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    CNF Family Farms: Mans Organics

    CNF Family Farms: Mans Organics

    Very few people can deny the sweet and tart burst of flavor of cherry tomatoes. But try a Mans Organic cherry tomato (or any of their tomatoes for that matter) and nothing else compares.

    Mans Organics is a family farm in Alberta near Coaldale, that produces both greenhouse and field crops. Henk and Rita Mans started the farm in 1994 and had it certified organic in 2008. Their son Andrew and his wife Denise joined as partners in 2012, ushering in a new era marked by the first stages of greenhouse construction.

    The Mans built the greenhouse on their own. They produce an assortment of tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers through an extended season (from April and late November). The Mans grow greenhouse crops directly in the soil, and, being certified organic, beneficial insects are their pest control of choice.

    While Mans Organic is known for their juicy tomatoes, they produce much more than that. The field crop of onions, shallots, and garlic are in rotation with alfalfa and winter wheat to mitigate against disease and keep the soil healthy. Sweet corn, melons, zucchini, and rhubarb are available during the summer months, while cabbage and winter squash, including pumpkin, are available in the fall and into December.

    The Mans family is no stranger to weeding by hoe or by hand, often using an ingenious home-built, solar powered weed picking cart. The cart allows the user to lay in shade and pick weeds as it slowly moves down a row of crops. This extraordinary amount of manual labor is a daily task during a six to eight week period in the spring.

    Mans Organics works hard to keep the farm herbicide and pesticide free because of their belief “that it is a responsible way to produce safe and healthy food”.

    Now with 8 employees, Mans Organics hopes to continue their small scale farming and Community Natural Foods has been happy to support them for over 10 years.

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