Part of a series about the Annapolis Royal Winter Farmers Market, written by Valerie Davies.
In April 2017 Michael and Sally Knight moved their farm equipment in a 40ft sea container and trailered their goats from Ontario to Granville Centre. They had spent the last eight years running a thriving Market Garden and pasture raised meat farm in Ontario. However, after the drought in 2016, they downsized their livestock production allowing them to follow their dream of farming and living in Nova Scotia.
Their market garden in Granville Centre is 2 acres of cultivated land, including a greenhouse, and hoop houses, producing a wide variety of vegetables. They sell directly to the consumers at the Annapolis Royal Winter Farmers Market and the Annapolis Royal Farmers and Traders Market through the summer.
They will be building a greenhouse in 2018 that will be used for extending the growing season and will also be where they will start their seeds next year as currently they are using their sun porch to start all their seedings. They do not produce their own seeds, as there are already great local seed producers. All the seeds they use are certified organic, sustainably grown or sourced from companies that are part of the ‘NON-GMO project verified seeds.
Their farm in Ontario was certified Organic and in late 2017 they submitted the paper work for their present market garden with EcoCert, so their farm is currently going through the transition process to become certified organic. Therefore anything that is used on their farm has to be approved for certified organic use. They do not spray any chemicals on their crops and choose to hand pick or squidge bugs or use insect netting and floating row covers to protect them. None of their neighbours spray as their farm is surrounded by the North Mountain, marshland and horse paddocks.
The Knights produce honey, with the bees doing all the hard work! The hives are located on the farm as they also help to pollinate the market garden. The Knights also grow a variety of forage for bees and other wild pollinators. Honey is for sale for as long as supplies last and they are hoping to expand the apiary in 2018. They also raise and breed registered Nigerian Dwarf Goats, which are a small, friendly, adaptable dairy goat and because of their size uniquely suited to small farms.
They cultivate the land with a walk behind tractor and lots of hand tools, as it is just the two of them working and caring for their farm. They store their root vegetables and in the coming years will be expanding the range of root crops available over the winter months.
Strattons Farm is located in Granville Centre, at 5777 Highway #1. They do not have a farm stand but if customers are unable to make it to the farmers market in the main season they can pre-order (by phone or e-mail) a basket of mixed seasonal vegetables with pre-arranged pick up from the farm on either a Tuesday or Friday evening. (Phone: 902-526-4440 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).