How We Farm
We farm because we love to grow good quality, affordable, nutritious fruit.
We farm because we are extremely passionate about growing healthy, nutritious fruits, in the most conscious way we know how to for our communities.
Growing Practices: Things you should know
Niagara region’s very humid climate and abundant variety of insects, plant diseases, along with seasonal changes makes it very challenging to grow organic tender fruit in this part of Ontario. Intense disease and insect pressure makes stone fruits difficult to grow organically. Some of the threats such as brown rot, peach twig borers , plum curculio and Oriental fruit mouth are devastating to not only peach crops but other fruits as well.
Despite these challenges, the focus is simply to grow great tasting nutritious fruit while staying true to our mission to support the environment, the community and provide a livelihood for our families and ultimately be responsible land stewards and secure farming for future generations. We have been transitioning our land since taking over the family farm in 2002, using a variety of sustainable farming practices and always making decisions with a conscience that supports our goals of growing delicious, high quality fruits and maintain the soils’ ecosystem.
Our main focus is on soil fertility and reduced tillage to achieve optimal production and adding minerals and compost every year – (compost made form branches, leaves, straw, wood chips, carbon, molasses, rock minerals, kelp, various compost blends depending on the needs of the soil) results is the foundation of healthy soil.
Healthy soil is the foundation of producing nutritious food and disease resistant orchards. We believe that fertile soil is a mixture of well-balanced minerals, high organic matter, good aeration and an abundance of soil life is the basis of our farming practice.
In a nut shell our farming practices consist of:
- Strengthen root system of our trees by building up soil nutrients and beneficial organism using green manures, macro and micro nutrients and composts; assessing the needs of the soil every year.
- Focus on Disease Control: we use a combination of organic crop protection and an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. What is Integrated Pest Management “(IPM) is a knowledge based decision making process that uses a variety of management tools and methodologies to suppress pest population to acceptable levels but relies primFor us that means using farming techniques that create an environment that is not conducive to pests or diseases in the first place, by keeping pest populations in balance as naturally as possible. IPM focuses strongly on supporting natural mortality factors (eg. introducing beneficial insects, pheromones, ground covers, as examples). It requires consistent monitoring, sampling and decision making to be effective.
- We always try to use natural and/or organic crop protection first and manage disease pressure in our orchards daily; assessing threats and make choices that are most beneficial to sustain the crops and most safe.
- Harvesting our fruit every second day, has proven to be a successful strategy for us. The results have shown less disease in our orchards, therefore less need for and/or less rotation of both organic/conventional sprays.
- Lastly all the efforts of soil fertility, pest and disease management, introducing beneficial insects and plants to divert the insects away from the fruit trees and picking the fruit tree-ripening instead of too early, results in maximum quality and superior taste for you our customer.
It is our every day practice to manage our orchards in the most sustainable way we know how. We are always experimenting and integrating new methods that allows us to keep doing what we love…..farming and feeding communities that have become part of our family.