We,Brian & Kathy(your farmers) have been together since 2008 but in 2015 we got married here at the farm,with family and friends with us to enjoy the day.
We both come from family farm backgrounds and enjoy working together and living our passion,farming!
For us organic farming is not just a job, it’s a way of life.
We find it both challenging and rewarding, and hope that we can make some difference in the local community, one family at a time.
We have become not only their farmers to many,but along with that have created a connection that is very heartwarming.As we meet up with folks on a weekly basis, we see the little ones growing up and become a little part of the lives of those we serve.
Red Isle Farms was created in 1989, and began its transition to organic in 2002. It is now certified organic, receiving its first accreditation from OCIA in 2010.In 2012,the farm changed its' name to Crystal Green Farms,the original name of the farm.
Crystal Green Farms currently has approx.200 acres in certified organic production,much of it is rented land.Due to some difficult circumstances,the home farm has only about six acres,including the house and barns left.The home gardens grow a lot of the vegetables. We also grow our own hay for our animals and some wheat and soybeans.
The decision to go from conventional to organic was not difficult to make because we didn't like what was happening to soils. As stewards of the land ,we believe in the organic principle of feeding the soil not the plant - allowing the plants to absorb and select all the nutrients found in the soil, giving them time to develop concentrated flavors.
Healthy soil equals healthy plants and healthy eaters.
The property is located in Bedeque. The homestead is believed to be 150 plus years old and is surrounded by 3 barns, a warehouse, 2 vegetable plots .The farm was once also owned by Brian’s great uncle John Howatt, before being owned by the Woodside family, then Kathy’s father Dick Van Herk. An unusual connection for Brian and Kathy so many years later.
The farm started with 12 cows and grew, at its peak having 100+ cows. The Van Herk family as well as the previous owner raised pigs, grew turnip and potatoes in the early years. In 1975 electricity was installed in the house and more extensively in the barns. The dairy industry along with the raising of beef and dairy heifers became the main focus.
The last warehouse was built in 1990, and the property continues to undergo redevelopments. Brian and Kathy hope to restore the homestead and offer it as a farm stay for visiting families some time in the future.