Episode 6 – Tomato Farmers: Getting a Late Start
Guests: Al Grant & Gayle Berry
Gayle and Al retired three times between them and were newlyweds in 2015 when they saw a farm with a greenhouse for sale near Qualicum Beach, B.C. They wanted to do something worthwhile with their time together so they bought the farm. Because they have already retired from careers, Gayle calls her and Al “elderly” farmers, and together they re-certified their 5-acre organic farm and they do all the farm labour. This is their sixth growing season in their now-improved 3,600 square foot greenhouse.
In the interview, Gayle and Al mention trying Stupice tomato, but now they only grow one variety: Arbason beefsteak tomatoes (https://www.westcoastseeds.com/products/arbason-beefsteak-organic)
Because their farm is certified organic they are using organic fertilizers including liquid Biofert (3-1-4) ( http://www.biofert.ca/products/liquid-fertilizers/tomato-vegetable-3-1-4.html) and they start seeds in OMRI (organic) certified soils. They also use Myke brand Mychorrizae (https://www.usemyke.com/en-ca/mycorrhizae/ ) in the hole at transplanting time to stimulate root production.
Al told me, after the interview, that he is concerned about food security, especially now with so many food-growing greenhouses converting to Cannabis production. Even though he is getting a late start, this farm is giving Al a chance to grow food and help his community be more food secure.
Website: Eagle Tree Organics is Gayle and Al’s business name but they do not have a web page. They are listed on the Organic Certification List (IOPA) here: http://iopa.ca/index.php/iopa-members/
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