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, travelling 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 profitable farm that was also sustainable for the soil, land and natural environment around the farm. We do almost everything by hand, using a small walk behind tractor for minimal tilling and shaping of our beds as well as a variety of hand tools for transplanting, weeding and harvesting.
In the summer of 2016, I bought a homestead property that was mostly horse pasture, in Center Village, near Sackville, that we are slowly shaping into a working farm and bio-diverse landscape. 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. 2021 will be our fifth season fully certified organic and it will be the eighth year of our popular Winter CSA program!
And now, our farm is a family farm, run by myself and my partner Jet and our newest helper, baby Kale, who will soon be 17 months old! We also share the farm with our two cats Johnny & Pia, a dozen laying hens and our new pup Obi!
Jet Belliveau comes to organic farming from an eclectic background of music, art, carpentry, roofing, landscaping and design. Born and raised not far from where he currently farms, Jet spent his childhood wandering the woods and learning about foraging and plants from his great grandmother.
Jet grew up close to nature in rural Dorechester but would live most of his early adult life in the busy city of Vancouver where he spent many years as a landscaper and builder for the film industry. Later, his studies in drawing & metal work and keen creative eye for design led to his establishing a successful career as a jewelery craftsman in the city. Jet would later move to Nelson, BC where he expanded his career as an artist and painter.
Jet would end up moving back to his home-town of Sackville, NB in 2018 and quickly becoming emmersed in farm life. His time in the city had come to an end and he was called back to the rhythms of his youth, the changing seasons and all that carving out a life on the land had to offer. The farm offers a canvas for all of his skills and visions to come alive and it is an ongoing project that is always changing, which makes it an exciting endeavour!
Through many years of skilled trades, art practice and his experiences living a decade in the downtown East Side of Vancouver, Jet has become attuned to the meditation of labour and to the quiet practice of observation. His years helping those on the Vancouver streets has attuned his generous spirit and he now dedicates himself to creating a meaningful life not only for himself but for those around him, human, plant and animal alike. The farm laying hens and resident cats & puppy could not ask for better care!
Along with managing Sweet Soil Organic Farm with his partner, Sarah, Jet has been an active contributor in the local music scene in Sackville and an events facilitator for our local yoga studio. When not farming full-time Jet can be found hunting, fishing, or working for local building cooperative Energreen. He takes great pride in providing a wholesome life for his family and feeding the many families that make up his greater community.