Introducing our Lead Grower…Colin Lundy
Colin and his wife, Eylie, joined Strathmere in 2004, in response to our search for an experienced gardener/grower able to lead in growing fresh, seasonal produce for Strathmere kitchens. Under Colin’s leadership we have steadily expanded our gardens, adding an orchard, honey bees, perennial and annual fruits and vegetables, edible flowers, and herbs – and our flower gardens are more beautiful than ever.
Drawing upon his extensive prior experience with certified organic fruit and vegetable farms, and a Master’s degree focused on organic farming systems, Colin manages our gardens organically. He speaks enthusiastically of the micro-organisms, bugs and worms that thrive in healthy soil, describing them as the most important “livestock” on any farm, keeping the soil healthy by converting organic matter into plant nutrients.
Colin’s initiatives have the strong support of everyone at Strathmere and especially our Executive Chef. Through his leadership we have come to see that organic growing will build high-quality soil full of life which, in turn, will grow healthy produce and lead directly to providing healthy food for Strathmere kitchens.
Thanks to Colin we are now improving our soil in many ways. We rotate our crops in the field and rotate our fields so that some are always fallow. We use mulches and living pathways to conserve soil and water, and use cover crops and green manures to build and protect soil and soil nutrients. We apply composts and aged manure to recycle nutrients and activate the soil, and also maintain wild grassy areas and diverse flower gardens to attract beneficial insects such as pollinators – including our own honey bees – and others that prey on pest insects.
Colin’s involvement in the stimulation of organic growing does not end with Strathmere. During our off-season he works with the non-profit charitable organization, Canadian Organic Growers, helping conventional farmers make the transition to organic production and helping existing organic farmers to improve their skills and capacities.