Blog Category: Essays and Opinions

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

Corky Evans on Land Access for a New Generation

Posted by Laura Hannant on February 01, 2015 4 Comments

Corky Evans w-potatoes-1

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


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


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


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

Kootenay YA Dispatch: Willow Springs

Posted by Laura Hannant on August 07, 2014

at willow springs

On July 26, YA and Willow Springs Organic Farm co-hosted a (stellar) farm tour and potluck. I first meet farmer Willy Fuder about a year ago, working on a small-scale agriculture education project.  After hearing about the project, Willy reaches out.  He wants in on helping to equip and support new farmers.  Five years into his own farm journey, he is bursting to share his knowledge and experience with others.  From the first, his passion for growing synergy among our region’s food system builders is plain.  A year later, working with YA, I cross my fingers that Willy will be … Continue reading Kootenay YA Dispatch: Willow Springs

Notes from OUR LAND: A symposium on Farmland Access in the 21st Century – Part I

Posted by dennisjdennis on May 07, 2014


“If there is a fight of our times it is a struggle over land.” – Anuradha Mittal This quote comes from the opening talk by Anuradha Mittal at OUR LAND: A Symposium on Farmland Access in the 21st Century. I had the opportunity to attend this two day symposium which brought scholars and community organizers together to create dialogue and advance solutions for addressing farmland access. The symposium was hosted by the Agrarian Trust, an organization initiated in 2013 in response to the growing land access challenges faced by beginning farmers across the United States. The mission of the Agrarian … Continue reading Notes from OUR LAND: A symposium on Farmland Access in the 21st Century – Part I