Blackshire Gardens is a 45-acre farm just east of Neustadt, Ontario. Our production is artisanal in size and quality. We’ve been growing healthy food without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers since we bought the farm in 2011. Currently our main crops are asparagus, forest-grown shiitake mushrooms, and heritage dried beans.
Our Production Philosophy
All of the farming management decisions that are made strive towards improving the health of the soil with ecological practices such as minimal tillage, crop rotation, cover cropping and using certified organic amendments that bolster healthy soil biology and chemistry. All of these practices serve to promote healthy, living soils which in turn produce healthy food. Our production is artisanal in size and quality. We absolutely do not use any harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers. We grow organically but we are not ‘certified’ organic. The certification cost is over $1000 per year for our size of farm and at this point we cannot justify the expense. We definitely support the organic certification process, as it helps to create solidarity in the marketplace and reduce customer confusion around all the different labels - ‘sustainable’, ‘natural’, ‘no spray’. We choose to describe our production as ‘ecologically grown’ as we feel it conveys our holistic approach to farming, one which intimately understands the connections between healthy soils, healthy ecosystems and healthy human communities.