Producing bumper crops of organic fruit and vegetables year after year requires good soil management, good crop management and a good team management of everyone involved.
Organic farming on this scale requires a lot of workers to plant, weed and harvest. Weeds that are controlled with herbicides on non-organic farms are controlled on organic farms with precision weeding equipment and hand weeding.
Fields are fertilized with green manures and animal manures composted here on the farm. We adhere to strict crop rotations so that nothing is grown in the same field in consecutive years. This crop rotation allows us to avoid most problems related to pests and diseases.
On occasion crops require some pest or disease control and we will spray as necessary with organically –approved products that have a minimum impact on other beneficial insects or on the quality of the food. In our greenhouses we introduce predators (beneficial insects) to do the job. In every eco-system 90% of the insects are beneficial and play a role in overall environmental health.
In the fields we grow a wide variety of 30 or more different vegetables plus strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and melons. In the greenhouses we grow many varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, various herbs and greens. Greenhouse production is from April until mid-October. Field production is from May until November. The farm also includes pasture land for a small herd of Dexter cows as well as 40 acres of forest.
During the winter months we are washing and bagging storage vegetables that we keep in our cold rooms until spring. This allows us to market vegetables 52 weeks each year.
All of this work is accomplished following strict guidelines, which dictate all certified organic food production. All certified farms must follow these guidelines, which cover how you must grow and condition your produce. We submit paperwork constantly and a certified organic farm inspector visits our farm annually. Any breach of these guidelines can mean losing your certification and your credibility in the market place.
At Sanders Farm, our mission has always been to provide the highest quality produce possible and to maintain the fertility of the land for future generations.
Distribution in Canada
Our produce is available year long at the farm and at the Coop d’Alentour in Sherbrooke. In season you can find us with our fresh produce at the North Hatley farmer’s market. We also sell to Montreal distributors, who serve retail stores throughout Quebec. Our produce is sold under the Sanders Farm label.
Distribution in U.S.
Most of our sales are through the Deep Root Organic Cooperative based in Vermont, of which we are members. This allows our produce to reach a larger market in big population centers like Boston, New York, Philadelphia. We also sell directly to some local co-ops in Vermont.
You can find our produce in the Whole Foods Supermarket under the Deep Root label.