The enthusiasm of the young farmers of Broadfork Farm is hard not to notice, especially during Organic Week.
Just before Organic Week on September 15th, many farms will be participating in Open Farm Day across the Maritimes. It’s a wonderful opportunity to invite families and other interested consumers out to the farm to learn more about organic farming, and agriculture in general.
While September is a very busy month on the farm, there are a handful of farmers, including Shannon Jones and Bryan Dyck of Broadfork Farm, who also make the time to participate in Organic Week.
“We really love having people at the farm; it really helps connect people to their food and provides the missing link between their personal health and environmental benefits,” explains Shannon. Last year for Organic Week Broadfork Farm created many opportunities for people to come out to visit. Throughout the week they hosted farm tours, a picnic lunch, a seed saving workshop and a work party. “Organic Week is a great opportunity to host events, as it is typically people who truly care who join us,” she says. “There are always great conversations and enthusiastic attitudes. Consumers want to know more about what organic means, and Organic Week gives us the chance to share our passion.”
Agriculture was not always their passion. Both Shannon and Bryan grew up in urban settings and did not initially seek out farming as a career option. Shannon grew up in a highly health-conscious, organic-friendly atmosphere, which greatly attributed to her passion and drive for nutrition. From a young age she always cared about the environment and the current issues affecting our planet. “When I was a little girl I started a youth group called ‘Kids for Saving the Earth.’ I would routinely write letters to the Prime Minister on environmental issues- it was my way of trying to make a difference,” states Shannon. This desire to make a difference led Shannon to studies in Holistic Nutrition, and eventually, farming.
Bryan began studies in Urban Planning, but upon discovering an apprenticeship opportunity at a nearby biodynamic farm, he focused solely on the ecological impacts of food production, going on to complete a work term on an incubator farm and to manage his own CSA. It was during these apprenticeships that Bryan and Shannon met, and three years ago Broadfork Farm was established.
There is no question now that organic agriculture is a shared passion for both of them, and that they make it a great priority to educate people about the environmental and nutritional benefits of producing food this way.
This Organic Week is no exception. Rather than coordinate events on the farm, Shannon and Bryan have partnered with Moncton-based retailer, Sequoia Foods, to present a virtual tour of their farm – bringing the farm to the city! The event is part of Sequoia’s launch of their participation in ACORN’s “Give a Toonie, Grow a Farmer” campaign, which is in support of the Grow A Farmer Apprenticeship & Mentorship program – one that Shannon and Bryan are involved with at all levels.
If you can’t make it out on Monday, Shannon and Bryan will be at their usual Dieppe Farmers’ Market booth with special organic educational information on hand both Saturdays of Organic Week!
This post is part of ACORN’s 2013 Organic Week series where we are featuring the incredible work of our regional partners in Organic Week – the retailers, restaurants, and producers who make the week the educational and promotional success that it has become over the last three years.