January 2021: ONLINE – Columbia Basin Mixer

Posted by Alex on November 05, 2020 2 Comments

Join us online for farm workshops and networking at the Columbia Basin Mixer! This year’s mixer will be hosted virtually throughout the month of January. Although we are not able to gather in person, we’re excited to bring you a stellar line-up of speakers from across the Columbia Basin and beyond! Join us for discussions about Indigenous land stewardship, growing your farm, online retail, climate mitigation, CSA planning, and more. We’ll also have online networking events and a farmer yoga classes. The Mixer will be hosted in Ktunaxa, Syilx, Sinixt, Secwépemc and Lheidli T’enneh Territory.  It is open to everyone who wants to join!

In the spirit of YA mixers, this will be an opportunity to engage and network, share ideas and access the knowledge and experience you need to build your farm and business for success. Let’s dive in deep together and create future resilience within the Columbia Basin foodshed!

Columbia Basin Mixer

WHEN: Weeknight evenings in January, 2021. Check out the full schedule below!

WHERE: Ktunaxa, Syilx, Sinixt, Secwépemc and Lheidli T’enneh Territory – All sessions hosted and available online

REGISTER: Register here today!

COST: The tickets for each session are on a sliding scale. Come to as many sessions as you like!

ON FACEBOOK: Share and stay up to date in the Facebook event!


SCHEDULE

We are working hard to bring you a full and inspiring agenda, and many opportunities to connect and build relationships. There will be open discussions and formal presentations – something for everyone! Based on your feedback we’ve focused on the themes of farm start up and growth, soil health, climate change mitigation and adaptation, post-harvest packaging and online sales – along with a sprinkle of other awesome topics. There is something for everyone – whether you’re growing vegetables, fruit, flowers, herbs, perennials, mushrooms, livestock and more!

You can see the full Mixer schedule below; all times are in Pacific Standard Time (PST). Blue sessions are centered around Indigenous land stewardship, green sessions are production focused, white sessions are about farm business, and pink sessions are social events.

Columbia Basin Mixer Online Schedule

Mixer Host

We would like to introduce you to our host for the Columbia Basin Mixer! Shazad was born on the beautiful island of Trinidad and Tobago and spent his early days growing up next to goats, crocodiles and mango trees. His family immigrated to Montreal where the first winter blizzard scared them to the West Coast.

Shazad’s parents have always had a garden, from their hilltop acreage near the equator to the backyard jungle next to the Skytrain. He was always requisitioned to help by holding ladders, wrapping up hose, watering plants, digging holes, and weeding, weeding, weeding. He studied biology in Prince George where he learnt about food security, organic gardening and how to be a cowboy. After university he spent time helping his family set up their award winning garden in Mission, before embarking to Nelson.

Shazad is excited to hold virtual space with you and together embark on a fun month of connecting, learning, sharing and laughing! Oh and he really likes punny jokes, so make sure you dust off your favorite farm jokes to share with him.


Session Descriptions and Speaker Bios

YOGA FOR THE FARM-BOD with Shazad Shah

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoJoin Shazad for 45 minutes of stretching designed just for farmers. A nice full body routine that you can do in the morning or in the evening to help ward off stiffness and soreness. We will focus on areas of the lower back, hips, legs and shoulders, and give options for people of all ages and abilities. Everyone is welcome, whether you’re an experienced yogi(ni) or just trying it for the first time!


CSA PLANNING with Frédéric Thériault (Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm)

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoThis workshop provides a structure for figuring out how to make money with a market garden. It hones in on core decisions of farm success: which crops to grow, when to plant them, and in what quantities. Then it provides a logical, linear process for getting it all done, on time. The workshop is offered online, and includes small exercises for participants to learn how to apply the knowledge gained.

Frédéric Thériault is one of 7 members at Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm, in Quebec. Founded in 2005, the farm sells organic baskets to 720 local families, and seeds to customers across Canada. Frédéric holds a BSc, and a MSc in Plant Sciences and Agriculture. He has taught at the University and College level, and is the co-author of “Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers”.


ONLINE SALES & PRODUCT HANDLING AND PACKAGING with Hailey Troock (Young Agrarians),  Nyree Marsh (Basin Business Advisors), and Jessica Piccinin (Root and Vine Acres)

You’ve spent all season growing beautiful food and now it’s time to make this bounty available to your customers! This transition requires handling your food properly to ensure food safety and packaging the food in a way that draws customers in. Jessica will be talking about the systems that her farm is using to create safe and attractive packaging for the meat, eggs, and veggies they sell. 

With ever-increasing options to market and sell online, how do you know what the right channels and tools are for you? This webinar will cover considerations for choosing the right ecommerce platform, marketplace or software for your business, strategies for online marketing, search engine optimization and more! This will be an interactive session where participants will have the chance to engage with two experienced online sales workshop facilitators through out so come prepared with your questions.

columbia basin mixerRoot & Vine Acres is a 10 acre farm located in Wynndel, BC focusing on pasture raised meats. Berkshire and Mangalitsa hogs are their primary animals though they have a small herd of Texas Long Horn cattle and Boer goats. They also have a market garden and grow handfuls of fresh berries. You may have seen Jessica at Farmers markets around the Kootenays over the past 12 years or in her food truck “The Peppered Pig” – created to sell #realgoodlocalfood. In 2020 Jessica developed/expanded her delivery route throughout the West and East Kootenays, which now includes products from other complimentary farmers from the Creston Valley.

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoAs the Columbia Basin Land Matcher, Hailey spends her time connecting farmers, landowners, and allies in the region. Prior to working with YA, Hailey worked for Shopify in ecommerce support and has facilitated multiple workshops for small business and entrepreneurs as a consultant. She is the author of the DIY Website Toolkit for Farmers and Food Producers on the YA Blog!

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoNyree is a business owner who has over 20 years of hands-on experience in and knowledge of agriculture. In early 2020, Nyree joined the Basin Business Advisors Program as the Agriculture Specialist, she provides free one-to-one advisement for agriculture businesses within the Columbia Basin. Prior to joining the BBA, Nyree established farm businesses and worked with existing farmers within Canada and overseas. 


SMALL-SCALE AGROFORESTRY with Kim Watt (Thimble Hill Nursery)

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoThimble Hill is a small perennial-focused farm near Nelson BC. Our new experimental orchard has a wide diversity of fruit trees, nut trees, and edible perennial crops on just over 1 acre of land. The orchard acts as a genetic library for our plant nursery as well a place to trial uncommon perennial crops for the Kootenay region. Through a virtual tour of the farm, we’ll talk about ecological orcharding, composting and soil building, carbon sequestration, passive solar greenhouses, and our reasons for developing a small-scale nursery. We’ll introduce the different systems of agroforestry — alley cropping, forest farming, silvopasture, production agroforestry, windbreaks, and riparian buffers — and talk about why we need more farms that are focused on diversified perennial crops.

Kim Watt has been developing Thimble Hill since 2018. She is a graduate of the Linnaea Farm Ecological Gardening Programme and the Cascadia Permaculture Teacher Training program, and has been studying and working in ecological agriculture for 15 years.


BUILDING DIVERSIFIED & RESILIENT MARKETS IN START-UP with Matt Carr (Linden Lane Farms), Alys Ford (Ravine Creek Farm), and Nyree Marsh (Basin Business Advisors)

The pandemic has put a lot of strain on our food system and the resiliency of farms was really put to the test. In this panel discussion we’ll hear about how farmers pivoted their business to adapt to a dramatically different market during the 2020 growing season. We’ll learn about how to create diverse market streams during start up so that farms can be resilient in the face of dramatic and sudden changes.

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoMatthew is the owner of Linden Lane Farms, a diversified organic market garden and nursery that focuses on production, research and education. Along with managing the farm’s day to day operations in Krestova, Matthew is an articling agrologist who provides research and consultation, specializing in horticultural agronomy, for both hobbyists and commercial producers.

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoAlys Ford is co-owner of Ravine Creek Farm, a Certified Organic family run farm in the Slocan Valley, Sinixt Territory, BC. We actively farm 3 acres in mixed vegetables and hay.

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoNyree is a business owner who has over 20 years of hands-on experience in and knowledge of agriculture. In early 2020, Nyree joined the Basin Business Advisors Program as the Agriculture Specialist, she provides free one-to-one advisement for agriculture businesses within the Columbia Basin. Prior to joining the BBA, Nyree established farm businesses and worked with existing farmers within Canada and overseas. 


MEET YOUR NEIGHBOUR NETWORKING

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoThis collaborative conversation will be all about meeting farmers in your region! We’ll be hosting small group sessions where you can chat with your neighbours about everything from the weather to growing tips & tricks to local sales channels. Pour a glass of your favourite beverage and join us online!

 


ON FARM WATER PLANNING with Andrew Bennet (Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors)

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoAndrew’s session will take a broad view on the main kinds of water management problems he’s encountered on farms, and some of the best ideas. We’ll answer the basic questions, like how much water do I need, and what can I do if I don’t have enough? We’ll briefly tour some of the most useful, free online resources, from water budget calculators and soil survey maps, to irrigation schedulers, water license searches, and information on wells and aquifers. Andrew will plug some of the videos he’s been putting together for the Climate Action Initiative that showcase the best and the worst of on-farm water management in the Kootenays and Boundary, and we should have lots of time to dive into Q&A.

Andrew Bennett is a farm advisor and irrigation designer who lives in Rossland with his wife and three young boys on their mixed mountainside farm. He works with the Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors, the BC-Canada Environmental Farm Plan, and on a variety of other agroecological contracts. He loves helping farms build more resilient “systems,” from water management to grazing plans, and riparian regeneration to vegetative buffers.


GROWING THE FARM: HIRING & PAYING FARM WORKERS with Rita Kim (Partners for Growth) and Lydia Ryall (Cropthorne Farm)

Is it time to grow your farm and hire one (or more!) employees? Join this workshop to learn about best practices for hiring farm workers. The presentation will focus on payroll details, hiring regulations and creating a farm culture to attract and retain employees. We’ll also hear about one farmers experiences going from a farm of one to a farm crew of 10 with lessons learned along the way. Topics will include how and where to advertise, benefits and bonuses, what to pay and the importance of retention.

Columbia Basin Mixer Online Photo

Lydia Ryall is the owner and head farmer at Cropthorne Farm. Founded in 2009, Cropthorne Farm is a 24 acre certified organic vegetable farm focusing on year round growing on Westham Island in Delta, BC.

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoAs the Founder and CEO of Partners for Growth, Rita Kim is a finance industry specialist that has a genuine passion and expertise to help companies bridge the gap between growth and capital. Her background of living the life of a successful entrepreneur and past banker has given her the ability to see and truly understand both sides of the picture and this is why her success rate in obtaining capital has always been 100%. She enjoys sharing her passion, learnings and love of business resulting in the beautiful ripple effect of direct and indirect impact to a single business, the community and our entire economy.


SHOP TALK: PRODUCTION NETWORKING

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoTime to trade pro tips with your fellow producers! We’ll have break out rooms available for every type of farming – mushrooms, cattle, chickens, vegetables, flowers, fruit and nuts, and more. We’ll also have rooms to chat about farm business management including marketing, packaging, agrotourism, and education. Don’t miss this opportunity to network with the amazing farmers in the Young Agrarians community!


SACRED RELATIONSHIP: NAVIGATING INDIGENOUS APPROACHES TO HOLISTIC STEWARDSHIP with Julian Napoleon (Amisk Farm) and Tiffany Traverse (Fourth Sister Farm)

An opportunity to connect with some Indigenous farmer folk that are envisioning pathways to nurturing abundance and community. Learn about the work Tiffany and Julian are doing before delving into a group discussion of issues surrounding farming on occupied Indigenous territories.

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoJulian Napoleon (he/him) is Dane-zaa and Cree and lives, hunts, gathers, and grows in his traditional territory within Treaty 8. Napoleon is currently bringing together his background in Indigenous land based knowledge, ecological restoration, biology, and organic farming in guiding forward the creation of Amisk Farm. Named after one of the original Cree names for the watershed, Amisk Farm is a beautiful off-grid site located along the shores of what has come to known as the Moberly River. The farm is dedicated to fostering sacred land stewardship and providing healthy and healing foods to the local community.

columbia basin mixerTiffany Traverse of Fourth Sister Farm, is a Secwépemc/Swiss Italian farmer, land and seed steward, language learner, and food sovereignty advocate. Her passion for feeding people and firm belief in the right to healthy, culturally-appropriate foods for all, drives her work. She is excited about dismantling structural racism in institutions and conducting experimental plant breeding projects to adapt nutrient-dense cultivars to our changing climate. As a guest in Treaty 8 territory, Tiffany participates in variety trials through CANOVI and Seed Savers Exchange, and ongoing Indigenous seed grow-outs, including a rare collection under the mentorship of Métis Seedkeeper Caroline Chartrand. As a volunteer Advisory Council member with the Community Seed Network and new Board Member at SeedChange, her hope is to create better access to resources and increase our collective seed and food security and sovereignty.


KNOW YOUR COST OF PRODUCTION with Chris Bodnar (Close to Home Organics)

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoKnowing your cost of production is a foundational piece of information that helps you manage your business. This session will review two ways you can calculate your cost of production for the various crops you grow. Then we will review how to use this information to inform your decision-making process in your farm.

Chris Bodnar farms vegetables with his wife Paige in Abbotsford. Their business, Close to Home Organics, sells to wholesale buyers, through farmers markets and through a Community Shared Agriculture program at Glen Valley Organic Farm. He provides business coaching and development support to farmers as a consultant through the BC Agri-Business Planning Program and mentorship through the Young Agrarians Business Mentorship Program. He developed and teaches the Business of Agriculture course at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Sustainable Agriculture program and chairs the Board of Directors of Mount Lehman Credit Union. Particular interests include co-operative development in the agricultural sector.


REGENERATIVE GRAZING PANEL with Erin Harris (Kootenay Meadows),  Eric Moes (Little Fork Ranch), and Forest McCormack (McCormack Farm)

Join in on a conversation with three fantastic people doing regenerative grazing in the Columbia Basin. We’ll talk about how regenerative grazing can be applied within large ranches, mixed-species systems, and dairy farms. Learn ways to improve your own grazing practices and how regenerative grazing is being implemented in the Columbia Basin.

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoErin Harris is a 2nd generation grass-based dairy farmer at Kootenay Meadows in the beautiful Creston Valley, currently completing farm succession with her parents. Grazing is what led us to organics and has continued to play a pivotal role in how we farm, how we see soils and how we want to design our entire farm system.

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoTogether with his wife Karis, Eric owns and operates Little Fork Ranch in Greenwood. Little Fork is a pasture-based, multi-species livestock operation that is committed to partnering with nature in order to produce real food. When he isn’t chasing animals with electric poly-wire, Eric is involved in a local co-operative project with the goal of increasing meat processing capacity in the Boundary region.

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoMcCormack Farm is a mixed Beef and Poultry Farm with a focus on raising healthy food on healthy pasture. Holistic management has played a huge role in the transition from conventional to regenerative agriculture on our farm. Each cow here has a story, a lineage, a personality, and a name. During the growing season we rotate our cattle through our paddock system which currently has 16 individual working units but building it to 28 in the near future. Farming in concert with nature has become not only a viable economic enterprise it has been an extremely pleasurable lifestyle as well.


FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT BASICS FOR FARMS with Chris Bodnar (Close to Home Organics)

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoNot many people go into farming to be able to do bookkeeping. Yet having a gasp of your numbers is a powerful tool to help you understand your business and make effective management decisions. In this session we will review how to set up basic financial control systems and how to make use of the information accumulated through this work.

Chris Bodnar farms vegetables with his wife Paige in Abbotsford. Their business, Close to Home Organics, sells to wholesale buyers, through farmers markets and through a Community Shared Agriculture program at Glen Valley Organic Farm. He provides business coaching and development support to farmers as a consultant through the BC Agri-Business Planning Program and mentorship through the Young Agrarians Business Mentorship Program. He developed and teaches the Business of Agriculture course at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Sustainable Agriculture program and chairs the Board of Directors of Mount Lehman Credit Union. Particular interests include co-operative development in the agricultural sector.


FILM NIGHT & DISCUSSION showing GATHER: The Fight to Revitalize Our Native Foodways

Columbia Basin Mixer Online PhotoJoin us for a film screening and discussion of the beautiful movie Gather: The Fight to Revitalize Our Native Foodways. Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide.

Gather follows Nephi Craig, a chef from the White Mountain Apache Nation (Arizona), opening an indigenous café as a nutritional recovery clinic; Elsie Dubray, a young scientist from the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation (South Dakota), conducting landmark studies on bison; and the Ancestral Guard, a group of environmental activists from the Yurok Nation (Northern California), trying to save the Klamath river.


Support

The Columbia Basin Mixer is funded by the Columbia Basin Trust and sponsored by Johnny’s Seeds. Thank you for your generous support!

Columbia Basin Mixer Online Photo

Columbia Basin Mixer Online Photo

Thank you to Elizabeth Quinn, Patrick Steiner, Mick Wilson, Rachael Roussin, Melissa Hemphill, Alison Bell, and Forest McCormack for their help in promoting the Columbia Basin Mixer.

Columbia Basin Mixer Online Poster

2 thoughts on “January 2021: ONLINE – Columbia Basin Mixer

  1. Hi I am interested to know if there is an event like this planned for the shuswap okanagan area. I currently live in Castlegar and plan to move back to the shuswap. Some of the workshops would be helpful regardless of where I live. I would like to network with people from the shuswap area if I plan to move back there. Can you put me in touch with the facilitator for that region?

    1. Hi Kate,

      Thanks for your comment. We don’t have an Okanagan Mixer planned for this year, unfortunately! We encourage you to register for the Columbia Basin Mixer as we will have a networking session with all BC regions- folks are joining from all over BC and beyond.
      I’ll send you an email and connect you with Tessa, the Land Matcher for Thompson-Okanagan. She will have some ideas for who/where to reach out to!

      Cheers,
      Michi

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