Ten years ago I returned to NL from BC with nothing but an education, a backpack and guitar to start working on re-building the family farm into a organic farming operation. The long-term goal is that the farm will contribute to NL and the local community by re-introducing the idea that fresh healthy food can be created here with no inported supply chain amendments or inputs.
Being formally trained in BC as a forester, and having ten years of field experience helped provide the base of knowledge required to understand the science of plant physiology and soil dynamics that are the core of the skill-set used for growing the delicious food here on the farm. While carrying on traditional techniques unfortunately many of the skills and local farming knowledge from the past has been lost so we've relied on our own direct learning and reference material from other areas to recreate the pre-50's farming system.
With just over 5 acres of land under organic production we are expanding our operations carefully and refining our processes each year.
Some of the fields have been in production for over eighty years by four successive generations of our family. Since starting to convert it back to organic production (something which came to an abrupt halt in the late 50's) the soil has been recovering from years of fertilizer and chemical applications. Though most of the fields were lightly used for the past 15 years or so, the constant bombardment of salt based chemical fertilizers played havoc with the soil organisms and other life so necessary for healthy soil.
By applying kelp, horse manure, capelin (a small pelagic species of fish abundant in the area), crab shells and ever increasing amounts of compost the soil is turning darker and richer every year. Above is a video of what the beach (1/2km away) looks like after a spring storm.
Goals for the future
The development of a truly sustainable and healthy farming system based on the resources available in the local area. Using principles found in the current movements of permaculture and regenerative agriculture we are also utilizing agroforestry and silvopastoral techniques to help complete the cycling of nutrients, carbon and life.