In 2012, Roots and Shoots Farm attained certified organic status through EcoCert Canada. In Canada, all certifiers have to meet the National Organic Standards established in 2009.
Certified Organic protects not only the health of the consumer, but also the health of the farmer, and the biodiversity of the farm. We undergo a rigorous inspection every year, including an onsite visit. These inspections look at everything from invoices for seeds and fertilizers to harvest records. In an onsite visit the inspector is able to confirm that we are adhering to strict organic standards.
In 2020 and 2021 Global La Peche Forest helped us plant 1000 trees on the borders of some of our fields. We want to plant trees on parts of our farm that are too hilly to grow vegetables and to small to graze or hay.
Trees help increase biodiversity, sequester carbon and, when planted strategically, reduce the impacts of wind.
We plan on continuing to plant a few trees every year to ensure we have a healthy farm far into the future.
We are so excited to be using clean energy to heat our greenhouses.
In 2022, with the help of MAPAQ, we installed 3-phase electric heat in three of our four greenhouses. We now have 13,500 square feet of greenhouses that can be heated without fossil fuel. We are saving 75,000litres of propane annually!
Not only does it have a drastically lower carbon footprint, but it also is a lot cheaper. We now feel comfortable heating our greenhouses for longer, which has allowed us to offer tomatoes and peppers earlier and a variety of delicious fresh herbs and greens in the winter months.
Protecting Endangered Species
We have identified three endangered species on our farm and taken measures to ensure their protection
In 2022 ALUS identified the endangered Boblink bird species in our fields . We now have a section of our field we will not harvest for hay until after the mating season is finished, at the end of July.
We have about 10 acres of land, including borders and corners that are unsuitable for agriculture, that we never mow. These sections have a lot of milk weed that we hope will host monarchs. These sections will also be home to a myriad of song birds and insects.
Our barns and home have hosted barn swallows during their mating season for probably as long as the barns have existed. While we have seen the population decline over recent years, we do our best to keep our farm as hospitable as possible for these beautiful birds.
Wind Breaks/ Brise Vent
In 2021 we got a grant from MAPAQ (Ministere de l'Agriculture, des Pecheries et de la l'Alimentation) for a wind breaks. We planted a mix of native shrubs and trees to help reduce the impact of intense winds on our tender plants. These lines of trees will also be home to endangered pollinators and birds.
We had help from ALUS in 2022 to finish mulching and placing deer protection on some of these threes.
We love to throw events that celebrate art, community and also educates our community about what we are doing!
It may seem like only a fun time, but we actually continue to throw events for the community AND the environment. We really believe in direct-marketing, environmentally conscious farming and we really really want to feed our community nutrient dense food. Events are a fantastic oppourtunity to connect and educate our community of eaters.
It's a tremendous amount of work, so if you want to get involved, please sign up for our volunteer email list by emailing us at email@example.com.