Our roots grow deeper than nature.....


Ekoroot Farm is located in Ottawa's Greenbelt near the Mer Bleue Conservation Area.  We are a pesticide and chemical free family farm that practices organic growing methods.  We provide CSA shares and a market table - mixed veggies, pasture raised poultry, honey, flowers, porc, beef and eggs.  Currently accepting memberships for the 2018 season!

In 2015 we were Certified Organic by Ecocert at the Just Food Farm.  In 2016 we moved to our own farm in the Greenbelt.  Since it was conventional land we were unable to certify because it needed to go through a transition period before qualifying for certification so we were forced to voluntarily cancel our Organic Cerficiation.  We are currently in the process of transitioning to Organic in the next few years.  Stay tuned or email us for more info melanie @ ekorootfarm.com.  Thank you for your support during this transition.

We are proud of our roots and we take as much care in growing our food as we do our family. Our plan is to practice sustainable methods and to grow our food organically which is beneficial to our environment.

  
Mission

* Order seeds and supplies close to home - supporting local businesses and saving on fuel usage.

* To use only organically sourced seeds which are good for your body and benefit a balanced and healthy diet.

* To use only organic fertilizer, compost, mulch and environmentally friendly products which benefit our ecosystem.

* To conserve water and electricity which aids in the protection of our lakes, streams and rivers.


Our Growing Methods

Why we choose Organic

Do we only eat Organic foods in our home?  No.  We never let the word Organic deter us from eating healthy.  We purchase products that suit our budget, even if that means consuming non-organic food.  When it comes to growing methods, Organic is our choice.

Ekoroot Farm chooses to support the Canadian Organic Standard.  We hope to transition our land to be certified Organic in the next few years.  We choose certification because certified Organic farms are inspected and monitored by a “Certification Body” and this guarantees the farm is following the standards.  A Certified Inspector visits the farm at certain times during the year.  The farm also has to provide detailed records such as; the products used, seed orders, cleaning methods, amendments, pest management practices, cover crops, yields, plantings, sales, receipts and more!.  The standard does not allow the use of GMO’s, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, herbicides, fungicides, sewage sludge, chemicals and livestock must only be fed Organic feed.  Certification also protects the consumer because they know the farmer is following the standards.

Does it mean that all Organic food is free from chemicals or gmo’s?  No, not necessarily however to us, it comes down to the method, not the trait.

We choose the Organic method because we want to keep chemicals out of animal habitats, streams, water tables, rivers, lakes etc.  Growing organically works in balance with nature. It increases organic matter in the soil which contributes to better resilience from stresses such as pests, disease, drought and flooding.  It also encourages beneficial insects and/or species.

Will it save the world, probably not but a little bit helps, right?

Organic Seeds

We only use Certified Organic Seed and at times, if we are unable to source Organic, we purchase un-treated seed.  In order for us to be sure the seed is un-treated; we ask that our supplier(s) provide us with a written statement indicating that the seed is indeed untreated and non-gmo.

Purchasing Organic seed is important to us because it supports the investment in Organic Plant breeding.  Organic plant breeding maintains genetic diversity as well as agriculture biodiversity which contribute to the success of Organic farmers, like us.  The quality of food relies on seed genetics and affects many things such as; crop diversity, the crops defense against pests & disease, yields, appearance, quality and flavor.  The quality of seed plays a major impact on food security.

Open pollinate, Heritage, Untreated, GMO or GE, Certified Organic.

If you buy a package of seeds that is not certified organic or labelled UT (Untreated), it is very possible that it was grown using GMO’s, or seed treatments.  It may be covered in chemicals to preserve or help it grow better.  These methods are never listed on the seed packet.  One purpose of treatments is to protect the seed from soil borne illness which in return, improves plant growth.  Other treatments can often consist of; fungicides, chlorine, trisodium phosphate (a cleaning agent) or insecticides.  Neonictinoid has been used to treat seeds but is very dangerous to bees and other wildlife.

Untreated means the seed was not treated or genetically modified or altered during the plants growth.    These seeds can also be cheaper but remember to clarify with the seed company that the seed is untreated.

Heritage & Open pollinated does not always mean it is untreated or non GMO unless otherwise stated by the company.  Heritage means that it is a variety that goes back 100’s of years and open pollinated means its is a seed saved from its “true type”.  Heritage seeds are open pollinated.  If you cross open pollinated varieties, you get hybrids.  If you save seed from open pollinated varieties, with isolation distances to avoid crossing, you get a true type.    There is no rule on how heritage or open pollinated seeds are grown however it is possible to find them Certified Organic and/or untreated.  Open pollinated and untreated are recommended for seed saving.  These seeds are usually much cheaper than hybrids.

Hybrid seed is when open pollinated varieties are crossed.  Some might argue that hybrid is the same as GMO.  It is not.  There are hybrid seeds that are certified organic. GMO’s are not permitted in organic production so it would be impossible to contain GMO’s unless some kind of cross contamination or cross pollination occurred during the plants growth and if this happened, it can be rejected from being certified.   You can save seeds from hybrids but you will not get the true type.  We have a few favorite Hybrids for our market garden because they are more disease resistant and have been bred to improve quality such as size & flavor.  They also tend to have better yields.  Time and effort is required to restore and maintain the desired traits in hybrids which makes them much more expensive to purchase.

In the end, the choice is always up to the grower.

GMO’s

Some might consider broccoli to be a GMO because it is derived from the wild mustard, Brassica oleracea.  Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts are all subspecies of the wild mustard.  Most of the vegetables & fruits nowadays derive from wild species that weren’t so palatable 100’s of years ago and would not be existent today without human intervention.  Rather than considering it a GMO, it would be considered “traditional plant breeding”.  Plant breeding has been around since the 1900’s.

The difference…..

Planting breeding is a method used to improve crops by using artificial selection – selecting seeds from the plants with the most desirable traits such as; longer shelf life, flavor, size, disease resistant, insect resistant etc.

GMO - also known as Genetically Modified Organisms or GE’s (Genetically Engineered.) GMO foods are developed using a more scientific or lab approach by adding or enhancing useful traits or removing undesirable traits.  The traits are added in a precise manner without losing any of the beneficial characteristics of the crop.  They are created by altering genes or transferring genes from one organism to another and at times from one species’ to another.  The crops are considered to be bi-engineered to increase resistance to pests, disease, pesticides and herbicides.  By making the crops resistant to herbicides, such as round up, it allows farmers to spray the crops while they are growing.  Another example a GMO crop is in some varieties of gmo corn which has been modified to include BT(Bacillus thuringiensis) in the corn seed which makes it toxic to a common corn pest, the corn borer.  BT is an insecticide and is approved for use in Organic crop production however, the over use of BT in modified crops has increased the resistant to the corn borer and other pests.  Ontario encourages (but doesn’t require) farmers to plant 40% non BT crop in effort to slow down this resistance. 

The purpose of GMO’s is to improve agricultural productivity however it can, in some circumstances, have a negative impact on the environment’s ecosystem. 

GMO’s can at times reduce the use of pesticides & herbicides but in some cases it increases the use.  Genes from GM crops can be transferred to weeds making it difficult for farmers to control thus resulting in more herbicide applications.  The over use of pesticides creates resistant species as well as new species causing the farmer the need to add more applications or the farmer could be wasting their money because the pesticide is no longer as effective.  Rag weed is an example of a weed which is resistant to the herbicide, glyphosate. 

GMO crops are safe.  Studies have shown that GMO proteins are destroyed during processing and are safe for animal and/or human consumption.  Most products that contain soy, glucose, corn syrup etc. are usually from GMO crops.  Some common GMO crops in Ontario are; corn, soy beans, canola, cotton.   


http://www.ecowatch.com/protecting-organic-seeds-from-gmo-contamination-1881929042.htm
http://fafdl.org/gmobb/gmos-an-introduction/
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/gmf-agm/fs-if/index-eng.php
http://thinkcanadaorganic.ca/organic101/
https://gmoinquiry.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/where-in-the-world-gm-crops-foods.pdf