Some years ago, a Nova Scotia farmer caused a stir by insisting that organic produce had a shorter shelf life than conventional. A spirited debate was resolved with an agreement that quality reflects shoddy product handling after harvest as much as the method of production.
Growing garlic from bulbils, the small round bulbs found in the scapes or stems of garlic, is generating new interest. The practice was brought to Canada by European immigrants, according to anecdotal evidence. By planting bulbils, growers can rejuvenate garlic strains and have a back-up source of garlic in case the bulbs die or become infected with disease.
Season extension is a fact of life for Maritime vegetable growers wanting to compete in the produce trade.
"The challenges facing Cuba over the past few decades have indeed birthed an abundance of wisdom and inspiration for aspiring organic farmers the world over."
On the prairies, the most commonly grown pulse crops are field peas and lentils, though dry beans, chickpeas, faba beans and soybeans also have a place. Explore the pulse options to make the most of their N-fixing potential.
Dan Jason describes how to grow pulses - a hardy, substantial food that enriches the soil, thanks to the ability of their roots to fix nitrogen.
It's reasonable to say that ten years ago, many organic consumers were happy to buy organic food, regardless of the quality. But increasingly, today’s organic consumer is a different breed and won’t accept stunted apples, wilted spinach, or stale bread. Organic and high quality. That’s what consumers expect today.
If people had told me seventeen years ago that you could grow sweet potatoes in Canada, I'd have thought they were pulling my leg. At the time, my gardening mindset placed sweet spuds just this side of pineapples and bananas—way out of range for Maritime gardeners. After all, didn’t supermarket sweet potatoes hail from places like Louisiana and Tennessee?
Organic farmers do not usually have problems with insects and plant diseases in field crops. Problems with insects and disease can usually be traced to problems with either the health of the soil or the crop rotation.