Our motivation to farm organically is caring for the earth. We believe that organic farming is the best way to protect our environment while feeding ourselves. Protecting and honouring soil, water, air, biodiversity and caring people and community are central to our way of farming. We do this in various ways and are happy to share with you all of the details on how we farm and why.
Crop Rotation Plan
Based on the length we have between planting and harvesting we decide what to use. For short season crops we use Nutri Wave and for long season crops we use manures. Nutri Wave is heat treated, pelletized chicken manure sourced from Envirem in New Brunswick and is approved as an organic inputAnimal manures can and are only used when we have no less than 120 days until harvest. Animal manure we use are sourced from Stephen Rand (beef), Capeview Farms (poultry manure), or our own animals (chicken, goat, hog). Plough down green manures are also in rotation to enhance soil fertility. We compost our cardboard and vegetable trimmings and we use compost tea. During the field’s time of rest (hay or pasture in the rotation) the soil builds up micronutrients that release nutrients to the crops.
Our primary tillage tool is a chisel plough followed by heavy discs. Then we finish with a s-tyne harrow with rolling baskets and/or rototiller. After the crop has been seeded, we cultivate for weed suppression. After the crop has been harvested, depending on the time of year we may have sufficient time to disc and then seed grain to be a winter cover crop.
Flame weeder, rolling baskets, s-tyne cultivator, reggie weeder, hand weeding, black plastic mulch (not biodegradable).
We use permissible insecticides according to the Canadian Organic Standards for example Dipel. We depend on healthy soils to produce healthy plants to withstand pest pressure. We crop scout to ensure we are under threshold limits we hire a professional agrologist crop scout to monitor pest pressure in our crops and to advise on our options.
Livestock Farming: Pastured Animals
Here is a list of inputs we use in our livestock farming:
Hog and Goat ration, Non GMO from Purina Feed
Chicken layer ration, Non GMO from Purina Feed
Chicken grower rations, Non GMO from Purina Feed
Wood chips for nesting boxes for hens sourced from Shurgain and Scotain Gold.
Ivermectin to deworm the goats when needed based on fecal samples
Selenium for new lambs and kids
Antibiotics if required and on advice of veterinarian
“CanadaGAP® is a food safety program for companies that produce, handle and broker fruits and vegetables. The program has received full Canadian Government Recognition, and is designed to help implement and maintain effective food safety procedures within fresh produce operations. Two manuals, one specific to greenhouse operations, the second for other fruit and vegetable operations, have been developed by the horticultural industry and reviewed for technical soundness by Canadian government officials. The manuals are designed for companies implementing Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) in their production, packing and storage operations, and for repackers and wholesalers implementing Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and HACCP programs. The program is also designed for fresh produce brokers implementing best practices in supplier management and product traceability.
The manuals are based on a rigorous hazard analysis applying the seven principles of the internationally-recognized HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) approach. The program is benchmarked to and officially recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Audit and certification services for the program are delivered by accredited Certification Bodies.” www.canadagap.ca
Occupational Health and Safety
“Safe workplaces are created by people who care. Your health and safety in the workplace is protected by Nova Scotia’s Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations. We are a key part of Nova Scotia’s Workplace Safety and Insurance System. Our staff promote, coordinate, administer, and enforce occupational health and safety.” novascotia.ca/lae/healthandsafety