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Are we organic?

189Many people ask if our farm is organic, while some are not sure what “organic” is.  We are not “Certified Organic”.  Certified organic farms do not use any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.  If you’re looking for organic, look for “Certified Organic”.  A certified farm will have a certificate of proof.

How do we grow our food?

We grow what we feel is safe, healthy food.  We do soil tests yearly and add the fertilizer and micro-nutrients necessary to grow our vegetables.  We also incorporate the “leftover” crops into the soil to increase organic matter.  Crop rotation is also used to avoid the spread of disease and depletion of the soil.  The majority of our weeding is done by hand with a hoe, or by cultivating between the rows with equipment, however there are times where it is not economically feasible to do this.  Pests can also be a problem.  An example is the cabbage moth.  We spray our cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower with the same spray that is approved for use on certified organic crops.  Sprays are used sparingly on our farm, only when necessary to avoid pests, disease or weeds that can spread and destroy crops not only on our farm, but can also spread across the province. Any spray we use is done so according to all regulations and guidelines.

How do we get our vegetables so early?

Some people find it hard to believe that we can have vegetables ready as early as we do.  Part of our farm is on a south facing hill and with the right combination of water, heat and sunshine, crops can progress quickly.  We try to seed certain vegetables as soon as we can get in the field.  Our earliest plantings are those of peas, potatoes and carrots.  That again depends on Mother Nature.  We start our cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, etc. in the greenhouse and once the transplants are ready and the weather is co-operating, those are put into the field.  Everything you see on our table at the Farmers’ Market is grown right here on our farm.

Is this Taber corn?

In a word, No.    Taber is the place where the “Taber Corn” you see on the highway or at Farmers’ Markets comes from.  It is not the variety of corn.  Many people are surprised to see that we can grow corn way up here in the North, but I guarantee you, we can.  Try some, you’ll be surprised.

What do you do in the Winter?

We used to say “rest”.  Our winters are filled with ordering for next year, fixing what we broke and didn’t have time to fix in the summer, cleaning, organizing, paperwork, planning……and reconnecting with our friends and family who lovingly understand how crazy our summers can be and don’t hold it against us.  We still keep a hand in the veggies though.  We supply some food service establishments. This year, through the online store our veggies will be available throughout the winter.

Do we grow what we sell?

At least once a season, we have someone ask where are we bringing our produce in from. Our answer, our farm. Everything (other than garlic), we bring to the markets is grown here on our farm just north of Edmonton. One of our employees who has a knack with garlic grows that for us so we can offer it with dill and cucumbers at pickling season. But the rest all comes from right here.