Since 1954, Indian River Acres has been the site of the Dawson family farm. The property was originally purchased by Janet’s grandfather when he decided to relocate his family from Stewart Hall to this larger farm property east of Peterborough that was well known for its high land and quality soil.
For over 50 years the focus of the family farm was beef cattle and hay. When Janet & Kevin purchased the farm in 2010, they decided to venture into vegetable production. The first year started with 2 acres of sweet corn which was sold only on weekends from the end of their driveway. The support from the local community the first year in business was overwhelming. This encouraged Janet & Kevin to expand their production as well as their reach by selling at area Farmer’s Markets and events.
By 2016 the farm business had grown considerably, and Janet & Kevin decided to focus all of their energy into the vegetable stand located at their farm, instead of travelling to many local Farmer’s Markets and events. This was a hard decision, but it meant they could keep their business manageable, maintain their off-farm jobs, and raise their two small children.
In only 10 years, Indian River Acres has expanded to produce 15 different vegetables, free-range eggs, fresh-cut flowers, and field crops.
Our Farming Practices
We care deeply about the land and the food that we grow. For this reason, we use sustainable agricultural practices as the building blocks of our operation. We strive to use practices that are environmental sound, economically viable, and good for the communities around us, including:Rotating crops and embracing diversity
- Planting a variety of crops can have many benefits, including healthier soil and improved pest control. Crop diversity practices include intercropping (growing a mix of crops in the same area) and multi-year crop rotations.
Planting cover crops
- Cover crops, like clover or rye grass, are planted during off-season times when soils might otherwise be left bare. These crops protect and build soil health by preventing erosion, replenishing soil nutrients, and keeping weeds in check, reducing the need for herbicides.
Reducing or eliminating tillage
- Traditional plowing (tillage) prepares fields for planting and can prevent or limit weed growth but can cause a lot of soil loss. We are experimenting with a variety of no-till or reduced till methods, which involve planting seeds directly into undisturbed soil to reduce erosion and improve soil health.
Applying integrated pest management (IPM)
- Use a range of methods to keep pest populations under control while minimizing use of chemical pesticides.
Managing whole systems and landscapes
- Keep uncultivated and overgrown areas on the farm as riparian buffers to control for erosion, reduce nutrient runoff, and to support pollinators and other biodiversity.
Contribute to community sustainability
We strive to create a better community not only through the produce that we grow and sell, but by sharing our story about farming, offering
educational programs at our farm and in schools, and donating to area food bank programs. We feel that it is very important that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy locally grown fresh picked produce.
At Indian River Acres, we carefully choose what we grow and produce. We focus on diversity to offer a wide array of food to our consumers but also to promote a healthy environment by keeping soil chemistry in balance and regulating pests. Wherever possible, we select varieties that emphasize flavor — our heirloom tomatoes being a prime example. For harvest, everything is hand-picked to ensure we are selling the ripest and freshest produce possible.
● Ornamental Corn
● Sweet Corn