SARAH ELIZABETH SMITH
I had always wanted to work on the land - feeling called toward farming - and arrived in my career as a farm owner through a series of formative experiences. I had never considered pursuing a formal education in agriculture and when I started working on farms it was more because I enjoyed being outdoors; I enjoyed the physical and meditative nature of the work. I explored a variety of farming models, traveling around BC, NS & NB, woofing, apprenticing and working. I found myself exposed to many forms of the "farm lifestyle" from selling to high end restaurants in busy cities, to working with dairy animals making butter and cheese, to working on an indoor, urban farm ...
From a small, secluded organic garden at the Yasodhara Ashram in the beautiful Kootenay mountains in BC, I started to build some knowledge of the trade, started to observe the incredible relationship between land and plants, between people and food. Though there were many stops along the way, I owe a great deal to my mentors at Windy Hill Organic Farm, where I lived and worked for four years and where I would eventually start my small business on about 1/4 acre of rented land.
The new (but actually old) model of small-scale, bio-intensive, organic farming seemed (to me) like the only way that I could attempt to run a farm on my own, one that would allow me to create a system tailored to my own working style, small machinery and economical use of a smaller amount of land.
After four years as a farm laborer, I started planning what is now the Winter CSA. Since most farmers focus on the main growing season from May-October, I wanted to work in the niche of Fall and Winter production so I could bring something new to the market. I love the CSA model as a marketing strategy because it allows me to connect directly with the people that eat the food that I grow.
In the summer of 2016, I bought a homestead property in Center Village, near Sackville, that I am slowly shaping into a working farm. It is a real gift to be able to step outside and into the field, noticing every day the slow progression of seasonal change and all of the creatures, plant, animal and insect alike that benefit from the burgeoning organic farm environment. This season the farm is in the pre-certification stage - necessary for all new organic farms - with full certification pending for next season.
Please visit the Winter CSA page to sign up for deliveries of organic vegetables all Winter long. And, visit the News page for past newsletters, photos and updates about the season.