Daniel Brisebois is one of the 5 farmers at Tourne-Sol co-operative farm. Dan blogs about seed growing and is co-author of Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers. Dan can relate to how hard it is to balance a full farming schedule with time for writing.
A thorough farming manual that lays out a human-scale farming system centered on good growing practices and appropriate technology.
In the peak of the summer, when the sun is shining and the garden is lush, working outside should be enjoyable and soothing.
A couple years ago, we added pigs to the mix of activities at Tourne-Sol cooperative farm. Before that, our commercial vegetable experience led us to leap into market farming whole hog, but considering our limited animal experience, we were quite hesitant when it came to livestock.
Of the six acres of vegetables we grow each year, roughly an acre and a half is direct seeded with push seeders. When you count that out—40 beds x 3 rows/bed x 90 m/row, you get almost 11 km (7 miles). That’s one long row to seed! And nobody wants to get on hands and knees to thin eleven kilometres of vegetabls.
Seed saving brings our farm further down the path to sustainability. Flowering seed crops surround our vegetable fields. The seed crops buzz with pollinators and beneficial insects, and provide refuge for toads and birds. We have created a more complex agro-ecosystem by growing some of our own seed.
When the five of us started our farm in the fall of 2004, we decided Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) would be the core component.