The WFM Staff team had the opportunity to go on a field trip and visit with four of our vendors. This was a great opportunity for us to see first hand the care, passion and work that goes on before their products get packed for WFM2Go or end up on their market table on Saturdays.
Stopping at What On Earth Farm was such a treat! While What On Earth Farm started in 2019, James and his family moved to this plot of land just this year, where the 3.5 acre property was mostly grass and an orchard with 40 heritage apples. In less than a year, James has been able to turn around 1 acre of the property into farmland, tilling it himself.
This new land also came with a barn and a walk-in cooler, which was a big change from washing vegetables in a tent for the past four years.
James spoke about the importance of relationship building and the network that exists amongst farmers. When he originally came to Nova Scotia, he ended up working at Longspell Point Farm, where he was able to gain knowledge from Jeff and his family, before starting his own farm.
"My best advice is to make friends with other farmers" - James
When you walk onto James farm you can immediately see the research, planning, and passion that has gone into it. From the weed barriers in place to the intensive farming practice of growing 3-4 crops a year in one bed, James is certainly getting the most out of the 3.5 acres he farms. This is necessary to be financially viable.
“Financial security is variety. If I just grew tomatoes I’d have no income” - James
In addition to the work of re-starting his farm from scratch, James has also put in well drilled for irrigation thanks to funding from the government. He said that the government is pushing for regenerative and organic farming through programs like the Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change Program and the Organic Certification Rebate Program.
Each week we see the veggies James sells, but it to see what goes on behind the scenes was amazing. The passion and work needed to accomplish what has James has is nothing short of inspiring!
We hope that sharing these stories, showing the hard work that goes into growing our food, will inspire others to add more local to their own tables. The people who grow local food care about what they do, how they do it, and the people who eat it.