It is our pleasure to congratulate Robin, Jeniffer, and Mae Heelis for filling their CSA farm membership for the season. Thank you to the Heelis family for sharing their story.
Tell us about your farm. What are you growing? Where are you situated?
Gore Farm sits just outside of St. Stephen, New Brunswick. The farm has been in the family since the late 1980's, but we began growing in 2012. Currently, we grow a wide range of market vegetables, eggs (well, the chickens do most of that work) and a few herbs and fruits for our CSA members throughout Charlotte County and for sale at the St. Stephen Farmer's Market.
2. What attracted you to farming? What are you most passionate about?
Philosophy & Practicality. Philosophically, my wife Jennifer and I found ourselves becoming increasingly focused on the quality of our food and the sustainability of our food system. The more we read, and the more agricultural conferences we attended, the more we began to edge toward action over ideology.
Practically, I am not truly happy unless I have a little dirt under my fingernails. Our move to starting our farming enterprise (however small) fed my innate desire for physical labour and sunshine; while, at the same time, providing sustenance for our family. Ultimately, whether it be philosophy or practicality, it is our desire to live more sustainably and contribute to our community by offering a local,
seasonal and sustainably grown produce alternative. And, I must say, we are overwhelmed by the support we have garnered throughout the past four years and extraordinarily thankful for it!
3. What are you most looking forward to in the season ahead?
Winter ending. It is almost May and I think it is still here. Our greenhouse is bursting with seedlings eager to get in the ground; ground, that is far too wet yet to receive them. Overall, we are excited to increase our presence at the St. Stephen Farmer's Market (thanks to the added labour of our niece!), to provide the highest quality produce to our more than thirty members, and to continue to contribute sustainably grown produce to the local food economy in Charlotte County. Oh... and that dirt under our fingernails!
Natalie has done a great job capturing the essence of what motivates these individuals in photo, audio, and video. Below is an one of the several documentaries in the collection titled "Love, food and music" featuring Jody and Keith.
Our very own Patricia of TapRoot Farms is being recognized by Oxfam Canada as a Female Food Hero! You may be asking what what is a Female Food Hero? Female Food Heroes are women who are working to build a movement for good food – food that is grown well and shared fairly. According to the good folks at Oxfam Canada who monitor all things food superhero like:
Patricia Bishop is a female food hero because of her passion and efforts to promote local, organic foods and preserve agricultural lands, building province-wide awareness of some of the most important issues affecting the future of farming: food security, land use, and the viability of local farms...
Localmotive Farm is the cleverly named Colstream, Nova Scotia, based farm run by Jody Nelson, Keith Mullins, along with their growing family. Jody, a transplant from Alberta farm country, has a BSc. (Agr.) in Plant Science with a specialization in Organic Agriculture. Keith is a musician by love and by trade.
They grow a wide range of local veggies, and some fruit, using organic methods. In addition to this, they also have a collection of shitake mushroom logs and harvest wild chanterelle mushrooms from their forest.
Their CSA service supplies households with weekly vegetables throughout an 18 week growing period. You can also find Localmotive at the Musquodoboit Harbour Farmer’s Market.
Nicole and Stewart believe in the power of the horse. They run Whippletree Farm with Deedee and Stormy, their Suffolk Punch draft horses. Located in Round Hill, Nova Scotia -- just outside of the historic and artistic town of Annapolis Royal -- they practice ecological farming and forestry in a quintessentially "horsing" way.
On the farming side, Whippletree offers a 20 week summer CSA serving Annapolis Royal and Bridgetown. Their CSA share consists of 8-10 items per week -- a generous amount of vegetables suited for a family of 2 adults and 2-3 children, or for a couple who likes to cook from scratch and eat a lot of vegetables. You can also find their goods at the Annapolis Royal Farmers' and Traders' Market throughout the summer, and the Historic Gardens in the fall.
Deedee and Stormy are a key component to the farm operation, but also to their forestry practice too in the fall and winter. The woodlots that they manged are newly Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and are managed according to restorative forestry principles. They offer FSC firewood and in the future will have air-dried lumber.