Field Good Farms prides itself on growing high-quality organic fruits and vegetables with a community mandate. Ryan Spence started this regenerative growing venture in 2011 on five acres of land in beautiful Cache Bay, Ontario. He and his partner, Isabelle, are driven to increase biodiversity on the farm, improve biome health indicators such as water and soil quality, and reduce waste, all the while building a healthier, more resilient society.
Minimal tillage at Field Good Farms keeps precious soil life intact while cover crops and organic mulch prevent water evaporation and enrich and protect what lies beneath. Biodiversity is encouraged and enhanced through intercropping, companion planting, diverse crop rotations, pollinator buffers, and habitat conservation and restoration techniques. Native perennial crops and riparian forest buffers containing trees and shrubs add to the farm’s conservation efforts and provide habitat for wildlife and protection from the wind. Water is preserved via rainwater harvesting, and all inputs used on the property are organic, including compost and manure. The result is soil bursting with life. Earthworms live amongst the plant roots, and Field Good Farms has observed that its soil organic matter increases by 0.5% every year. Furthermore, various at-risk species are returning to the land, including bobolinks, tree swallows, and barn swallows.
The proof is in the pudding, and various crops happily grow at Field Good Farms, whether in the fields, the three large unheated greenhouses, or the two caterpillar tunnels on the property. The farm is located in zone 3, so these structures offer a jumpstart on the growing season. This year, spinach and cilantro were harvested in the greenhouses at the end of March! The farm grows more than 60 different crops including garlic, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, herbs for teas, haskap berries, and strawberries. Field Good Farms has a line of herbal teas under the name Rose & Kin; all the goods are available via a year-round CSA, an online farmer’s market, and local grocers.
Community involvement is also at the core of Field Good Farms. Ryan and Isabelle regularly host kitchen table meetings at their home where other growers can gather and discuss various topics so that the environment and the people of Cache Bay benefit. Over the holiday season and with the help of generous community members, the farm donated 100 veggie baskets to the North Bay and West Nipissing Food Banks so that the less fortunate had nutritious food to put into their bellies.
All of their efforts combined take a lot of time and hard work, but Ryan and Isabelle wouldn’t have it any other way. Together, they create a thriving environment, delicious produce, and healthy people.