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The Next Generation

The Next Generation

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word farmer? I'll go first... 

Growing up in Rural Alberta, farming to me meant cows or grain; it also meant that many of these farms were third or fourth-generation with a large land mass and easy capital flow. This is not to say that generational farms don't have challenges, such as having someone take over the farm and continuing to grow and expand their operations. We have seen our own challenges at Beettam Acres as a first-generation farm family.

Let's start by first defining a first-generation farm: " a first-generation farmer is defined as someone who has not operated a farm or ranch for at least ten years." Anyone who has started or attempted to start their own business could probably agree that the first five to ten years are probably the hardest, with the largest growth.   

We would tend to agree with you. Though we purchased our land in 2020, we did not start our first garden until 2021. The short Alberta summers and ever-changing weather have been just a few of the smaller challenges we have faced. Along with trying to build capital to reinvest in our business, we have been on the ever-constant search for knowledge and information. In fact, it was in this search that we came across our zero-till method (more on this later). 

As first generation farmers we are always looking to network and connect with other farmers to share their knowledge. But we continue to grow and expand because our passion for creating great tasting products for our community and our desire to be great stewards of the land prompted us to start our business in the first place. We look forward to continuing to share our journey with you. 

Because remember, if you can't Beettam... grow em' 


Becca and Bobby 


Organic or Chemical Free? How to decipher the difference.

Organic or Chemical Free? How to decipher the difference.

For this month's blog, we will take a little detour into a subject that has sparked much controversy and is something we at Beettam Acres are quite passionate about. What is it? We want to talk about organic versus chemical free. If you follow us, you will know that we are a chemical-free operation. This means we use only natural products, including making our own fertilizer and don't use any sprays to prolong the shelf life of our produce.
Before really diving into the difference between these two growing methods, we first wanted to provide you with the definition of each.
Organic: food produced without the employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants or pesticides (Merriam Webster Dictionary, 2023)
Chemical Free: Not using artificial chemicals in farming, such as insecticides and fertilizers. (Wiktionary, 2023)
Upon finding these two definitions, we had to ask ourselves what the difference really is. Why is the "Organic" produce in grocery stores so much more expensive? Did you know that to become "certified organic," you must submit an application to a certifying body that reviews your application? An inspector is sent to your site to ensure you comply with the Canadian Organic Standards (Alberta.ca, 2023). If at any time you are found to not comply with the organic standards, your organic certification is revoked.
You can see why we have, while essentially the same thing, decided to become chemical-free. By not using chemicals or sprays, we are ensuring that we provide you with produce that is fresh and full of deliciousness in every bite. We can also spend more time focusing on perfecting and growing the produce. We are not saying that Organic is a bad thing, but we at Beettam Acres want to keep our products affordable and readily available for our customers. As always, we encourage you to do your own research when buying products.
Because remember, if you can't Beettam… grow em'
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The power of the SUN!

The power of the SUN!

With the days finally starting to get longer that means that you have successfully made it through another Alberta winter. If you are like us you are starting to get excited about the upcoming gardening season, and may already have started planting. While it still may be a touch cold to plant them outside if you are lucky enough to have a large south window or even a greenhouse you may have noticed how powerful the rays are from the sun. The following picture was take on February 21, 2023, you remember that last cold snap we had.  

 With the temperatures feeling more like -30 with the windchill I decided to run a little experiment. If it was that cold outside how warm would it be inside our greenhouse? 

Hard to believe that even with a little bit of sunshine there was almost a 30 degree difference between the outside and the inside of our greenhouse. This led me to a little more research. Did you know that Alberta gets roughly 312 sunny days the highest in all of Canada (TravelAlberta, 2023). This means that our tomato plants that require at least 8 hours of sunlight to get started are a great seed to pre-start in a bright sunny place. Other seeds that also do well with lots of sun are peppers, basil and many flowers. These bright sun rays not only provide the sunlight our plants need to grow but the heat as well. A pepper for example needs temperatures between 24 degrees and 28 degrees to germinate.  

While Spring and summer still feel like they are ages away spring is hopefully just around the corner. Time to get those seeds out and start thinking about our gardens and flower beds.  

Because if you can't Beettam... Grow em' 

Happy Planting Everyone! 

Love Becca and Bobby 

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The Next Generation

The Next Generation

February 2023: Farming with the Beettam's First Generation
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