Blog Category: Essays and Opinions

Tamara Ranch Tour Recap & Announcement of the Winners of the Grazing Olympics!

Posted by Dana Penrice on June 20, 2017

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Tamara Ranch is an amazing hub for those wanting to nerd out on gardening and grazing! Home to Prairie Pastured Gold Meats, Field to Fork Pasture Poultry and Steel Pony Farms we had a jam-packed tour with these amazing farmers. “I like to describe a garden tour like coming to a party. If you come and tour it in the late fall, its a bit like coming to the party at 2am when things are winding down and you’re crawling over sleepy people to find a place to sit and can scarcely find a beer around. When you come in June, its like coming … Continue reading Tamara Ranch Tour Recap & Announcement of the Winners of the Grazing Olympics!

2016 Census of Agriculture Results Are In!

Posted by Darcy Smith on May 10, 2017

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Farm data nerds, the day is finally here! Canada’s 2016 Census of Agriculture results have arrived—along with some interesting shifts in the sector. Here are some highlights of the good, the bad, and the promising: Farmers are getting older—and younger Farmers 55+ is the fastest growing age group, with the average national age of operators edging up from 54 in 2011 to 55. This trend parallels the general population. On the other hand, this year we saw an increase in the number of farm operators under 35. This is the first time there has been an increase in farmers under 35 since … Continue reading 2016 Census of Agriculture Results Are In!

Agroecology in Canada: Food Sovereignty in Action—National Farmers Union

Posted by Moss Dance on April 25, 2017 1 Comment

Agroecology in Canada

The following article consists of excerpts from Agroecology in Canada: Food Sovereignty in Action published by the National Farmers’ Union. “Agroecology is much more than a set of technologies; it is a political and social system, a way of life, a form of resistance against corporate control of the food system, and quite simply the best means of achieving food sovereignty.” — Ayla Fenton, NFU Youth Vice President “Agroecology is the answer to how to transform and repair our material reality in a food system and rural world that has been devastated by industrial food production and its so-called Green and … Continue reading Agroecology in Canada: Food Sovereignty in Action—National Farmers Union

Soil Testing for New Farmers: a Step by Step Guide

Posted by Darcy Smith on March 22, 2017

Soil and seedlings

‘Feed the soil, not the plants’ is a great way of looking at the importance of managing soils for food production. Soils vary in diversity from one location to another, and require comprehensive management strategies for on-site nutrient recycling and long-term land stewardship. Healthy soils will grow healthy crops, and knowing what types of soils you are working with will help you figure out what will grow best on your land. For a farmer on a new piece of land, there are a few methods that will reveal what type of soil and nutrient content you are working with. Soil testing, on … Continue reading Soil Testing for New Farmers: a Step by Step Guide

Ideas & Inspiration from the 2016 Holistic Management Gathering at Paicines Ranch, California!

Posted by Dana Penrice on January 10, 2017

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At the generous invitation of Sally Calhoun, owner of the Paicines Ranch, Sara Dent, BC Coordinator of Young Agrarians, Kelly Sidoryk of Holistic Management Canada and I (Young Agrarians Alberta Coordinator) were invited to participate in the Holistic Management International conference in California in October 2016. Representing both Young Agrarians and Holistic Management Canada, the experience provided an opportunity to “cross-pollinate” with international Holistic Management networks, sharing ideas, learning new skills and supporting the regenerative agriculture movement. As an outsider, it was fascinating to step into the Paicines Ranch community and get a sense for the agrarian, regenerative ideals they are living by … Continue reading Ideas & Inspiration from the 2016 Holistic Management Gathering at Paicines Ranch, California!

Central Okanagan: From Field to Fork – Research Event Summary

Posted by Moss Dance on September 26, 2016

Okanagan Food policy - Chefs Michael Buffet, Adam Abernathy, and Melissa Masters

Hosted by the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council (COFPC) The Purpose of this event was (1) to return research done in the community back to the community and (2) to launch the ‘Food Quilt’, a new movement to connect people and groups in support of food security in the Central Okanagan. On Thursday April 21, 2016, over 60 guests gathered at the Canadian Mental Health Association and enjoyed 7 presentations that showcased research related to local food security. These presentations were done in the fast-paced style known as pechakucha. Following the presentations, the guests connected with one another, shared stories, … Continue reading Central Okanagan: From Field to Fork – Research Event Summary

#foodandlabour 3/3: Food Justice and The Face of Ecological Farm Interns in Ontario

Posted by Moss Dance on August 26, 2016

#foodandlabour

By Charles Z Levkoe and Michael Ekers Originally published in the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario’s May-June 2016 newsletter, Volume 37, Issue 3. This article is the third in a series that describes the increasing numbers of non-waged interns working on ecological farms across Ontario.  As farmers welcome those seeking seasonal farm experiences as a way to share knowledge and skills and to meet labour demands, our research has been exploring the broader implications of these trends. In this article, we look at who exactly is being trained to farm through ecological farm internships and the potential impact on the future … Continue reading #foodandlabour 3/3: Food Justice and The Face of Ecological Farm Interns in Ontario

10 Things I Learned Our First Year Farming

Posted by Dana Penrice on June 14, 2016

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by Keely Wohlgemuth of The Z Spread Farm, Organic Grain farmer at Wanham, Alberta Follow her blog at https://barefootonthefurrows.com/ or on Facebook facebook.com/thezspreadltd What a difference a year makes! We just finished spring seeding here and with the recent moisture we’ve found some time for rest and have been reflecting on how different this farm season has been going so far. This time last year, we were only just settling into our new life on the farm, and full of anxiety and uncertainties. While we still have much yet to learn, I really feel like Nolan and I are beginning … Continue reading 10 Things I Learned Our First Year Farming

#foodandlabour 1/3: Ecological Farming with Interns and Volunteers in Ontario

Posted by Moss Dance on May 17, 2016

Farming through Interns and Volunteers

By Michael Ekers and Charles Levkoe Originally published by Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario in Ecological Farming in Ontario, Volume 36, Issue 5. There are increasing numbers of interns, apprentices and volunteers working on small- and medium sized ecological farms across Ontario, but also across North America and Europe.  More and more, farmers are looking to young people seeking farm experiences as a way to train the next generation of farmers and meet the labour demands of their operations.  As readers will surely know, interns often exchange their labour for room and board, a stipend and importantly, training in organic, … Continue reading #foodandlabour 1/3: Ecological Farming with Interns and Volunteers in Ontario