Demeter Inspection Report for Green Dragon Organic Farm 2014

We began our inspection at the early hour of 7am. , Monday August 18, as Stephan wanted to get away later that morning to attend an Acorn Farmer’s Symposium.

We managed to go through the paperwork and have a walk around the Gardens and finish by 10am.

Gerlinde remains in Europe so Stephan has taken on the Garden alone and for the first time from the beginning of the growing season.

He has had a very successful season to date.

It has been a year of re-thinking the direction of the farm, as well as maintaining what has been built up over the years.

On a personal note, Stephan has become engaged again in his Photography during the winter months, already publishing a book as well as exhibiting them.

This is something he plans to develop over time and so has put a lot of effort into thinking about how the farm can develop further with himself stepping somewhat back from being totally immersed in the all aspects of the day to day running.

To this end he has found partial funding for a second person to become involved. And there is a third person who is self-funded for the time being. He has added a further .25 acre to the garden as both an expansion but also it seems somewhat of a trial ground for these two women to take on somewhat as a responsibility but with Stephan’s guidance. In part it is a learning ground and perhaps will lead to a long term collaboration.

So far, this has showed some promise.

Stephan and I worked through the Inspection form and he showed me seed and input audits…feed audit and Non-GMO Policies of his suppliers all of which were in good order and readily to hand.

I viewed the water test online and a new plot list/Map for the garden which had been worked on as requested. I will include it with the hard copy of the report. And Stephan will send the water test directly to Uli.

The plot list is a map listing all the beds by number and greenhouses by name.

It is a good visual aid but you would need the individual bed pages where he records the crops sown, cultivations, composting dates etc. to transpose on top, to get an adequate picture of the movement of crops. There are some 74 beds and individual plot sheets which would be impractical to include with the report.

I did view some of these which give details.

I also viewed the sowing and planting calendar of Thun, where the preparation applications are recorded.

A final thought on the map and plot list. It might be helpful to have one copy of the new map, as a reference, showing successive crops over two year period to give a more immediately vivid picture.

The cropping is intensive and the rotation is a basic heavy > Moderate > Light feeders, with cover crops of oats or a mulch applied as ground is emptied.

Being an intensive garden though there are always variables in the rotation such as having to re-sow a crop or replacing one crop with another which make the rotation a guideline rather than completely fixed.

But from all I could see, most crops were vigorous and healthy looking and the soil strong.

A few potatoes were grown this year which had yet to be dug up had been affected by the Colorado beetle.

The regular incorporation of on-farm produced manure and compost seem adequate for the garden and the fertility level good.

We walked the garden in a break from the rain and I viewed the compost piles and the manure from the goat barn which was ready to be moved into a windrow in the garden and be prepped.

The Goats as always are well housed and have access to pasture and good quality hay has been made and was stored on trailers in the barn.

No grains have been grown as fodder.

The deer I didn’t see, but Stephan says they have had no problems and are well. He still sells the venison.

The deer though, are part of his overall re-think.

He does not plan to breed them this year and may phase them out altogether.

He mentioned that he would like to have cattle on the farm and is considering the options and just how incorporating them would be managed.

How any changes in livestock and management of pastures will inter-relate with the market garden in future is yet to be seen. Bringing in a cow or cattle could enhance the biodynamic work already being done.

A stirring station has been set up by the Vegetable preparation and storage shedA stirring station has been set up by the Vegetable preparation and storage shed and the application of the biodynamic preparations, both compost and spray preparations has been timely.

Compost teas, nettle and horsetail have all been used in the market garden as well as the ashing of cucumber beetles.

CPP has not though been applied this past year on the pastures and hayfields.

Stephan intends to develop a separate little space for all the preparation plants and though he has not managed to start making them on farm yet, he wants to begin with the nettle, oak bark and Valerian.


I saw a good clean crop of garlic curing in the barn. This is the crop which is sold as seed garlic to Quebec.

Apart from this seed garlic and a few vegetable shares and direct meat sales, the main markets for the produce remain the Tatamagouche Farmers Market and the Dorje Denma Ling Meditation Centre.

A smaller market is the Truro Farmers Market.

It will be interesting to see how all that has been undertaken this year with respect to new directions will develop. In the meantime

I can recommend their continued full Demeter status.

Timothy Rapsey