Environment Committee recognizes Rock Front Family Farm as environmental stewards
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
The Sioux Lookout Municipal Environment Committee recently recognized Tyler Bernier and Rock Front Family Farm for Encouraging Environmental Awareness and Stewardship by locally producing and sharing healthy foods with the community.
Municipal Environment Committee Vice-Chair Anne Saltel shared, “The Environment Committee has a goal of food security. We want to celebrate anyone that provides locally sourced food. It is so awesome to see a young family like Tyler’s so engaged in gardening and practicing safe methods.”
“Rock Front Family Farm started with an idea to create a sustainable family farm that produces healthy food now – and for future generations. The pandemic has taught us the importance of food security, and how quickly a food shortage could happen,” shared the municipality in a Facebook post, adding, “One of Rock Front Family Farm’s crops are microgreens. What are those? They’re any type of vegetable or herb grown only to their seed leaf stage before harvesting. That makes them packed full of vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients – some up to 40 times more than the same mature vegetables!”
Tyler Bernier who runs this farm with his wife Jackie, said that with a personal inspiration to eat a healthy diet, they decided to further open up their produce to the community. He said, “I want to thank them for recognizing us. You know, we are just trying to make a very small impact and kind of make like a life change…to a more sustainable way of life, with how COVID has taught us that there could be a food shortage at any time. So, really we are just trying to secure that.”
Tyler and Jackie shared, “Health issues have plagued our family, and we know that the commercial food system has a lot to do with it. That’s initially where we thought of the idea of growing microgreens!” They added, “We wanted to develop a growing system where we could offer this service to our local community, which we understand has many people with health concerns as well. We offer a subscription service for microgreens that showcases the four most nutrient dense and beneficial crops (sunflower, broccoli, radish and pea). We grow our crops only using organic seeds and methods, which not only benefits the plants, but our environment as well.”
Bernier said that small attempts to grow sustainably, and invest in some backyard farming yields better health along with huge environmental benefits. Tyler and Jackie shared that the microgreens packaging is not only recyclable but also compostable, allowing it to break down and feed the soil, instead of polluting it.
“We worked pretty hard to get to this point. We want to try to connect more with our community. We found in the recent years that our community is kind of drifted because of the way that the world is nowadays and we just really want to try to reconnect people with healthier and happier lifestyle, and eating more locally and healthy. That’s why we are trying to take this small step, and eventually expand on this and become a full production organic farm that we can serve the community more than just micro greens,” said Bernier.
The Municipality shared in their post that the farm is striving to be more environmentally friendly, and become a certified organic farm – adding organic produce, eggs, and livestock to the microgreens they supply Sioux Lookout with.
“I believe our health revolves around what we eat, we are what we eat. And I have found over the past ten years, with my experience…since making this shift to a healthier lifestyle, it’s just so much better. Just feels reinvigorating,” concluded Bernier.