Yahoo! The ACORN staff left our Sackville (NB) office on Monday morning, heading to the Hants County coastline to make some long-awaited visits to ACORN member farms!
As we drove down the winding highway 215, our staff all went a little photo snappy as we were reminded of the beauty of this region of Nova Scotia–a seemingly great place to find gorgeous farmland (see pics below)!
This trip was organized to finalize details for the upcoming Nova Scotia “Meet Your Farmer” bike tours–being held on Sunday, August 7th (save the date!). Funded in part by Stonyfield Dairy, ACORN’s project is the proud recipient of the top national prize in Stonyfield’s Profit for The Planet program. Designed for more than just cycling-enthusiasts, this project is about pure enjoyment: beautiful scenery, organic farms, local food tastings, and an easy-going pace. The Meet Your Farmer bike tours are intended to provide people with a memorable summertime experience as well as a deeper connection to their local food producers.
As we drove along the picturesque road, we envisioned the 10km bike tour, nearly six weeks away, mapped out with activities, rest-points and a bounty of fresh fruit and veggies, ripe and ready for consumption! Freshly picked organic blueberries anyone? Sounds like an ideal snack after the exercise of a bike ride. The ride will then end with an IncrEdible Picnic and local food celebration!
So back to the day trip… We stopped in at Selwood Green and toured the greenhouses with owner/farmer Norbert Kungl; Ironwood Wood farm, owned and operated by Rupert Jannasch; Southfield Organics, run by Allison Grant, current President of the ACORN board of directors; and two ACORN members who offer organic farm-based apprenticeships during the growing season: Oak Manor Farm, managed by Jamie Cornetta for the past twenty years, and Horse and Garden Organic Farm, run by Charlotte Harper. Besides checking in with these busy farmers, we also met their cats, dogs, chickens, boars, ducks, horses, pigs, and cows that also contribute to the farm-land in one way or another.
Despite the endless rain of this Maritime spring, veggies are certainly green, healthy and growing on these farms! We learned of the benefits that a high tunnel can bring (see Rupert’s tomatoes below), and fully realized the crop delays that can come with long stretches of grey skies. Regardless of unfortunate weather circumstances, these farmers are maintaining positive attitudes and are all busy prepping their CSAs and market stands.
It was a great day and we are already looking forward to our return in August with a crew of cyclists and crossing our fingers for bright, sunny skies!
Check out the new blog for the Meet Your Farmer bike tours, designed by our lovely new intern and ACORN bike-tour coordinator, Erin Orsztynowicz. Registration will soon be available so keep checking the site for regular updates as we confirm more details!
For those in New Brunswick, mark Sunday August 14th for the Meet Your Farmer bike tour in Bouctouche!
For those in Prince Edward Island, stay tuned for the date announcement (we’re thinking early September)!
Check out the photos below, and to view a full gallery, see here.