Nfld. & Labrador

Habitats: Sustainable farming in the Codroy Valley

Meet the owners of Tuckaway Farm, Apiary & Apothecary, in the latest episode of Habitats.

Meet the owners of Tuckaway Farm, Apiary & Apothecary

Habitats: Sustainable farming in the Codroy Valley

7 months ago
Duration 5:07
Meet the owners of Tuckaway Farm, Apiary & Apothecary.

Our planet is changing. So is our journalism. This story is part of a CBC News initiative entitled "Our Changing Planet" to show and explain the effects of climate change. Keep up with the latest news on our Climate and Environment page.

Megan Samms, a textile artist and co-owner of Tuckaway Farm, Apiary & Apothecary, makes her home in Katalisk Sipu, the Mi'kmaw name for the area around the Codroy Valley, not far from where she grew up.

This area was once known for its active saw and wool mills, flourishing craft practices and unique microclimate that enabled farmers to grow rich, nourishing crops. 

Both Samms's art and her farming methods are thoughtful, practical, beautiful and sustainable.

"With my textile work, I make things for people to use. I want people to clean up spills, to see it as a living thing that you can use," she said. "I use organic fibres, forage for plant dyes. The unused fabric scraps get given away, or I try to find another use. Spent dyes are composted, and I use rainwater in the washing and dye process," said Samms.

She and her partner Ash have spent months building and transforming a small building on their property into an off-grid studio where they'll host a craft and textile library. This space will also be the home of an artist-in-residence, and function as a learning and craft hub. 

The operation is a sustainable farm with honey bees, chickens and a few pigs. 

Samms plants heritage, open-pollinated and organic seeds, along with flowers that provide the bees with nectar and pollen.

They grow herbs, tomatoes, lettuces — a whole gamut of crops. But they've also made some surprising things — like chickpeas — work here.

Samms and her partner help organize craft markets, gardening markets, and community garden events.

"The goal — or at least one of my personal goals — is to see this area become self-sustainable for food," she said.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


Andie Bulman

Freelance contributor

Andie Bulman is a chef, writer and comedian in St. John's. She is the author of the book Salt Beef Buckets: A Love Story and writes frequently for CBC Newfoundland and Labrador.