Our LNBF Earth Award is entering its 6th year since launching in 2012! We are excited to announce that this year, we are supporting the winner with a $1000 grant for a community initiative, project, social-enterprise or business that is making a positive impact on society and the environment.
To kick things off, we caught up with our 2019 Earth Award Winner Julia Maxwell to see how she has used her grant to further their environmental initiatives. See her story below:
Photo #1: Julia starting the first seeds on the new farm.
Julia Maxwell is our 2019 winner and the founder and owner of Crocus Hill Farms in Maidstone, Saskatchewan. She works to support sustainable farming and promote a cleaner, healthier and happy planet. Her farm brings together the wonderful ideas around organic food production, biodiversity, regenerative agriculture, and permaculture.
Photo #2: November 2019: Learning innovative no-till strategies from Julia's fellow farmers at Zocalo Organics in Ontario. She wants to transition her garden to no-till or low-till in order to improve soil health and decrease the need for nutrient inputs and irrigation.
Photo #3: September 2019: Getting in the last of the winter storage crops.
Currently, Julia is in the process of relocating her garden to a pastured livestock farm close to the city of Saskatoon. The vegetables grown in the garden will almost exclusively support a farm-to-table restaurant and marketplace in the city. She is excited about all of the ecological, economic, and social synergies these new partnerships will entail. Some of the wonderful advantages of these partnerships include: combining animal and plant systems for more holistic on-farm nutrient cycling, using food scraps from the restaurant to generate compost for the garden, and tapping in to the social networks of each respective business to continue to engage with the public through farm tours, workshops, and beautiful farm-to-table meals.
Photo #4: September 2019: A local grade 12 home economics class harvesting veggies for their canning and pickling projects.
With the LNBF Grant awarded to Julia last season, she has built a walk-in cooler to help her successfully store potatoes and carrots all winter, which in turn, allowed her to continue providing food to the community and generating a little extra revenue in her off-season. She also saved plenty of potatoes to use as seed stock for the next season. Julia plans on continuing to grow a few low maintenance crops at the original farm site, so as she relocates her garden operation, the cooler space will continue to be used for off-farm production and storage.
Julia’s efforts towards a resilient and low-input food production system continues to inspire many others to work towards a cleaner and healthier planet.
We'd like to thank Julia for her dedicated efforts towards the preservation and well-being of our planet!
Know someone who would be a good candidate for 2020? Share this post with them!