Rupert Jannasch purchased Avonmouth Farm in 2004 from an elderly friend whose family had been farming the land for 3 generations, and who was able to see the gardens, fields and barns come back to life before he passed away a few years later. Now renamed Ironwood farm, the mixed vegetable and livestock production consists primarily of vegetables for a weekly CSA and Farmers Market stand, high-bush blueberries and sheep, with pigs and cattle at times through the year. The farm speaks of generations of care and thought; dotted around the 200 acre property you will find everything from an aging cherry orchard, to currant and gooseberry bushes, to heritage roses.
Ironwood Farm is not certified organic. The vegetables are grown with compost generated on the farm, and purchased crab meal. Conventional pesticides are not used. Our sheep are the heart and soul of the farm; they convert grasses and legumes into meat and wool, and their manure is used to make compost. Greenhouse crops are grown in biologically active soils and not in nutrient solutions (i.e. hydroponics).
Although Rupert did not grow up on a farm, he has been involved in agriculture for much of his life: as an apprentice on a farm in Germany; gaining experience in both plant and animal husbandry across Canada, Europe, New Zealand and Israel; being a researcher and instructor at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College; and as an organic inspector. Rupert continues to help new or conventional farmers transition into organic farming, and has recently taken up the challenge of educating a much younger crowd, through his connection with Halifax Independent School and others.
Heather Johnson spent much of her formative years working in either her father’s orchard, or at the local exotic animal farm (now Zoo). It was only after finding her way to Hwy 215 over a decade ago that she rediscovered her family connection to the area dating back over one hundred years, which may help to explain the undeniable attraction to the area for her. The sheep are part of the longer term plan to work (experiment) with fiber and have a steady supply of fleece for felting with her students. She divides her time between the critters, vegetation and geology of Ironwood Farm and some amazing children and teens in Halifax, where she is a teacher and Deputy Head at Halifax Independent School.
We can be reached at:
5184 Hwy 215 Summerville
RR#1 Newport NS B0N 2A0
For information specific to our CSA visit http://ironwoodfarmcsa.ca/