Bantry Bay Farm In Prince Edward Island Transition Process

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Introduction: Throughout this class, we have discussed the transition process from conventional farming systems to certified organic farming systems and its many benefits. We began by the organic certification process and all of the steps and requirements for becoming certified as an organic producer, we talked about some of the challenges that organic producers will encounter throughout the transition period as well as in their organic crops, the transition to organic livestock production and the many rules and regulations in place to ensure animal welfare as well and quality of product. This paper will discuss Mike’s experiences with the transition process at Bantry Bay Farm in Prince Edward Island and how his experiences relate to material …show more content…
This increases organic matter and soil quality. It is very important in organic farming systems to increase soil quality and fertility in order to increase crop yields and protect against pests and diseases. Green manures crops can be used to provide nitrogen, increase organic matter content among other things, it is important to select a green manure crop that meets your goals. Bantry Bay was at one point in time very well known for their turnips, the secret was that the farmers were using mussels as a soil amendment, this was easy and sustainable for a farm located in Charlotte County and did great things for the crops. One year unfortunately, the farmers got a shock. The turnips stopped performing well and they had later discovered that after years of growing the same crop on the same land, the land had become deficient in boron. The farmers at Bantry Bay now plant a wide array of vegetables on the farm that continue to thrive on this land. Bantry Bay uses better crop rotation methods now to avoid this problem. They also use a variety of techniques such as minimal tillage, minimal use of fossil fuels and green manures in order to take a passive approach to …show more content…
This can be because some crops are more easily marketable on the conventional market (transition period lasts 3 years), because some crops are more adaptable than others under harsher conditions or because it is important to plant crops that are more resistant to pests during the transition period and some crops will be more helpful in attaining this goal. When opening Bantry Bay Farm in 1990, Mike decided to plant a variety of disease free apples thinking that they would stand up well to diseases/pests. Unfortunately they encountered a pest that devoured their entire crop multiple years in a row. As discouraging as this was, Bantry Bay decided to continue to persevere and became certified organic. They now have a variety of different vegetable crops and have become a thriving local business.

Conclusion: The transition process can be difficult, but thankfully there are many farmers in the organic community that are willing to help out and provide information to other farmers. Mike is a perfect example of this, here is a piece of advice from Mike for farmers who wish to become certified organic: “Become a member of ACORN and take advantage of the recourses at your disposal. Networking with other organic farmers will help you throughout the transition process as well as in the future years. There are plenty of people out there that would love to help

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