Blog Category: Essays and Opinions

10 Things I Learned Our First Year Farming

Posted by Dana Penrice on June 14, 2016


by Keely Wohlgemuth of The Z Spread Farm, Organic Grain farmer at Wanham, Alberta Follow her blog at or on Facebook 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

A Peace Valley Farmer’s View on Site C Dam

Posted by Moss Dance on March 18, 2016 1 Comment


By Sage Birley I grew up under the impression that people in the south didn’t care about the struggles faced by people in the North East of the province.  But my perspective was shifted while visiting Vancouver, when I found out Kristin Henry was willing to go on a hunger strike to stop the Site C Dam. I have been so inspired by the work that the incredible women who have set up a camp in the front lawn of BC Hydro have done. So, while visiting Vancouver to see friends and family, I will be taking time to lend … Continue reading A Peace Valley Farmer’s View on Site C Dam

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

Posted by Sara Dent on November 13, 2015 2 Comments


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 1 Comment


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

Choice 5

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 2 Comments

Smart Phone in produce1

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