Barrie Hill Farms is committed to producing the finest quality fruits and vegetables, in a sustainable, environmentally friendly manner.
We are proud to be one of the first “pick-your-own” farms in Ontario to be “LFP Certified”
Land Food People Certification stands for:
· Environmentally responsible farming
· Sustainable production methods
· Reduced greenhouse gases
· Farmland and wildlife habitat preservation
· Fostering a strong local economy
To learn more about this certification visit landfoodpeople.ca
In addition to our recent LFP Certification, many things are being done at the farm to honour our environmental commitment.
No GMOs. None of our crops are genetically modified.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is practiced. This means that pesticides are used only when absolutely necessary and are never the only means to control pest problems. We use organic practices like crop rotation and cover crops to limit pests and improve soil structure and nutrients. We also use crop scouting to identify pests early and treat them only when necessary. Additionally, in order to maintain LFP certification, when pesticide use is necessary, only pesticides that are considered to be of lower risk are permitted. When we do use a pesticide, we make that decision based on the long term impact to our land, our health, and the safety of our produce – not just on today’s economics. The use of IPM has enabled Barrie Hill Farms to greatly reduce pesticide use, and our environmental impact.
Environmental Farm Plan (EFP). This is a voluntary self assessment that is done by Ontario farmers and reviewed by a peer group committee. Farmers assess environmental risks posed by their operation and develop an action plan to minimize or eliminate these risks. Barrie Hill Farms completed an Environmental Farm Plan soon after the program began in 1993, and has since made many changes to its operation, such as:
Water Conservation: Increased use of drip irrigation technology to minimize water required for irrigating our crops. Look closely in the strawberry fields next time you’re picking. Each row of plants has a drip line buried beneath the roots of the plants. We apply water directly to the root zone – sometimes during the day when people are picking – and are able to use irrigation water very efficiently. The fruit and leaves stay dry, which not only conserves water, but also reduces leaf diseases and fruit molds, thereby reducing the need for pesticides.
Cover Crops: We plant alternate crops to reduce wind and water erosion of our soils.
Crop Rotation: Where possible crops are grown in rotation to decrease disease and pest pressure. Many of our crops, however, are long term crops and rotations may be over several years.
On Farm Food Safety Program. Barrie Hill Farms has operating procedures in place to minimize the risk of food borne disease and food contamination. Working with various organizations, including Canada GAP, we continually monitor our operating procedures to ensure we are producing safe, healthy fruits and vegetables.