Organic farmers explore greenhouse techniques
Extending season can help meet demand for organic produce
Organic farmers from across the Maritimes gathered at a conference in Moncton Monday to learn how to extend their growing season using greenhouses.
New Brunswick farmers aren't meeting the demand for local organic food, say organizers of the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network's greenhouse conference.
The province has 56 certified organic growers, but organic food still is being shipped in from places like California, said Roxanne Beavers, transition specialist with ACORN.
"There is no way there is enough supply to meet the demand, and so by using season extension techniques we can actually grow a lot of what we could be eating here," said Beavers.
"What we're doing today is we're bringing a lot of people together, some local, some from away to talk a little bit about greenhouse production techniques."
The growing season, in some cases, can be extended by several months, she added.
"We have about 120 registered, so it's a really good spread of people, new growers, existing growers. It has a lot of appeal for a lot of different folks."
Derek Steeves recently returned to New Brunswick to work on the family farm in Dundas, north of Moncton. He said he's at the conference to network and learn more about how to start seedlings in a greenhouse to increase his product yield.
"Raised on a farm, it's been something I've always wanted to get back to and I'm a big supporter of local, natural food. It certainly takes a lot of work, a lot of commitment," he said.