Blog Category: Essays and Opinions

Celebrating Black History Month: 8 Contributions of Black Farmers to Regenerative Agriculture

Posted by Michalina Hunter on February 01, 2024 6 Comments

8 Contributions of Black Farmers to Regenerative Agriculture

Photo via Grist As an organization that works to increase access to land for new and young farmers, we deeply acknowledge the racism and inequality within our food systems. Farming in North America takes place on the stolen lands of Indigenous peoples, and is built on the enslavement and exploitation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC). Check out the documentaries We Are the Roots and Secret Alberta: The Former Life of Amber Valley to learn more. For agriculture to be truly regenerative, as a society, we must address the embedded racism that permeates our communities and institutions. Major contributions … Continue reading Celebrating Black History Month: 8 Contributions of Black Farmers to Regenerative Agriculture

Meet Tishawni Ellery of Sundog Organic Farm!

Posted by Chantelle Chan on January 11, 2024

This is the first of a four-part series of farmer interviews conducted by students in a Community Service Learning course at the University of Alberta. Nayeon Kim interviewed Tishawni Ellery of Sundog Organic Farm, and wrote this heartfelt blog post. We’re delighted to share these farmer stories with you! Tishawni Ellery is an up-and-coming farmer at Sundog Organic Farm who is passionate about the environment and farming! In 2021, Tishawni completed the Young Agrarians Apprenticeship Program, and below she tells us about her experience working in regenerative farming and the importance of getting back to our roots.   Tell us … Continue reading Meet Tishawni Ellery of Sundog Organic Farm!

How to Choose Your Farm Marketing Channels: A Discussion with Established Farmers

Posted by Andrew Adams on December 20, 2023

SHE SELLS SEASHELLS BY THE SEASHORE. WHERE DO YOU SELL YOURS? Every new farmer is faced with the question: Where will I sell my products? There are many different sales models to consider – here, we offer wisdom from veteran farmers across B.C. on how to determine what kind of marketing approach might work best for you. Farmer, Know Thyself: matching your marketing strategy to your lifestyle Knowing who you are as a person, what you can handle and where your values sit is imperative to choosing your marketing channel. Our number one tip: getting hands-on farm experience and seeing … Continue reading How to Choose Your Farm Marketing Channels: A Discussion with Established Farmers

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Michelle Dubois – Triple Lyoness Farm

Posted by Marsha Shack on November 07, 2023

Michelle Dubios is one of the apprentices who joined the 2023 cohort of the Young Agrarians Apprenticeship Program (YAAP) on the Prairies. YAAP is a full immersion initiative that pairs aspiring farmers with host farms to gain skills and knowledge on how to manage their own farms someday. Michelle’s host farm @triplelyonessfarm is near Westlock, Alberta and she shared with us her experience so far this season. “Peanut and Pistachio were amongst our newest additions this week and they have a very interesting story. Pistachio was born the smaller of the twins and we had to bottle feed him for the … Continue reading NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Michelle Dubois – Triple Lyoness Farm

Why I Still Believe in Co-ops

Posted by Emi Do on September 19, 2023

There was a moment at a Young Agrarians farm potluck many moons ago, where I felt in my gut, “I think these are my people.” Maybe it was the unabashed way folks were chowing down on food, or the laugh lines etched into tired suntanned faces. My guess, though, is that I felt like I was among folks who, like me, were unwilling to let the big problems of the world get in the way of carving out a solution: action-oriented, spirited, and full of grit.  Fifteen years later, whether due to aching backs, low profit margins, or the looming … Continue reading Why I Still Believe in Co-ops

Soil Testing: How to Interpret Results and Calculate Fertilizer Needs

Posted by Andrew Adams on February 23, 2023

One fundamental piece of agriculture is the soil. Soil, being composed of billions of organisms with their complex relationships and nutrient exchanges. It can be a bit overwhelming to understand it all and nor do I claim to. At a minimum, basic understanding of some of the relationships and nutrient exchanges is however, a critical piece in any agricultural endeavor.  Wondering how to achieve optimal soil health? Read on to learn more about how to sample, test, and interpret soil tests for your farm. If the law of conservation of mass and energy holds to be true, then we can … Continue reading Soil Testing: How to Interpret Results and Calculate Fertilizer Needs

Could have should have would have: Three things farmers wish they would have known when they started.

Posted by Andrew Adams on February 10, 2023

Could have should have would have Hindsight is always 20:20 right? You never know what you should know until you’ve crossed the river of learning and experience. Most of us learn by trial and error and in fact it’s often one of the best teachers as you learn both sides of the coin.  When we began farming in 2010 and then started our own farm in 2011, I was  27.  I had grown up in rural Kansas with a family hobby farm, a BSc in Agricultural Sciences, and worked as a forest ecologist. With my experience and education I thought … Continue reading Could have should have would have: Three things farmers wish they would have known when they started.

Employees wanted: Hiring that special 1.3% of the population

Posted by Andrew Adams on January 26, 2023

It’s the deep of winter and many of us farmers are finalizing crop plans. We’re also looking at our labour needs on our farm for the season, so I thought I would share thoughts and tips for addressing your labour needs on your farm.  We’ve yet to enter the age of the Jetsons, though we are getting closer every day. Until the day comes when automation and robots do most physical labour, the human power component of a farm is integral to its success.  I’d rather see the human component in agriculture continue and only become better in terms of … Continue reading Employees wanted: Hiring that special 1.3% of the population

Aiming for the stars within: Setting goals and benchmarks on the farm

Posted by Andrew Adams on January 18, 2023

Creating a trajectory for achieving a personal/farm business goal feels like what I imagine Mario feels like when he attains a “star” in the OG Mario Brothers game for Nintendo. You are bright, flashing with energy and moving quickly while avoiding obstacles and tactically knocking over Koopa troopas and Goombas (risk) in pursuit of your raised flag pole. It’s exhilarating. As we begin a new turn around the sun, many folks have set their new year resolutions – and if you are a farmer, you have likely analyzed last year’s data and begun crop planning for the upcoming season. Creating … Continue reading Aiming for the stars within: Setting goals and benchmarks on the farm

Below the snow: What plants can tell us when we can’t see the soil

Posted by Andrew Adams on December 16, 2022

Sitting there at your computer desk, easy chair or couch, dreaming of starting your own farm in the depths of winter? Let me share some tips and tricks, which you can use when you find that dream property covered in snow and want to know what’s below. Sometimes winter is the only time of the year when there is time to go exploring land. When you live in a region that has snow for six months or longer, you can’t let the snow keep you from walking over potential properties for your farming adventure less they get gobbled up before … Continue reading Below the snow: What plants can tell us when we can’t see the soil