Tunwath Farm: an experiment in nitrogen self-sufficiency

This set of slides illustrates some of the on-farm research that was conducted between 1977 and 1986 on Tunwath Farm in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. In 1976, The farmers, Basil and Lilian Aldhouse had made a "cold turkey" conversion of their laying hen-grains farm from conventional to to organic management. Oat yields tumbled, apparently due to inadequate nitrogen. When I visited the farm in 1977, Basil asked me "why should my cereals be nitrogen deficient when I have legumes on a third of the land and I'm recycling manure from the barn?" I thought that was a good question and decided to pursue it. Finding the answer was very much a joint farmer-scientist endeavour that in the end, took seven years. A number of students joined the quest. We spent many hours conversing with Basil & Lilian, documenting the farm practices, helping with chores and sharing meals as well as the joys and frustrations of the journey.
- David P.

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