Blog Category: Essays and Opinions

Thoughts on the Organic-Farm-Apprenticeship Paradigm: current state and potential shifts

Posted by Sara Dent on November 13, 2015 2 Comments

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Article written by Olivier Labrie I remember desperately looking to find a way to get my hands in rich organic soil during a six month search for any type of apprenticeship opportunity that involved organic farming. That was almost three years ago. At the time, I was working on my second bachelor’s degree in Ecological Agriculture, and wanted to get outside of the classroom to find hands-on work in the field. Finally, I stumbled upon an opportunity through a friend of a friend. The following week I found myself totally immersed and unprepared in an unusually hot Quebec start to … Continue reading Thoughts on the Organic-Farm-Apprenticeship Paradigm: current state and potential shifts

Age of the Farmer

Posted by Kristen Nammour on November 10, 2015

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Story by Eva Verbeeck This summer Spencer MacDonald and I worked and lived together with young farmers. All of them are first generation young farmers on small scale organic farms. Some of the farmers went straight from college to farming and growing food. I used to find this a strange choice but my perspective has changed over the past couple of years. After traveling extensively, I got to experience the power of food and especially home grown and cooked food. Wherever you go food is full of history and culture. It has the power to connect people unlike anything else. … Continue reading Age of the Farmer

Nourishing a Community: Urban Agriculture at Santropol Roulant

Posted by Monica Allaby on September 09, 2015 1 Comment

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It’s late August and the rooftop vegetable gardens at Santropol Roulant, a vibrant non-profit organization located in Plateau Mont-Royal, are in full bloom. A hidden gem in one of Montreal’s most populous and dense neighbourhoods, the rooftop gardens are an urban oasis enjoyed by the Roulant’s staff, volunteers, and members of the community throughout the summer months. A surprising and delightful contrast amongst a palate of concrete and brick, Santropol Roulant’s gardens are brimming with life. Carlo Primiani, Urban Agriculture Co-Manager at Santropol Roulant, explains that the Roulant’s urban agriculture program is designed to not only support local and organic … Continue reading Nourishing a Community: Urban Agriculture at Santropol Roulant

Small Farm Software Tools

Posted by Kristen Nammour on May 01, 2015 1 Comment

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Software Tools for Small Farms, By Chris Bodnar This article has been expanded from the original which was published in COABC’s BC Organic Grower, Volume 16, Number 3, Summer, 2013 Find all of these resources and more on YA’s FARM BUSINESS TOOLS PAGE Many organic farms have a special binder. The binder holds field records, crop plans, a multitude of to-do lists and miscellaneous notes. The binder is sacred; should it ever go missing, the following year’s organic inspection would be a nightmare. The farm’s operations depend on a bundle of papers that, with one drop in a mud puddle, could cause a lot of … Continue reading Small Farm Software Tools

Corky Evans on Land Access for a New Generation

Posted by Laura Hannant on February 01, 2015 3 Comments

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Preface… “Farming is a profession of hope.” Brian Brett Over the last few weeks Young Agrarians and West Kootenay Permaculture Co-op have been working hard preparing for upcoming land-themed events in the Koots. (Learn about the events here.) Everyone involved is earnest about seeing that the events really serve the needs of local farmers, aspiring farmers, and eaters of all ages. Last Friday, WKPC coordinator Shauna Teare sent an email our way that helped put this work into perspective. Attached were reflections from Kootenay agrarian elder Corky Evans on ensuring land access for coming generations of farmers. The piece, which … Continue reading Corky Evans on Land Access for a New Generation

Where Do Farm Apprentices Go In The Winter? | Notes from Nova Scotia

Posted by Bernard Soubry on November 26, 2014 8 Comments

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Reflections on the seasonal and transient life of farm apprentices and interns by Bernard Soubry. We had snow the other day in Maitland. I spent a few frantic hours hauling celeriac out of the cold mud and praying that the clouds would break–long enough for us to plant the rest of the garlic in the back field, at least. But after that storm, everything had changed. The farm I’d come to earlier in the season is totally covered now; you can’t work outside without four layers on; the chickens chirp at us angrily in the morning when their water freezes. … Continue reading Where Do Farm Apprentices Go In The Winter? | Notes from Nova Scotia

Science says… Farm the Kootenays!!!

Posted by Laura Hannant on November 20, 2014 1 Comment

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Jumping on the opportunity to research farmland in the West Kootenay By Rachael Roussin, UBC Master of Land and Water Systems Rachael Roussin is a passionate food systems advocate, a Rossland REAL Food co-founder, and a former Rossland Mountain Farmers’ Market manager.  As a UBC Master of Land and Water Systems student, Rachael jumped on the chance to explore West Kootenay food systems issues.  Her research into the region’s agricultural potential offers a unique perspective on realizing untapped capacity for local food production. I am a true believer in the value that increased local agricultural offers to our communities, economy … Continue reading Science says… Farm the Kootenays!!!

Preserving The Chicken and The Farmer

Posted by Dana Penrice on September 10, 2014 1 Comment

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10 days and counting… On September 18th, we will have had our heritage chickens for 15 weeks and 3 days and they’ll be off to the butcher. For us, it will be the end of a very meaningful project and the beginning of hopefully a long and fulfilling career as farmers. This year was our first year diving more fully into farming and the launch of C & E Meats at Lacombe, Alberta. We started a few different projects, including raising lamb and doing some custom grazing but our chickens held a special place for me because it was an amazing … Continue reading Preserving The Chicken and The Farmer