Every farm has a story behind it. I thought people would be interested in how this farm developed to today’s Abundant Acres. At one time the land was farmed by the Acadians, who built dykes to hold back the tides and farm the flat land once the salt water was drained out of it. There are still dykes on the farm today, but they no longer fulfill their purpose because the tidal water floods the flat salty marsh about 20 times every year. The Acadians were expelled from this region in 1755 to make room for the American Planters, which brought the Card family here. There are still gravestones with the Card name at the edge of the middle field. This farm is still referred to as the ‘Card place’ by local folks.
After the Cards, the Orrs had a mixed farm here where they milked Brown Swiss cows, raised hogs, and grew sweet corn. They also had fabulous peach trees which died in 1994, the year after I (Jen) moved here. I bought the farm with 3 other people and we formed a co-op. We all had off-farm jobs so we didn’t farm commercially. In 2010 David moved here after he’d been farming in the Valley for about 14 years.
David and I started off with a BCS walking tractor, a cart, a white cargo trailer, and a minivan. We sold wholesale vegetables to Geordie Ouchterlony at Homegrown Organics, continuing what David had been doing a few years before. In terms of labour, it was David, Jen, and some volunteers from our church and from Canada World Youth. In early 2012, Bruce Glass moved here from Dartmouth (and stayed 3 and a half years). During Bruce’s time on the farm, he learned about country life, worked hard, and he encouraged our faith. In 2012, orders from Geordie got smaller so we started a CSA. Some members who joined that year are still with us. (Thank you!!!!). At the end of 2012, our old farmhouse burned down. We were already living in a new house (with money from selling a conservation easement on the land, but that is another story). Our tenants in the old house lost most of their possessions, but fortunately, nobody was physically hurt. The insurance payment for the loss of the house helped us pay off some debt, and buy a tractor. This propelled the farm forward in a new way.
Since then, the business has grown, we’ve employed more people, added another tractor when the first one broke down, bought a second hand delivery vehicle and trailer, and consolidated all our farm share pick ups in one location (Isleville St). For the most part, we have been blessed and the farm has indeed become a place of abundance. Thanks to the members who stuck with us, and to new people who took a chance on us. Our farmshare members have a very important stabilizing impact on the business and we are grateful to you!
Below are a few farm photos from the last few days: