Our 2017 Nature’s Finest Fund Recipients
Every year we allocate a certain percentage of our community giving funds and direct them into a grant program to expand the availability of locally produced food and to support and strengthen the working relationships between local family farms and The Big Carrot.
We are pleased to announce our 2017 Nature’s Finest Fund recipients. We asked each farm to provide a bio and a description of their grant project. Check in throughout the year for project updates!
We are a certified-organic, four season farm specializing in baby leaf salad blends and heirloom veggies. At MeadowSweet Farm we grow a broad range of organic produce, operate a HOP yard and raise heritage breed animals. We continually push to better our growing techniques by adapting to the most current methods with a strong focus on our soil fertility. Please feel free to join us at the farm for our Education Serious, Field-to-Table and MeadowSweet Mondays for restaurants! MeadowSweet Greens are available in stores and on menus across the GTA. Stay tuned for the opening of our Farm Stand in 2017.
Project: The grant will be used to fund a new 6500 square foot greenhouse which will enable MeadowSweet Farm to expand their growing area as well as the length of their growing season.
Small Spade Farm
Small Spade Farm is a certified organic 6.5 acre market garden, located in Stirling, Ontario. We grow unusual vegetables, mostly heirloom varieties, and we are committed to producing high quality, nutrient-dense produce. We have been restoring and remineralizing our soil for the past three years, with the help of extensive soil testing, and we only use compost generated by our own livestock, making our farm a closed loop. We have a small herd of Dwarf Nigerian Dairy goats, and about 100 heritage breed chickens, who take care of all of the waste from our market garden for us. Small Spade is run by husband and wife team Lauren Nurse and Eric Mathew. Lauren has been working in horticulture for the past twenty years, and Eric is a carpenter by profession. Together, they grow baby ginger and turmeric, hard to find European salad greens, and blue tomatoes.
Project: The grant will be used to fund the purchase of ginger and turmeric seed. Being able to offer local, organic ginger and turmeric is of great benefits to The Big Carrot and its customers.
Acme Agriculture & Food Ltd
Acme Agriculture & Food Ltd. is federally incorporation in February 19, 2008 by father and son team. Adolph Ng, the President of the corporation, is a licensed Ontario engineer (P.Eng.) and Professional Agrologist (P.Ag.) from the Ontario Institute of Agrologists and his father Ng, Man Hon, a director of the company, was a doctor of western medicine in Shanghai during his youth. The corporate mission of the company is — To deliver high quality, healthy food products “from earth to table” that will improve human health, promote sustainable agriculture, contribute to Canadian economy, and protect our environment. The main business activities of Acme Agriculture & Food Ltd. consist of agricultural crop production, food processing & distribution, and food research/development/innovation.
The company operates at three locations namely Vaughan (certified organic handling facility by Pro-cert), Haileybury (industrial facility for the procurement and distribution of seed products), and Haileybury (organic farm for various specialty grains and raspberry). The seeds either own grown or procured from local farmers are currently being co-processed for value added food products such as organic oat flakes, spelt flour, rye flour, buckwheat flour, buckwheat groat, sunflower oil, etc. These products, with our registered trademark Acme Organic, have proven to be selling well in the popular supermarkets, organic food stores, etc. within the GTA. We are continuously developing more innovative, healthy, and food products; and value added food processing at our various operating locations.
Our company is a member of various associations including: EFAO (Ecological Farmer Association of Ontario), IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Movement), OFA (Ontario Farmers Association), Northeast Buckwheat Growers Association (affiliated with Cornell University), OCSIA (Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Temiskaming branch), etc.
Project: The proposed organic edible oil processing project is ambitious and addresses several gaps in infrastructure including local, organic edible oils and organic animal feed. The grant will be used to fund part of the cost of the oil cleaning machine.