Heritage Farm is an educational nursery in northwestern Canada that helps with the “How To Do It Yourself” for small farm and urban agriculture enthusiasts.
We started out as one of those small nurseries you see at the local Farmers’ Market selling the plants that we had grown on our farm from heritage seeds.
It didn’t take long to realize that we spent more time answering questions than selling plants. Questions like: “How do I grow my own food. Where do carrot seeds come from?” and “How can I raise heritage breed chickens or build a raised bed?” Not only were the children asking questions, but their parents as well.
It was almost as if an entire generation had walked away from “The Basics”. And now with food security issues, the impact of centralization of major food distribution centres and environmental concerns, we feel it’s time to get “Down to Earth”. If nothing else, at least enough to grow a good tasting tomato in our own back yard.
Our Down to Earth Workshops
It is very hard for new growers and small farmers to find information about our own northern region. When we want information that applies to “Way up North”, we mean WAY up north in Canada, EH!
So before you know it, all 4 generations of farm girls were working together from the antique kitchen table of our 90 year old farmhouse, to put together a magazine for northern Canada. As aggregators, we collect stories, research current information as well as run our own farm research trials. To date we have ran trials on over 100 Heritage Seed Varieties that are hardy to northern Canada. And why do we need to do these trials . . .
Because the students in our Down to Earth Classes need something bullet proof to work with or they will get discouraged and give up gardening or small scale production.
The Publishing Office / Canning Centre
We prefer to work with heirloom, non GMO seeds to help teach children and others the importance of preserving our heritage.
Students were coming from further and further away to attend our classes, so publishing a quarterly magazine that focuses on each individual season would help us reach more learners.
The concept of Rural Roots was born. Focusing on Horticulture and History, we set out to learn from others, and pass that knowledge along to you. We teach you how to turn this . . .
Small Garden Trial Plot at Heritage Farm Nursery
into this . . .
Our Farmhouse and Small Test Garden
We didn’t think we were doing anything out of the ordinary. Just sharing our small farm experiences. But this project has evolved into something that is making an impact on local food production, sustainable small farming and building community while helping educate and preserve our rural history.
And the best part of the project . . . all of the stories, research and data pertains to Canadian climate, growing conditions and history!!
Urban Raised Beds ~ by Danielle Roscher, Freelance Writer
And for those of you who are domestically challenged like myself . . . we call on the expertise and Down to Earth advice of our local food editor and regional chefs who offer farm to plate sessions and great recipes in the magazine.
Beet Rolls in Fresh Cream with Dill
We are Always Learning as we grow. Our farm trials now include ancient and heritage wheat such as Emmer and Red Fife.
Emmer and Red Fife Wheat Trial
We also feature stories about livestock management and offer resources for the new young farmer.
Heritage Farm Spring Calves
Pollinators are a big part of small farms and food production. Our background in raising bees and apiculture research has made us very passionate about the conservation of pollinators.
Honey Bee in Phacelia ~ Photo by A.Melathopoulos
Everything we learn, will be in the magazine. And if you’re still having trouble, drop us an email or post your question on the magazine site. We are here to help with articles, pictures, diagrams and good old fashion phone calls.
How to Build A Raised Bed ~ Changing Your Micro-climate
How To Grow Heirloom Tomatoes & Save Seeds
Commercial Production of Local Food & Marketing Opportunities
Your support not only helps with the production and distribution of the magazine, but it also allows us to take the Down to Earth workshops on the road to classrooms, community centres and garden clubs to help teach about the importance of local food and pollinator conservation.