David Mol of Meadowbrook Farms is this year’s recipient of the Gilbert R. Clements Award for Excellence in Environmental Farm Planning. The award will be handed out Friday in Charlottetown.
©Photo special to The Guardian
A Winsloe farm is the 2015 recipient of the Gilbert R. Clements Award for Excellence in Environmental Farm Planning.
Meadowbrook Farms, nominated by the Ellen’s Creek Watershed Group, will receive the award at the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture’s annual meeting Friday.
This award, named after the late Environment minister, is given annually to a farm which is economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible in the production and/or marketing of high quality food from a sustainable system.
Meadowbrook Farms is operated by David Mol.
The Mol family have been farming in Winsloe since 1962 when they moved to Prince Edward Island from Chatham, Ontario. Originally the family managed a beef herd but have turned to cash crops since the 70’s. Mol’s grandfather grew one of the first commercial crops of winter wheat on the Island in 1962 and Mol started soybean production in 1976, and for more than 20 years the Charlottetown Agriculture Research Station used the farm for its winter cereal plots. Today the farm sees crops of broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic, flax, canola, oil seed, and radish, and has actively cooperated with new and innovative industry initiatives.
The farm practices a minimum three-year rotation and has been practicing on-farm composting for many years and the compost is applied to the land which helps maintain and build organic matter.
Meadowbrook Farms has worked closely with the Ellen’s Creek Watershed Group on a number of projects and owns the land adjacent to the headwaters, which is a critical area for brook trout. To protect this vital habitat, the farm has established an extended buffer that goes up to almost 60 meters.
Mol has also converted an old manure lagoon in to a pond for amphibians, muskrat, and waterfowl. In the same area, he has created two holding ponds for storm water. These retain storm water for several days after severe weather events helping to prevent flooding downstream and allowing storm water to replenish ground water rather than rushing out to the Charlottetown Harbour.