Okanagan Farmers – Let’s Mix it Up!!!

Posted by Sara Dent on February 20, 2014

Before the days get too long, the weather too warm, and all our lives way too busy… it’s time to gather and network!!! We’re organizing to bring together as many young(ish) farmers as we can for a one-day skills share, workshop, and connection making; and a 2nd day small lot farm workshop with young farmer rockstar and author of The Market Gardener – Jean-Martin Fortier.



SWAP & SHARE: Bring food to share, seeds to swap, preserves to trade, travel-able tool(s) to show off, the best farm book(s) you’ve ever read that everyone else should know about, your innovative farm-ideas and more…

One Day Mixer Saturday March 8th, 2014, 10am-10pm:

10am – 10:45 Opening Circle  / Intro’s

10:45-1:00 pm Open Space Conference session focused on peer learning. Topics will range from land access to permaculture, organic certification, biodynamics,  production methods and more. Topics / conversations can carry over from Session 1 to Session 2.

11:00-12:00pm Open Space Conference Session 1

12:00-1:00pm Open Space Conference Session 2

1-2:30 Lunch Catered by Joy Road Catering – aren’t we lucky!

2:30 – 4:00 Afternoon Workshop Session 1

Leveraging your Experiences:  Record Keeping for Farming Success with Scott Bell

Workshop attendees will walk away empowered with the key tools to build effective record keeping resources for their farms. More importantly, the workshop will highlight how record keeping can fit painlessly into daily and seasonal workflow. Anyone farming/gardening who does not yet have an effective way to record, track and/or analyze their data will find some benefit from this session. Experience with Excel or any spreadsheet software will be helpful, as we will not cover basis spreadsheet operations (e.g. SUM, arithmetic, spreadsheet language) in this workshop. Participants may find bringing a laptop beneficial to work through spreadsheet creation during the workshop.

Bio: ‪Scott Bell is the Farm Manager at Fresh Roots and has been farming for six years in both an urban and rural context. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agroecology and worked for five years in web development and technology education. Scott has led field-based farm educational programs as well as facilitated lessons in farm systems management. He is passionate about exploring ways small-scale farming can be highly productive and financially viable thus enabling a new generation of farmers to participate in a strong region food system.

Workshop: Co-ops 101 with Heather Pritchard

Are you wondering if a coop is right for you? This workshop covers the basics of why people choose coops, how to organize one, what kind of structure best fits your situation and where you might go for further support. It will draw from case studies of “not for profit coops” organized to purchase land and “for profit worker coops” who farm the land.

Bio: Heather Pritchard is an experience organic farmer and Farm Program Manager at FarmFolk CityFolk. She lives on Fraser Common Farm Cooperative in the Fraser Valley, home of Glorious Organics Cooperative farm. Heather’s work with FarmFolk CityFolk includes co-coordinating the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Food Security for the BC region and supporting Community Farms and developing new ones. Her experience in “shared farming on shared land’ is directing her to develop on Farmland Trust which would acquire land and offer long term leases for those who would commit to farm it.

4:00 – 4:15 Break

Mojave Kaplan of the Planting Seeds Project will set-up a seed winnower after 4pm for seed cleaning. If you have seeds that you would like to clean, this will be a great time to do it.

4:15 – 5:45 Afternoon Workshop Session 2

Veggie Grower Jordan Marr on Three Years in Business: Three Mistakes, Three Successes

In this talk, Jordan Marr, owner of a certified organic market garden business in Peachland, will talk about his first three years in business, and share his three greatest business-related mistakes and three greatest successes so far. Jordan’s farm operates a fifty-member CSA, grows produce for chefs in the central Okanagan, supplies three local retail outlets, and attends the Penticton Farmers’ Market. Jordan attributes much of his success so far to his marketing and promotional efforts, and in this talk he will be sharing many of the observations he has made along the way.

Bio: Jordan Marr is an organic market gardener in Peachland at The Homestead Organic Farm, about to enter the fourth season of his own business. The farm offers a 45 family, subscription-based veggie program, sells at the Penticton Farmers Market, and supplies regional chefs and retail outlets. Previous to starting his business, Jordan completed two years of farming apprenticeships and one season as a manager of an organic market garden.

Online Marketing with Matt Gomez – What are the options, what is the ROI? 

Online Marketing Fundamentals Workshop will cover off most areas of an online strategy for your farm. Matt will run over the typical options open to you, how they work and the pro’s and con’s of the different approaches. Websites, Blogs, Search Engine Marketing, Google Maps, Email Marketing, Social Media and Directories will be covered. For all the different options he’ll also specify the different ways you can measure ROI and access their value to your business. This workshop will have an open style with plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Bio: Matt Gomez is the founder of Soil Mate, an online portal connecting consumers to their local farmers, farmers markets and wineries. Previous to that he headed up strategy and sales for Acro Media, where he determined online strategy for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to Mom and Pop operations.

5:45 – 6:00 Close

6:00 – 8:30 POTLUCK DINNER SATURDAY NIGHT – Please bring a dish to share… and invite friends! We would like this part of the weekend to include as many Okanagan farmers, food lovers, and friends as possible. *Folks coming to just the potluck do not need to register.

8:30 – 10:30 Syilx First Nation Story Telling in the Kekuli with Victoria Baptiste

* Please bring warm clothes, and musical instruments

Sunday, March 9th, 2014, 9:30 Doors, Workshop 10am-5pm with Jean-Martin Fortier, Click here for more info on this day long workshop.

VENUE: Thank you to Summerhill Winery for hosting us again this year and co-sponsoring the event. Address: 4870 Chute Lake Rd, Kelowna, BC V1W 4M3

TRAVEL: We recommend using the Facebook Event Page to connect with others and plan shared journeys.

BY DONATION: Pay what you can:) This event is being held by donation. If you are just coming on the Saturday, March 8th, suggested donation is $35. If you are also coming on Sunday, March 9th for the Jean-Martin Fortier workshop please consider donating $75. If you have already purchased your Jean-Martin Fortier workshop ticket, and want to come on the Saturday but can’t afford to pay more, use the free ticket option on eventbrite and proceed to register.

*Want to help out? Just like in the garden, we love volunteers: email theyoungagrarians@gmail.com

All proceeds from the event support Young Agrarians 2014 programming.

*If you would like to contribute, please contact theyoungagrarians@gmail.com

To join the event on Facebook and tell all of your friends about it go here: https://www.facebook.com/events/518940318219251/



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logo We LOVE you Lisa! Thanks for all of your help!