Young Farmer in New Brunswick
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Matthew
Posted on: August 30, 2012

I am a young farmer from the New Brunswick; currently leasing land and growing for a market garden in Nova Scotia. I am slowly gathering ideas for an agriculture/forest farm business. I am thinking about growing and selling native plant stock for the east coast of Canada preferring to wholesale to nurseries and landscape companies. Plug sizes and 3 inch size plants is what I had in mind.

Secondly I am thinking of alternative crops to farm both in a field and forest setting. I have thought about winterberry, spearmint, dandelion, mint, raspberry for its leaves. Blue cohosh and bloodroot were two other herbs that I am thinking about as well. I heard there is a market in Europe for bloodroot regarding livestock.

It is always nice to meet another young farmer, especially from your part of the world. You are going to become our future. I have done some extensive business plans in Nova Scotia, and always felt that country was some of the most beautiful farms in the world.

Selling nursery stock is OK, but that is mostly a greenhouse situation. That business begins in January, for harden-off stock ready for planting in May. It is also semi-labor intensive, where most of your income will come from labor input. Several floral pods come to mind, including Money Plant (Lunaria).

My expertise lies mostly in field crops, like mints. Most of those however, prefer open sun. Forest farming root-crops crops (Black Cohosh) are different than those in an open field (Dandelion). My crop selections would begin around what capital equipment is available to you.

A herbal coffee substitute (using Dandelion and Chicory) might be very strategic right now, in light of the "religious-like" coffee shacks.

Moving to your comment regarding Bloodroot, the sanguinarine has been used as an anti-biotic substititute in cattle foods. But then, so have a number of other natural-occurring sources (Cordyceps). That market is already over-supplied, dropping the farm-gate price (as an export). Farming it with machinery might be profitable, but I can think of other more profitable crop selections.

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