Windy Hill Organic Farm is owned by Alyson Chisholm. With the help of my dynamic farm team, I produce organic fruits and vegetables and keep a small herd of dairy goats on my farm in McKees Mills, New Brunswick. I have been farming here since 2009 and I produce a variety of foods using sustainable growing methods and market directly to my customers.
Windy Hill Organic Farm is 45 acres of partly cleared, partly wooded land bordered by the Little Bouctouche River on one side and highway 115 on the other. The land is high and dry and the soil is a light sandy loam. I cultivate about 4 acres of land, half in cover crops and half in vegetables, and I have a small herd of mixed breed goats for my own supply of milk, yogurt and cheese. I sell a small amount of goat meat and also raise a few chickens for meat and eggs. Fruit production is a small part of Windy Hill with strawberries, rhubarb, table grapes, sour cherries, apples and a few other tree fruits just starting to yield some delicious returns from the young orchard.
My passion is growing vegetables and I produce a very wide variety (see the CSA link for a list), including some heirloom varieties, and also save some of my own seed. To extend the growing season for as long as possible, I use reusable plastic mulch, plastic tunnels and row cover. I have 20 years of experience growing vegetables in British Columbia and New Brunswick and am constantly learning new methods thanks to lots of reading, attending workshops and sharing knowledge with other local farmers.
I sell my produce mainly through a CSA and also at the Dieppe Farmer’s Market as part of a small co-op called Coin Bio/Organic Corner. I’m a proud member of the NB chapter of the National Farmer’s Union, La Recolte de Chez Nous/Really Local Harvest Co-operative, Seeds of Diversity Canada, the Conservation Council of NB, Slow Food Cocagne Acadie, ACORN, Canadian Organic Growers and am registered with EcoCert’s organic certification program.
I am not from a farm but came to farming through my love of animals. I studied Animal Science in university, spent a year working on a farm in New Zealand, then 3 years teaching agriculture in Botswana, 2 years running a school farm in Lesotho and 3 years managing Oxfam’s Rural Development Program in northern Albania. Back in Canada I moved west and joined a group of people in BC to buy and run an organic farm in the Fraser Valley. I worked on dairy, beef and sheep farms through my university years to help pay my way, but discovered the joy of growing vegetables in my 11 years farming at Glen Valley Organic Farm in BC. Now I get to satisfy my animal affinity by raising goats and chickens and also enjoy the challenges of growing annual vegetables, perennials and tree fruits.