Farm warns community investors about poor harvest
After weeks of dry weather across Nova Scotia one farm is cautioning customers who have invested in vegetable and fruit crops not to expect a big harvest this year.
Community shared agriculture is a process where grocery shoppers invest in a farm's crop in exchange for fresh products delivered on a regular basis.
Tap Root Farms in the Annapolis Valley depends on community shared agriculture for much of its business, but recent conditions prompted an email saying weather has been "really terrible " and "it's hugely stressful that crops are near death."
Josh Oulton, who runs the farm with his wife Patricia Bishop, said the email is "a warning for everybody that it ...might not be exactly what we call a bountiful harvest."
Oulton said the rainfall earlier this week provided short relief.
"You know it hasn't soaked in very far. The plants are definitely good for now. They'll be looking for some more by the weekend," Oulton said, "For sure, right now, our share holders haven't been getting the carrots we would like to see because of the dry weather."
At Tap Root Farms, with water scarce, irrigation is done on a priority basis.
"We have had to irrigate a lot this year, which is really expensive," the email read.
For now customers have been getting cherries, which can grow well in dry weather.
Costs vary, but for members who join the Tap Roots Farms agriculture program for 52 weeks, the average price for vegetables is $22 per week.
Oulton said in community shared agriculture, investors have to ride the highs and lows. He said it's part of local agriculture and food security.