
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New Things We’re Excited to Grow in 2015

Each year, our crop plan is filled with varieties that we have grown and loved. Varieties that we are attached to and cherish. That we love to eat and are delighted to offer our customers. But, we can never help ourselves when we’re preparing our seed orders. We always try ...
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Who are the New Farmers?

Well, I’m sure you've heard that we need to encourage more new farmers in Canada. We don’t currently have enough people entering the age-old profession of farming to replace the ones retiring. There are many ways that this issue can be addressed. By supporting your local farmers you are definitely ...
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My Two Cents on Organic Seed

In 2014, we were extremely grateful to be rewarded with a $500 grant from Rodale’s “Your Two Cents” Organic Seed Fund to help us purchase organic seed (our seed costs fall somewhere around $1500 to $2000/year). As certified organic farmers, we must purchase organic seed to grow our organic crops ...
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5 Ways to Evaluate Your Work

This winter, Bryan and I have been working on updating our business plan. It’s easy for us to put this on the back-burner since we spent a lot of time on our original plan and tend to think it was thorough. But, going through our old one made us realize ...
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Happiest of Holidays!

We wish you a healthy and happy holiday season.....filled with delicious meals, warm socks, and snowflakes on eyelashes. Cheers to you and yours, Bryan & Shannon, your Broadfork Farmers ...
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Farming Conferences: Part 3

Technically, the Food Secure Canada (FSC) conference isn't a farming conference. This was a “big picture” conference with more academics and project managers in attendance than farmers. There were no production, marketing, or business sessions as there are in most farming conferences. But there were sessions on policy, the state ...
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Farming Conferences: Part 2

The Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (or ACORN) holds a conference yearly, moving through locations in NS, NB, and PEI. I think it has become the best farming conference in Canada! This year’s conference was the biggest it’s ever been with attendees coming not only from within Atlantic Canada, but ...
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Farming Conferences Part 1

During the 2nd weekend of November, I (Shannon) was in Ste. Anne de Bellevue (near Montreal), QC for the Eastern Canadian Organic Seed Growers (ECOSGN) conference. Home for less than a day, we both (Shannon and Bryan) headed to Halifax for the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN) conference and ...
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Fields Empty, Hearts Full

We finished our market season on November 1st. We’ll be back at the Dieppe Market in the spring...it’s hard to give an exact date. For the last 2 years, we’ve returned in late April, but we always try to go back as early as possible (the weather, of course, has ...
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What Do You Do in the Winter?

People ask us that a lot. Prospective farmers ask us. Market customers ask us. Friends and family ask us. Our winter work looks very different than our spring or summer or fall work but it’s equally as important to the success of our farm. Our answer: There are many things ...
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Fall Harvest

Well, the countdown is on, we’ll only be bringing our produce to the Dieppe Market for 4 more weeks (Nov.1st is the last day)! In previous years, we’ve tried to continue a bit longer, but it gets REALLY cold outside at the market! One year, we brought the most beautiful ...
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Galinsoga

Mission to Quebec: Grower’s Tour

Last week, I (Shannon) spent 4 days either on farms in Quebec or sitting in a van with other farmers on the way to and from Quebec. It was awesome! I went because I love growing as a farmer and one of the best ways to do that is to ...
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Our 5 Favourite Market Gardening Tools

This post was inspired by seeing this post from Allsun Farm (in Australia)  and the Farm Start posts from other farmers we really respect and admire. I wanted to just share those links but then thought, what the heck, why don’t we just join in! 1)      Vermont Cart. We use ...
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Chatty Cathys

Sometimes we get interviewed for various reasons by various people. And neither of us find it particularly easy to say the right thing at the right time. Or say witty or funny things at the perfect moment (but of course, we can think up good ones later....). And sometimes people ...
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Broadfork In Bloom

If you’re a Dieppe Market goer, you may have noticed the bouquets I (Shannon) have been making and selling at the market at this time of year. Right now, local and organically-grown flowers are a very hot trend in the flower and wedding and event industries. For more about that, ...
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A Harvest Morning in Pictures

These pictures were all taken a few weeks ago.....but it’s not often that I remember to bring a camera out with me on harvest mornings. A few people have asked us about these harvest bins. They are food grade bins that we bought from Dubois in Quebec. They are two-toned ...
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Quick Cut Greens Harvester

We really love growing salad greens so, while envisioning how to be more efficient at it, we looked into the Quick Cut Greens Harvester from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. First, I spoke with a few farmers who had tried it and read any reviews on farm blogs I could find. Then ...
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Ginger-ama

Well, we finally felt confident enough with the nightly lows to put our precious ginger into its caterpillar tunnel which had been reserved and ready for quite some time. Here we are transporting it to its new home. Out in the big world. Away from the sheltered space of its ...
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The View from the Farm

Well, despite the less-than-ideal weather this spring: wet fields even with our well-draining soils, cool nights and frost (some of our early/risky planting of summer squash was hit but that’s just part of the game...we were lucky last year), things are still growing. In the picture above, you can see ...
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Mid-May Vegetables

We harvested some exciting crops today! First up, Egyptian Onions (aka Walking Onions). Read this great article about a chef who fell in love with this onion. Here's a quote: "Lewin would like to nominate the Egyptian walking onion to be included in the US Ark of Taste, a catalog, compiled ...
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What did we harvest today?

Yay! Hakurei turnips are making an appearance at the market this week.....though with the weather, I'm not sure when the next planting of hakureis will be ready. These ones came from the hoophouse but we'll be planting tomatoes in there so we needed to harvest it all. I'm really happy with ...
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Caterpillar Tunnel Workshop, class of ‘14

Last Sunday, we hosted a hands-on workshop called Extending Your Season with Caterpillar Tunnels, presented by ACORN’s Grow a Farmer program as part of their Learning Series. The timing was great as we’re in the midst of putting up 5 caterpillar tunnels (3 for vegetable crops, 1 for cut flowers, ...
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Spring Veggies

Well, we're off to the Dieppe Market tomorrow for our first week back at market for the season. Despite the snow (!) yesterday and the chilly wind today, we had a pleasant time harvesting inside the high tunnel. We've got French Breakfast type of radishes (the variety is new to ...
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First Field Planting of the Season!

Today, we did our first planting of the season out into the field! Yahoo! But, the fields are still too wet to get our tractor on without damaging the soil. Luckily, we still had black plastic down over the beds that held last year's tomatoes and peppers (under the caterpillar ...
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Buying our Farm video

A while back a few people came out to the farm to create a film for ThinkFARM about us buying our farm. Neither of us are super comfortable being on camera but we did it anyway and it's now up on the ThinkFARM website here. Or you can watch it ...
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On the farm today.

It was so warm and sunny and perfect in the tunnel today! We had some lettuce that just needed to be planted so we prepared an area and stuck them in. We're trying to reorganize a bit...last year we used the whole front section of this tunnel for seedlings. Now ...
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young farmers

In Union

I’m still dealing with a bit of jet lag from the long flight but I've just got to share the awesomeness that happened in Victoria, BC this past weekend. I went out there for a 3-day National Farmers Union (NFU) Youth Retreat. This was my second NFU Youth Retreat. The ...
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What’s Happening on the Farm?

While it doesn't look like spring yet outside, we're getting ready for it anyway! We almost forgot to bring some potting mix indoors last fall, but thankfully the light bulb went on. Otherwise, we would have had to work with frozen potting mix! The heated bench is filling up fast ...
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What Every Farmer Needs to Know About Storage!

Be honest: did you choose to read this blog post because of it’s amazing (?!) title? It’s not really like my usually blog post titles because I usually think them up myself (however random or cheesy they may be). This blog post title however was generated by a tool called ...
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Sitting Around the Organic Table

One of the things I love most about farming is the never-ending opportunity for growth. Not just the wonderful growth I see all around me – plants, animals, the development of our farm in general. But the growth of me as a person. I get to learn about things I ...
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Market Gardener: The Book

A couple seasons ago, some real great farmers, Dan and Emily from Tourne-Sol Cooperative Farm in Quebec were visiting and we were talking about ideas for conference speakers for the ACORN conference. Dan mentioned a farmer friend, Jean-Martin who was writing a book sharing secrets from the success on the ...
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Fermenting Goodness

Last weekend, we gave a second workshop on lactofermentation in Cocagne, NB. The first one happened a month earlier. Cocagne is awesome. There are 3 cool groups based out of Cocagne that hosted/organized the workshops: the Cocagne Sustainable Development Group, Slow Food Cocagne Acadie, and Transition Cocagne. And, we were ...
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Storing your Veggies for Winter

So, now is the time to start hoarding (storing) food for the winter. Many people aren't exactly sure how to do this (since it is a skill that grocery stores have not required us to continue). But we think it' still an important skill to practice, so for those of ...
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Saving those Seeds

This year, we’re saving seeds not only for our own farm, but to sell to a local seed company (Annapolis Seeds). Why are we into seed-saving? Well, we love the idea of a seed being at home here on the farm with us. Just as we are a product of ...
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Kale….it’s kind of a big deal.

You may not know this but tomorrow is a big national celebration of something great: Kale. Yep, October 2nd is National Kale Day. Kale is also a big deal for us on many other days of the year. Why? Because kale is one of our favourite crops and a favourite ...
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Celebrating Organic Agriculture

We are organic farmers because we want to save the world! We want to make sure that our life's work is the best way we know how (always learning and changing...) to create healthy ecosystems and a healthy food source. When neighbourhood children bicycle past, we want to make sure ...
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Open Farm Day 2013

For the third year in a row (though second on our own farm), we're participating in the province's Open Farm Day. It's happening on Sunday, September 15th, 2013 and we'll be available to show you around and chat between 1 and 4 pm. We love having people come visit the ...
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What I’m excited about today

This week’s radish bunches! Look at how crazy beautiful they are! The little extra oomph I think comes from the Yellow Carrot-Shaped Radishes. This is our first harvest of them ever! We got the seed from Terra Edibles in Foxboro, ON. Apparently, they are extremely rare and a very old ...
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Holy Guano Batman!

Yesterday, we received the most lovely surprise! There was a package waiting for us at the post office. We weren't expecting anything and when we arrived at the post office, we didn't recognize the name of the sender. The address wasn't complete and the street name wasn't correct. One glorious ...
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Garlicky Goodness!

Today we did the bulk of our garlic harvest. We still have one bed in the ground, the “trials.” Three years ago, Shannon helped Bob Wildfong from Seeds of Diversity plant 120 different varieties of garlic at Everdale Farm, many of them given to him by Al Picketts from Eureka ...
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Grow a Farmer Nova Scotia Farm Tour

Last Monday, Lucia from ACORN organized a farm tour of two wonderful and inspiring (and very different) farms. Grow a Farmer apprentices from our farm, Windy Hill Farm, and Taproot Farms took part in the tour as well as other aspiring and new farmers. Bryan and I take our professional ...
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Field trip: Ruhe Farm

For last week’s Educational Day with our Grow a Farmer apprentice Jim, we went on a field trip to visit Lyne and Hendie at Ruhe Farm, a certified organic farm in Shemogue, NB. We see Lyne and Hendie every week at the Dieppe Market where (since this spring), they’ve been ...
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Maritime Fresh

We recently got a new local foods cookbook. The author is Elizabeth Bailey who happens to be one of our former farmers’ market customers (back when we were attending the Lunenburg Farmers’ Market). It’s called Maritime Fresh: Delectable recipes for preparing, preserving and celebrating local produce.’ Elizabeth was always the ...
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Meet the Apprentice Farmers!

We have some awesome and inspiring folks apprenticing at Broadfork Farm this year! It’s always fun for us to have others out at the farm, working and learning with us. Basically, this is the way we make friends. Having people out to the farm (as well as attending the farmers’ ...
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The Story of the Winter Spinach

Last Saturday was our first week back at the Dieppe Market of the season. We had some cabbage, rutabaga, and pumpkins but we really had a lot of spinach! We wanted to let our customers know how we had this spinach to sell so early in the year. This is ...
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April showers bring May flowers

The month of April holds so much potential.  It feels like it’s overflowing (but in an amazing waterfall kind of way, not like a pot on the stove bubbling over to create that burning smell kind of way). We've been starting a lot of vegetable seeds (as usual this time of ...
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Clearcuts Affect Farms!

Since last summer, clearcutting has taken place in our community. It has been hard to sleep at night hearing the large logging machines cutting and chipping the wood. The sounds are scary to me, and I’m sure to many other types of animals. We have been worried about how the ...
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Nutrient Dense Farming

This winter, while planning and dreaming, one aspect of farming has particularly captured our attention and excitement. The nutrient density of the crops we grow and the remineralization of our soils have been almost constantly on our minds and usually on the tips of our tongues. Our biggest inspiration has ...
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ACORN’s Grow a Farmer

ACORN has just launched their new Grow a Farmer program.  This is a program that we think will be amazing. And that’s not just an uneducated, hopeful guess. I (Shannon) happen to be on the Grow a Farmer Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is made up of a lot of ...
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Our farm looks awesome in the winter!

This is the "Holiday" photo we took. I know it looks crazy professional (ha!) but, in reality, our little camera was just sitting on a bucket with the timer setting on. It was a very windy day and when I went inside to upload it to the computer, it was ...
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Greenhouse Construction!

Our greenhouse construction has finally begun! It had been put on hold because we were waiting to get a building permit. Word of advice to folks buying a greenhouse: ask the company for engineered drawings BEFORE you buy from them! We bought our greenhouse from Multi-Shelter Solutions in Ontario and ...
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1 Year Anniversary!

Today, November 5, 2012, is our 1 year anniversary of owning our own farm! What could be more special than compiling years and years of 2 people’s dreams, aspirations, and idealism and turning that into the design and creation of a sweet little farm? We love it here! This past ...
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Storage Season

This is the time of year when we are just starting to harvest vegetables we've grown to store and sell during the winter months. It's a nice time of year. We've also been spending time preserving (mostly by freezing or lacto-fermenting....lots of kimchi!), planting greens to harvest in the winter, ...
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Rhode Island Red Chicken

Broadfork Farm’s Organic Celebration!

Canada's Organic Week is being held this year from September 22 to 29th. Celebrating Organic Week is celebrating environmentally friendly farming and food that is grown without the use of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), sewage sludge, pesticides, and artificial fertilizers!Come celebrate Organic Week with us! Wondering what Organic Week is? ...
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Bee Friendly

If you are a customer at one of the farmers’ markets we attend, you may have noticed this sign at our stall. We are a Certified Bee Friendly Farm. In fact, we were the first Atlantic Canadian farm to certify as bee friendly. So, what does that mean? Well, it ...
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garlic

Our Garlic Harvest at Pleasant Hill Farm

Last fall, when we were going through our farm purchase, we needed somewhere to plant our garlic. Cindy and David from Pleasant Hill Farm (in Pleasant River, Queen’s County, NS) were generous enough to let us plant a bed at their farm. They prepped the bed with their spader, applied ...
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Clear Skies

This has been a very dry year. At our farm as well as so many others. In the distance, we can often see clouds raining above the Chignecto Bay. But they just pass us by. When it has rained, it hasn’t been enough to get moisture down beyond the surface ...
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Organic Certification

Bryan and I started our farm business in 2011 on leased land. Since we had no idea how long we might be farming on that piece of land, we didn’t want to start the organic certification process. We were also kind of on the fence about certifying. We had both ...
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bumblebee

Biodiversity Workshop Recap

On Monday, July 16th, we hosted a Biodiversity Workshop and Potluck. We had a great turnout, met some great folks, ate some great food, and learned lots about biodiversity! Reg Newell, from the Department of Natural Resources walked the whole farm property with us, sharing insights on the different habitats ...
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hops

Field Trip: Wysmykal Farm (and surrounding farms)

A week ago, we took a day trip to visit Charles and Jessy at Wysmykal Farm in Chapman’s Settlement, NS. We had planned to help them put on their greenhouse plastic, but it was a bit too windy. Instead, they gave us a very generous tour of their farm. Despite ...
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borage

The Birds and the Bees: The Benefits of Biodiversity Workshop/Potluck

On Monday, July 16th (rain date July 17th), between 10 am and 3 pm, we'll be hosting a Biodiversity Workshop and potluck at the farm! Biodiversity is something that is super important to us and we want to make sure we can maintain and enhance it on our farm. But ...
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Mulch-laying

Many vegetable producers rely on black plastic mulch or a biodegradable non-gmo corn-based alternative, like BioTelo, for weed suppression, warming soils, and getting an earlier start for some crops, ultimately resulting in earlier harvests. Using BioTelo eliminates the end-of-season removal and disposal hassles that come with the plastic since it ...
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Harvest morning

If you’re ever wondering what we’re up to on a Friday morning, I can tell you that we’re harvesting for the Saturday market. Harvest mornings mean that we go around the farm and hand-pick every vegetable that is at its perfect stage. We can tell that each vegetable is at ...
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market stall

Dieppe Market: Week 2

Last Saturday was our second week at the Dieppe Market. We are loving it! The customers we have met so far have been really into food: good-tasting food, healthy food, beautiful food. Those are the kinds of folks we love selling our produce to! We are also really loving meeting ...
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Building chicken tractors

In a previous post we talked about the week-old chicks we picked up from Cochrane Family Farm on April 21st. For the next three weeks of their lives, these 22 birds stayed in a makeshift brooder here at the farm, a cordoned-off section of an enclosed porch. At the same ...
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Sweet Bees: Visit and Pick-up at Honey Wind Farm

Two weeks ago, we took a trip out to Honey Wind Farm (near Oxford, NS) to pick up a beehive from beekeeper Jerry Draheim. I first met Jerry about 4 years ago when we both attended a Natural Beekeeping workshop with Ross Conrad held at Windhorse Farm (which is held ...
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garden sign

Guest Post: My Trip to Broadfork Farm

Good day friends, My name is Miranda and I am one of Shannon Jones’ (co-owner of Broadfork Farm) sisters. I had the privilege of spending one week at this beautiful farm in River Hebert, NS (or as I used to call it Saint Hubert, NS). I was welcomed with loving ...
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Putting up the caterpillars

On April 21st, we hosted a work-party to help erect our two caterpillar tunnels. Much like a greenhouse, these structures will provide a sheltered, warmer growing environment for various crops, but there are a few important differences between these two types of structures. Caterpillar tunnels are a) less expensive, b) ...
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chicks

Field Trip to Cochrane Family Farm

On Saturday evening, we visited Cochrane Family Farm in Middle Stewiacke, NS. First we spent the day at the Truro Machinery Auction, then headed over to the Cochrane’s farm where they kindly and generously fed us dinner and gave us a great farm tour! Their farm is very diversified! They ...
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Our namesake

Bryan cut a few thin birch trees from our woodlot this past winter and just made handles for the broadfork we had made last year by a young blacksmith in Peggy's Cove. We'd been borrowing a broadfork to use last season because we didn't have the time to make the ...
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Tractor and clothesline

The newest farm addition!

A new arrival to our farm last week was an orange work-horse by the name of Kubota L4150! Having a tractor this season will help with all the work that starting our farm on a new, uncultivated piece of land will entail. After going through last season, hiring someone to ...
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Farmer Xander

Farmer Xander

I’m Xander. I will be farming with Shannon & Bryan this season. I met Shannon 3 years ago while she was apprenticing at Everdale Organic Farm and Environmental Learning Centre in Ontario. I came to the farm that summer to volunteer, and also to interview all the apprentices for my ...
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How to Help your Fresh Flowers Last Longer

Find a vase (or Mason jar or any suitable vessel) for your flower bouquet. Make sure the vase is clean and fill it with cold water. Remove your bouquet’s packaging but leave the rubber band holding the bouquet together for now. Cut a few centimetres off the stems at an ...
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rainbow beets

10 – October Recipes

  October usually brings our first killing frost. The temperature goes a few degrees below zero and kills any sensitive crops that were left uncovered. Crops under protection can wilt a bit, but don't always die. Frost brings mixed feelings. While we’re sad to let go of some crops, overall, we’re ...
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zucchini

07 – July Recipes

This is a picture of a typical seasonal meal in our farmhouse kitchen: Whatever-Is-In-Season-That-We-Happen-To-Have-Near-At-Hand. We usually heat some butter, olive oil, or coconut oil in our much-used cast iron pan, throw in any vegetables (the vegetables that cook the quickest are the last to be thrown in), add some salt ...
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heirloom tomatoes

09 – September Recipes

Photo of our tomatoes by Dennis the Prescott, https://dennistheprescott.com/Melons, Charentais: Charentais Melon Salad Melons, Cantaloupe: Chilled Cantaloupe Soup Melons, Galina tropical: Tropical Melon Soup with Coconut Milk Eggplant: Easy Eggplant Lasagna Peppers, green/purple: Green Pepper Salsa  Peppers, red/orange/yellow: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Peppers, Jimmy Nardello: Fried Peppers and Goat Cheese ...
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Hakurei turnips

05 – May Recipes

Turnips with White Miso Butter Recipe adapted from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison Serves 2-4 1 pound Hakurei Japanese salad turnips 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons white miso 3 green onions, slivered Sea salt Trim tops and bottom root off turnips (keep ...
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Mustard Greens

06 – June Recipes

In addition to being our major selling day, Saturday at the Dieppe Market is our primary shopping day. That’s when we pick up foods that we don’t grow (or make) ourselves from other talented and passionate vendors. The picture above has Peppercorn bacon from Bacon Beacon, served atop pastured fried ...
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rainbow peppers

08 – August Recipes

Pattypan squash: Buttery Patty Pan Squash with Basil Tomatoes: Creamy Tomato Basil Soup Parsley:Creamy Parsley Soup Holy Basil: Chicken and Holy Basil Stir Fry Mountain Mint: Watermelon and Fresh Mountain Mint Mocktail Anise: Anise Hyssop Sauce Edible flowers: Granola Parfaits with Home-made Chamomile yogurt and Edible Flowers Zucchini: Blueberry Zucchini ...
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Snow Day!

The big snowfall was pretty exciting! We think our view looks kind of like a postcard picture and the snow fall changes the postcard completely. Now, everywhere we look, we see a winter-y paradise. We've built a composting toilet on the back of the house so we don't use up ...
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Land

New Farm

Well.....we bought a farm! A really sweet 15 acre farm in River Hebert, Cumberland county. And tonight we're going to sleep there! Perhaps you're wondering how this happened. We've spent this past year leasing land at Windhorse Farm in Lunenburg county. We loved our markets, our customers, our fellow vendors, ...
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Organic Breakfast Challenge

Organic Week is coming up (Oct.15-22) and they want to know what healthy, organic goodies folks are eating for breakfast. So I thought I'd show take some photos while I broke my fast one morning. Starting off with Algonquin Tea Company's Awakening Tea. I love this tea so much. I ...
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September Abun-Dance

September has always been my favourite month (probably due to my having been born in this month...). As a vegetable farmer, September is especially nice for me because of the reduction in the growth of weeds, the fruition of the much anticipated longer-season crops (winter squash, melons, eggplant, coloured peppers), ...
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Locally-made Market Banner

We have a market banner!!! We asked Danette, the woman behind the Sea Dog Bag Company, if she would make our banner because we wanted to support a small local business, she creates beautiful things with reclaimed materials, and she's awesome and passionate and we really like her. A lot ...
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Local Lunenburg Pizza

When we got home from the Lunenburg farmers' market yesterday, we made a very delicious pizza with the items we purchased there. We started with Italian-seasoned Focaccia from Schoolhouse Gluten-free Gourmet. Then we made pesto using our own basil, oregano and garlic scapes. For toppings, we sliced up Pleasant Hill ...
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Grow a Farmer

This past Sunday, we had the pleasure of hosting the 1st in a series of Grow a Farmer days organized by ACORN (Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network) and the SOIL apprenticeship program. The workshop we held here was called How We Got Started which was mostly about how we moved ...
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Before and After: Seedling labels

We wanted to label our seedlings so people could remember what exactly it was they were growing. So, we went to the store and picked up some sticker labels and I (Shannon) hand-wrote each label (!)....which took a very long time. And the labels didn't look very nice after we ...
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LOCALicious!

This past week, we attended a LOCALicious trade show put on to connect local farmers and food producers with local restaurants. We really enjoyed chatting with people from various restaurants....it's so great whenever we can talk with others who love good food too! And it was really interesting to see ...
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High School Help

This past week, about 15 high school students from The Shambhala School in Halifax came out to the farm for a transplanting party! They helped us put in winter squash, leeks, celeriac, storage cabbages, and brussels sprouts. It was a HUGE help to have so many people transplanting... and covering the squash ...
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Farmers’ Markets

We have really been enjoying the farmers' markets so far this season! We started going to the Hubbards Barn market on May 9th and the Lunenburg market on May 19th. Both markets are really well organized and have a great market manager (actually the same market manager, Ashley Marlin). The ...
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At the Market

We recently attended the Middleton Farmers' Market, last Friday, where they were also hosting a Seedy Friday event. We took along some of our seedlings, and gave a talk on growing great garlic! This coming Saturday (May 7) will be Broadfork Farm's official first market day at the Hubbards Farmers' ...
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Transplanting

We've just started planting seedlings from the greenhouse out into the fields. So far, we've set out peas (sugar snap and snow), lettuce (full size and mini heads), broccoli raab, and bok choys. To prepare our garden beds, we're using a broadfork to loosen up the soil, then garden rakes ...
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Propagating Garlic!

Garlic is one of the favourite items that I use in preparing food: raw, roasted, or sauteed! Going through the supermarket it is hard to find local, let alone organically grown garlic. Most of the supply comes in from China, Mexico or other places from far distances, yet, garlic is ...
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Sprouting Plants

Spring is such an exciting and hopeful time of year! Our new farm business feels like an emerging seedling right now - so much potential stored up in the seed, finally breaking out and beginning a life of its own. All of our hopes and dreams for this growing season ...
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Seeding

At this time of year, we have a lot of seeding to do in the greenhouse. Every week, we'll be adding more and more trays with germinating seeds to the greenhouse benches. This is how we do it: We mix our potting mix in an old bathtub and shovel it ...
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The Beauty of Farm Life

Brassica seedlings emerging from the soil. One of our neighbours, Ted, a retired draft horse. The pond next to the greenhouse ...
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New Greenhouse

This is our new greenhouse which Bryan finished putting up last week with the help of Wayne, Colin and Leland. Our seedling bench will be heated with the outdoor wood furnace. Right now, most of our supplies are being stored in the wood shed next to the greenhouse. The vents ...
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The Seeds Are Here!

We took a short trek down to William Dam seeds in Dundas yesterday and picked up the last of our seeds! William Dam Seeds offers high quality untreated seeds, carrying more and more certified organic seed each year. It was exciting to see racks and racks of seeds, acres of ...
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Broadfork Farm Cats

Our farm cats take their jobs very seriously: rodent patrol and cuddles. The matriarch of our gang, Yuki keeps the guys in line. She systematically roves the farm seeking rodents that she knows were just about to eat a bunch of seeds or young seedlings we just planted. I estimate ...
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Bryan and Shannon

Welcome to Broadfork Farm – Delicious Organic Vegetables is Our Specialty

We're busy crop planning and seed ordering! Please visit back soon to see what is coming up for the 2011 growing season at Broadfork Farm. We are leasing land at Windhorse Farm in New Germany, and selling our hand-tended vegetables at the Lunenburg and Bridgewater Farmers markets in Nova Scotia this summer ...
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We Love Fresh Vegetables

At Broadfork we use organic farming methods to grow high-quality vegetables. Our entire crop is hand-tended to achieve the highest standards of flavor and quality to preserve the environment. We believe the health of communities is rooted (pun intended) in healthy people eating healthy food grown in healthy soil. We ...
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