Blog Category: Guides

Employees wanted: Hiring that special 1.3% of the population

Posted by Andrew Adams on January 26, 2023

 As it’s January and we are finalizing crop plans and looking at our labour needs on our farm for the season and I thought I would share thoughts and tips for your labour needs on  your farm.  We’ve yet to enter the age of the jetsons, though we are getting closer every day. Until that 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 conditions and wages. Each step we take … 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

How to Make a Boot Dip to Prevent Infectious Diseases

Posted by Michalina Hunter on May 18, 2022

boot dip

Boot dips can reduce the spread of infectious diseases among farm livestock. Avian Influenza, for example, can be transmitted from bird to bird by feces, dust, and dander. Humans can facilitate the spread of the virus by unintentionally tracking these materials from farm to farm on their shoes. A boot dip is a disinfectant foot bath used to kill disease-causing organisms on footwear, used to prevent the spread of livestock diseases. A boot dip may be a good idea for you and your staff to use before you enter your brooder or chicken coop as a way to prevent diseases … Continue reading How to Make a Boot Dip to Prevent Infectious Diseases

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 Support New Farmers in Alberta

Posted by Michelle Lam on March 16, 2022 2 Comments

Do you want to continue the conversation? We’re looking for people to advise us on the next steps to support new farmers in Alberta. Reach out to Alex at alex@youngagrarians.org.

How to Apply for Farm Grants in Canada

Posted by Rachel Spruston on January 17, 2022 15 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

How To Start Farming In Alberta

Posted by Michelle Lam on September 03, 2021 4 Comments

How to start farming in Alberta

A starter kit for those wondering how to start farming in Alberta. Young Agrarians (YA) is a farmer to farmer educational resource network for new and young ecological, organic and regenerative farmers in Canada. Read more about us here. Young Agrarians recognizes the unresolved Indigenous land title and rights in the diverse territories in what is today called Canada. As we live and work in the context of and in response to a colonial system of laws and policies, it is important to acknowledge the historical and ongoing impact of agriculture and land enclosure on Indigenous lands and food systems. In … Continue reading How To Start Farming In Alberta

How to Select Vegetable Varieties for Greenhouse Growing

Posted by Michalina Hunter on June 04, 2021

How to Select Vegetable Varieties for Greenhouse Growing

Got a new greenhouse or poly tunnel and wondering what varieties to plant? Experiencing issues with low yields or disease in your greenhouse? Check out this interview with Gemma McNeill, Owner-Operator of Zaklan Farm, a suburban microfarm in Surrey, British Columbia. Once you’ve gleaned some wisdom from Gemma, you may want to learn more. We recommend you follow up by reading an outline on how to select vegetable varieties for greenhouse growing, plus recommendations for the best greenhouse tomato, pepper, cucumber, eggplant, and lettuce varieties to try, from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Photo above is of Gemma by Zaklan Farm. Greenhouse … Continue reading How to Select Vegetable Varieties for Greenhouse Growing

How to Plan a Market Garden

Posted by Michalina Hunter on February 04, 2021

how to plan a market garden

This post covers the basics of planning a market garden (or backyard garden), including tools from Johnny’s Seeds for calculating the amount of seed you’ll need and crop yields. An Intro to Johnny’s Seed Quantity Calculators & Yield Charts • How to measure • How much of what to plant • How far apart • To produce just so much? Planning your market garden layout is one of the more challenging annualized tasks of vegetable production, because multiple goals must be rolled into the planning process. Rotations, planting dates, days to maturity, duration of harvest, labour resources, and even microclimates … Continue reading How to Plan a Market Garden