The Farm

REAL. GOOD. FOOD. That’s our motto.
We farm because we love people, plants, animals and food.  This little piece of God’s earth we work is a tremendous opportunity to bring folks together and a canvas to express ourselves.  We aren’t doing this to stick it to Monsanto or convert anyone.  We hope our work speaks for itself and that you can taste and see that what we’re up to is healthy, and fun and engaging.  We try not to take ourselves too seriously – because when you work around livestock long enough, you start to see the similarities…

Salt of the Earth Farm is operated by Charles and Morgan Summers.  Morgan comes from the Wild West, but is the nice, pretty, put together one, and will probably talk you into signing up for the CSA or ordering a side of beef.

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Chuck n’ Mo back in the Sugarbush – Christmas 2014

Charles is the constantly muddy/dusty/sawdust covered man from Belleville-cum-Nova Scotia.  He has so much family here in Kingston, that you can’t throw a rock without hitting one of them.  Moving back to the area is the best thing he ever dun did.  He is now over thirty, losing his hair and beginning to get creaky.  Charles likes to play with horses, knock trees over, and fantasize about creating the coolest farm ever.  If you happen to bump into him on the ranch, he is known to cease his toil and talk your ear off for an hour about esoteric/archaic agricultural practises while you smile and nod.  If he’s out of mixed gas, or there’s ice everywhere, he’ll even work on this website.

Salt of the Earth is a little baby farm.  On steroids.

The past five years have been amazing.   This is thanks to all of our customers who took a leap of faith and invested in our CSA programs.  We were able to start a farm from scratch on land that hadn’t been worked in over 60 years!  It was year of building infrastructure, momentum, and the vision of a diverse, ecological farm in the heart of our community. Somehow we did it.

Farmgate, Google Streetview - Sept 2013

Farmgate, Google Streetview – Sept 2013

One year later.. Farmgate: CSA Pick-Up, Sept. 2014

One year later.. Farmgate, Lahbwee and Morgan at CSA Pick-Up – Sept. 2014

Salt of the Earth started in the Fall of 2013 when the opportunity to farm here came up – this, thanks to the land’s owner: Charles’ amazing and benevolent Uncle.  It seemed daunting and unbelievable at the time – would never have imagined we’d come so far, so fast.  Back then, full of hope, Charles said to his lady as they walked through the weedy old hayfields: “Morgan, this is the start of a farm here…”

“Actually Charles, this is the end of a farm.” And of course, Morgan was right.  The marginal land base and suburban location left the land stuck somewhere between viable farming and inevitable development. The plan initially was to just plant a crop of garlic, grow some green manures and sorta watch what happens.  We still lived downtown and didn’t have the necessary capital to start a business, let alone a farm.

Because Charles is such a romantic chump, once he got access to a bit of land, he went and bought a team of horses.  Couldn’t help himself.  And so, before you knew it, we were keeping chickens and pigs and cattle too.  After all, “Once you have to do chores everyday, might as well go all in!”  Oh, and a Vegetable CSA to boot – good excuse to use draft horses!  Morgan put the vision down with artwork, Charles put it out on the interweb, and before we knew it, we had a small customer base and just enough money to make a go of it.  The past five years have flew past in a sweaty blur, and somehow all that vision we put out there became real.  So now, entering our sixth growing season, instead of the idea of a farm, we actually have a farm…  We owe a tremendous amount of thanks to our customers, friends and family – you got us there!

Sweets Corners Location

2018 brought some big and amazing changes. Charles and Morgan feel like they beat the odds: they bought their own farm and are making it happen! Wow! You don’t hear that very often in this day and age.

Vegetable production, chickens and steers are moving to Sweets Corners, which is located just south of Lyndhurst, just 30 or so minutes from Kingston, and directly north of Gananoque. Surrounded by gorgeous Eastern Ontario lakes (Charleston Lake is about 15 minutes down the road) and smack dab in the middle of the unique Frontenac Arch, we feel that this a very special little spot in our region to build our farm.

Currently we have 6 acres of garden ploughed, ready for our 2019 crops. In addition, we’ve got about 30 acres of hay and pasture land and another 60 or so of woodlot. We can feel that this land is offering us so many opportunities and has so much potential with its rich soils and forages, diverse landscape, and well-managed forests. We are just at the beginning of getting to know this land, but we are looking forward to building our future here.

Kingston Highway 2 Location

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Fall 2013 – Pond building

In addition to our own farm in Sweets Corners, we are blessed with the stewardship of large, diverse and beautiful piece of property close to the St. Lawrence River and Downtown Kingston.  Our northern border is CFB Kingston, our southern, the old King’s Highway, and we are surrounded on three sides by residential development.  The land encompasses woodlots, overgrown pastures, grasslands and arable fields.  Altogether there is 300+ acres to work – some of it is fairly decent farmland, even more of it saturated wetlands, mature forest, rocky scrub, and limestone tableland.

Our location on Hwy 2 is the focus of our market stand (convenient location!), our cow-calf operation, and our firewood processing. With thin top soil and heavy clay, this landscape is best suited to grazing and wood harvesting.

Sugarbush on fractured Limestone knoll

Sugarbush on fractured limestone knoll

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “The Farm

  1. Everybody is looking forward to meeting you and Charles there !!! It´s great. We are very happy for you. We will definitely go with Esteban one day…soon.

    • Hi Barry,
      We are not certified organic. And it’s worth pointing out that organic certification does not mean “pesticide free” – organic farmers use all kinds of pesticides too (they just happen to derive from natural sources). Things like Bt and pyrethrin, which is what we’ve been using as well when push comes to shove.

      We generally try to spend as little money as possible in our cropping!

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