Every farmer finds a different path to a career in agriculture. For Shannon Jones, it began with her studies in holistic nutrition, where she decided that the best way she could help people be healthier and more food-conscious was by growing the food herself. Since that decision, she has been volunteering, apprenticing, or working on farms for over ten years- and for the last four and a half years, she and her partner Bryan Dyck have been running their own 15.6 acre operation, Broadfork Farm, in River Hebert, NS.
Shannon is undoubtedly pleased with their choice to open Broadfork Farm. She loves “how fulfilling and challenging it is intellectually and physically and emotionally and spiritually. I love that I don’t have to always look “presentable” for work (besides the market).” At the farm, Shannon loves “…how quiet it is. I love how it’s located in the middle of the Maritimes provinces. I love our neighbours. And the forest. And the tidal river.”
Shannon’s passion for organic farming extends beyond her own farm, however. She is also a member of Slow Food NS and sits on the Steering Committee for the National New Farmer Coalition and ACORN’s Grow a Farmer Advisory Committee where she provides thought and guidance supporting the future of farmers in Atlantic Canada. Her commitment to the organic sector is admirable and encourages the importance of community engagement–a vital ingredient for any aspiring grower!
She will admit that it can be challenging to work with just her partner (in both life and in business) all day, every-day – however, she adds that working with Bryan also makes her job easier and even more fulfilling as they gain a deeper understanding of each other while they also evolve as farmers. Shannon encourages new farmers to “place value on your professional development. It’s not a waste of money! Conferences (like ACORN’s), farm tours, books, magazines (like Growing for Market) are valuable. I’ve been getting into farm podcasts. I like Farm Marketing Solutions and Permaculture Voices.”