On Monday September 18, the grade 6-8 class went on a trip to ReRooted, a Co-Op farm that’s been operating for about 3-4 years located behind Just Us in Grande Pre. ReRooted tries its hardest to be organic and use non-chemical seeds.
Our class went on this trip to discover just how the farm is sustainable and how their practices link to our Statement of Inquiry: Technological advances in food systems create opportunities and challenges for the environment, society and the economy.
ReRooted is a small scale, cooperative farm behind Just Us. They grow tomatoes, cabbage, corn and even melons. ReRooted share a booth at the Farmer’s Market in Wolfville with other farmers who are part of the Co-Op and sell their produce. The thing about being a part of a Co-Op, Sarah (one of the owners of the farm and our guide) explained, is that the farming community is very supportive and they can share ideas amongst themselves and as a team, and that each farm grows their own crops best suited for the land and terrarian they have. For example, one farm could grow corn but not have room for carrots, but the other farm has good soil and more space so they can grow carrots. One of the visions for the Co-op is to strengthen the bonds in the community through healthy foods and investing in rural economies. Other farms that are part of this Co-Op include; Moontide Farm, Seven Acre Farm and Old Furrow Farm.
When we asked Sarah if they would expand the farm to earn more money, she simply said ‘no’. The reason behind running a smaller farm is that it’s more manageable for the family and since less land is needed, it's more sustainable for the environment. They don’t need to hire lots of people, and don’t need lots of machinery to keep it in check. They wanted it to be a secondary job.
In terms of technology, ReRooted uses a system where in there are long greenhouses in which they lay a black sheet called landscaping fabric in between the plants. Not only does this prevent weeds from growing, but it allows water into the soil since it's woven, and keeps it there. Even more amazingly, it keeps the soil underneath warmer because it is black, which is really good for the plants as they grow. Additionally, they have a sustainable watering system called drip irrigation, which is placed along the sides of the plants in the greenhouse. Instead of spraying into the air and wasting water, the water is shot into the ground and then is soaked up by the crops. The watering system is monitored by a pressure gate with a timer, so no plants risk over-watering. It’s hard work in the beginning, having to set it all up, but the end result is worth it!
By supporting these farms you support sustainable farming to create a better environment, a healthy local economy and have delicious fruits and vegetables on your plates.
Check out this website for more information on the Maritime Small Farms Co-Op and their vision.