THE FIRST TIME PETE NIEUWHOF FOLLOWED A CROP FROM SEED TO HARVEST WAS, IN HIS WORDS, 'JUST THE BEST THING EVER.'
Growing up on the family farm, learning was hands-on and that's exactly how he prefers it. For Pete, the details are in the soil; everything he and his family do at Blue Bay Farms is geared towards keeping the soil healthy and sustainable now and for the future.
On average, Blue Bay Farms grow 700 acres of potatoes as their main crop. This year, 500 acres of additional rotation crops were grown specifically to improve the soil. These crops include sorghum, hemp, Italian rye grass, mustard, tillage radish, as well as a new seed mixture planted after after the potatoes had been harvested to reduce tillage.
With another harvest season in the books, the fieldwork may be done but planning is well underway for next year. This includes detailed Soil, Water and Topography (SWAT) Mapping of fields and studying data collected through the Soil Health Testing Service, available to Island farmers at no additional cost provided by PEI Analytical Laboratories(PEIAL), to measure soil health and determine which actionable practices are working best now and what will need to be implemented for the future.
Blue Bay Farms is a shining example of how innovation and experience work hand-in-hand to protect the farm's most valuable resource - the soil - now and for the future.
"The soil is everything we have. We need to treat it as any other asset we have, the best that we can, to make sure it stays as healthy as possible"