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Caring For the Land

a picture of one of the fields that we use for our organic farming to produce the healthiest of vegetables and fruits in Nanaimo.
We believe it is our duty to provide the Earth with as much love and care as we would our own families in the Nanaimo area. So for us, we cultivate the local soils in the Cinnabar Valley in using a variety of methods that ensure every square foot of British Columbia land is cared for. 

Started with Spin Method

We began farming using the SPIN Method, which means, (S)mall (P)lot (IN)tensive. This method incorporates heavy crop rotation. The farmer plants each seed closely together and when the plants are harvested, more seed is planted. Although this method can grow a lot of food, we found this method wasn't enough for the land and plants to flourish. Now we include permaculture design into our farming.

Permaculture

Permaculture is a philosophy more than a set rule of practice. It looks at creating abundance rather than stopping at mere sustainability. So when cultivating the land we ask what is needed for the land to flourish. Ways that we practice permaculture:

  • Cover Crops. These are plants that are grown solely for the purpose of soil amendments. These plants give nutrients to the soil and provide shelter for beneficial bugs.
  • Mulch of straw and hay protects the soil while the plants are growing.
  • Interplanting companion plants help to ward off insects.
  • Thoughtful crop rotation. For example, by planting carrots after onions, the soil is infused by the enzymes of the onion which wards off carrot fly.
  • Plant flowers! Bring in the bees!
  • Avoid tilling the soil whenever possible. Tilling kills all the beneficial insects in the soil, as well as the fungus, bacteria and the intricate web of life that structures the soil necessary for healthy plants.

Hot Compost

We also amend our soil using hot compost. Hot compost is a process of making a rich, microbe filled compost that gives more than just nutrients to the plants, it gives life to the soil. Life in the soil means healthy plants, healthy land, and happy farmers! We use this hot compost method to make teas which we feed to our plants and soil when they need a boost.

Fertilization

We try as much as possible to steer clear of commercial organic fertilizers. We try to source all our farm inputs locally. We try our best to use compost, green manures, and crop rotation to insure healthy land. Although it is sometimes necessary that we use fertilizers, when we do, we use only organic.

Awesome Produce

From all these practices, the plants are enriched with nutrients and packed with vitality. This means our vegetables are filled with vitamins and minerals. This is important in today's world, where food bought in the grocery store is known to have less nutrients. According to a study by Donald R. Davis, a former research associate with the Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas, the average vegetable found in today's supermarket is anywhere from 5% to 40% lower in minerals (including magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc) than those harvested just 50 years ago. You can rest assured that this is not case with our produce, as we commit to sustainable, organic methods of growing.

Biodiversity

a picture of some of the fields we use to produce the freshest, organic produce in the entire Cinnabar Valley of Nanaimo, BC. on Vancouver Island.
The diverse crops growing in the field, from vegetables to flowers makes a home to a wide range of animals and insects We have more places for bees to safely collect pollen, birds and insects have new fauna to feed in, and through this diversity of life that accumulates on the land, a balance is made. We never use insecticide, we just put up more bird houses, and bird baths.

Lastly, we keep the rest of the land wild. Heart and Soil Organics is located on 22 acres. Three of these acres are cultivated between two families, and the rest is left for the wild. This is just one way that we insure all plants, animals and land benefit from our farming practices.