My name is Graham Sparrow and I started Sparrow’s Nest Organics in 2000, after purchasing a 70-acre farm just north of Edmonton. Born and raised in Calgary, by my early-twenties I was quickly losing interest in finishing my degree in Economics at the University of Calgary. I packed up my bicycle and camping gear for my trip to the UK for one year. I spent nine months in Ireland, where I traveled and worked for room and board on several small rural properties. I quickly became hooked on the concepts of self-sustainability, organics, and food production.
When I think back to the beginning, in 2000, I recall my first CSA garden, for thirteen families, mostly friends and family, whom I browbeat into supporting those first meager production years. I owned no machinery for years. Everything was done by hand and with hand tools. Transplanting was done using a trowel, with a string to keep rows straight; potatoes were planted by hand along a trench, hilled by hand, dug by digging fork. I remember the first wash shed, with no lights, outdoors with only a roof. Water and power came by hose and a handy extension cord from the house.
My farm has evolved over eighteen years, but my philosophy hasn't changed. I manage a multi-family CSA, and you can find me in Aisle 5 at Edmonton's Old Strathcona Farmer's Market with fresh organic produce every Saturday.
Certified organic since 2003.
Organic production methods are the mainstay of our growing philosophy. We rely on the power of plants—especially legumes, composts, and naturally-occurring minerals to build our soils.