All posts by Rachel Spruston

The Art of Growing Food and Relationships with Natasha Anderson – Business Bootcamp Stories

Posted by Rachel Spruston on July 11, 2022

Natasha Anderson is member of the Key First Nation from Treaty 4 territory and is currently farming at Amara Farm, a small-scale, certified organic market farm on the unceded territory of the K’ómoks First Nation. In the Fall of 2021, Natasha took part in the Business Bootcamp, an 11-week online business planning course for new farmers. She sat down with the Young Agrarians team to talk about her experience in the Business Bootcamp and her vision for a collaborative farm community centred around Indigenous culture and food sovereignty.   For Natasha, there is no singular moment she can point to when … Continue reading The Art of Growing Food and Relationships with Natasha Anderson – Business Bootcamp Stories

Delighted by Colour and Sound: Winter Reflections from the Blackfoot Phenology for Farmers Course

Posted by Rachel Spruston on May 30, 2022

Photo by Brenda Bohmer As part of the Blackfoot Phenology for Farmers course, a group of farmers, growers, and food lovers across many Indigenous territories and ecosystems have committed to one year of active ecological observation based on the Blackfoot lunar calendar. Students pick a study site in their area and visit it often in order to recognize and learn from the patterns, relationships, and cycles they observe. Here are some of their reflections from the second part of winter. The past few moon cycles have been rich with change. We have passed through both the winter solstice and the … Continue reading Delighted by Colour and Sound: Winter Reflections from the Blackfoot Phenology for Farmers Course

How to Reduce Plastic in Agriculture

Posted by Rachel Spruston on May 02, 2022

Plastic is widely used in agriculture for weed suppression, packaging, seed starting, and more. However, studies show that plastic can disrupt soil health, stunt plant growth, and leach from soils into aquatic environments. Here we dive into the issue of plastic in agriculture, and showcase Canadian farmers who’ve found alternatives. The phrase ‘plastic pollution’ is more likely to bring to mind heartbreaking photos of remote Pacific Ocean beaches littered with plastic or wildlife trapped in six-pack rings than images of earthworms and soil profiles. While marine plastic pollution tends to get the most attention, and for good reason (a recent … Continue reading How to Reduce Plastic in Agriculture

How to Apply for Farm Grants in Canada

Posted by Rachel Spruston on January 17, 2022 9 Comments

As a new farmer, access to capital in the early years of operation, or during periods of significant change such as farm transition or expansion, can be a challenge. The good news is, there are many grants available for new farmers in Canada, and we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourites below, as well as tips for applying. This post was inspired by and based on the generous expertise of Andrew Rosychuk of Rosy Farms, a regenerative haskap farm in Alberta and a speaker for our Business Bootcamp. Over the course of his farming career Andrew has become … Continue reading How to Apply for Farm Grants in Canada

Seeing with Different Eyes: Initial reflections from the Blackfoot Phenology for Farmers Course

Posted by Rachel Spruston on December 15, 2021

Blackfoot Phenology

Photo by Travis Lee, Invermere, BC As part of the Blackfoot Phenology for Farmers course, led by Beaver Bundle holder Ryan First Diver, a group of farmers, growers, and food lovers across many Indigenous territories and ecosystems have committed to one year of active ecological observation. Students pick a study site in their area and visit it often in order to recognize and learn from the patterns, relationships, and cycles they observe. (So far, students have observed and identified over 170 different species of plants, animals, and fungi at their sites.) Throughout the course, students are capturing their observations through … Continue reading Seeing with Different Eyes: Initial reflections from the Blackfoot Phenology for Farmers Course