Thank you to everyone who has been participating in the Columbia Basin Mixer! We’ve had some incredible workshops so far and we can’t wait to share all the great learning with everyone. On this page, you’ll find the needs and opportunities that people wish to share, many farming resources to help you bring your farming to the next level, and a recap of all the workshops (including recordings where possible) from the Mixer. Enjoy the resources and recap for the Columbia Basin Mixer!
Don’t forget to check out the full schedule for the Columbia Basin Mixer and to register for the workshops in January 2021!
NEEDS & OPPORTUNITIES
To support networking in this virtual space, we’re posting the needs and opportunities that some participants have shared in the registration form. We encourage you to take a look and reach out to your fellow farmers!
|NEED OR OPPORTUNITY||CONTACT INFORMATION|
|I’m here to learn about extension needs for firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Wanting to start a public food forest in Kimberley in email@example.com|
|I’m a consultant and can help with farm viability assessments and business firstname.lastname@example.org|
|We may have a job opportunity on our vegetable and flower farm. We will know more by the email@example.com|
|Starting a farm and new to the area, seeking peer connection and mentor firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Looking for land, or management possibilities around the Columbia Basin / Kootenays/ Okanagan. As well as any and all information and experiences in starting a small scale regenerative email@example.com or 4038604119|
|Have a position for a potential landshare partner for farming (various options to incubate) and hiring for a number of positions for farmers/value-added design & creations/CSA for folks who have been EI in the last firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Looking for help in farm and marketing||2506661177|
|I am in the process of turning my grandparents’ land into an urban farm in Strathmore AB.||email@example.com|
|Start up info is most interesting to me but all knowledge is appreciated! Thank you!||Katiekatie.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|We are seeking a collaborator / farm email@example.com|
|Could use help or a farm hand. After chores are done enjoy training and working with firstname.lastname@example.org|
|I am gleaning ideas and knowledge to start an urban market garden from the bottom up. The space will also be an educational space for youth and the elderly. I am looking to learn how to build soil, greenhouse designs, advise on livestock ideal for a small space, high value crop ideas, ideas for tools, biodynamic farming techniques, pest management, and financial email@example.com|
|I am an artist/photographer working on a project about young farmers in Canada and as well, I moved out to the country and am looking for information on starting a small scale firstname.lastname@example.org|
|I have land and want to learn how to develop it to be more self sufficient and potentially earn a income||Jeanette_35@hotmail.com|
|Looking for farm hands in 2021.||Job packages to email@example.com|
|Have: Job opportunity/housing, experience w vegetable farming, bee keeping, chickens, horses and social media/branding
Need: support w organic pest management, organic nutrients, blueprint or experience w building a root cellar
|Starting/Expanding a CSAfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Kalesnikoff Lumber is proposing an agroforestry pilot project on Crown lands near Nelson BC to help reduce wildfire risk while increasing local food security. We are seeking collaborators to help bring the Selous in Bloom project to email@example.com|
|Starting a flower farm and mixed vegetables on the Sunshine Coast this year. First time farming and huge learning curve ahead 🙂||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|We are looking for other farmers to purchase land with. We are working with Tessa [Okanagan Land Matcher] to send an announcement email@example.com|
|I am starting a small garden centre with long-term goals of offering local products, plastic free plant seedlings, organic tools, plants and provisions for sustainable gardens. I would be happy to offer discounts on anything needed by local food producers that I carry. I am also happy to collaborate and help sell local, applicable firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Permaculture Teacher with insight to email@example.com|
|Looking for a farm for myself and my 4yr old son to live and work on with firstname.lastname@example.org 250 307 4627|
|work exchange for cabin on farm for a woman email@example.com|
|I am a student researcher with the LUGE Lab at UBC. We are currently looking for BC vegetable farmers to share their experience via our short survey which includes questions about field management, technology use, and employment practices.
The survey is offered in English, Punjabi and Chinese and participants will be entered to win one of twenty $50 gift cards for Lee Valley Tools!https://ubc.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_25gdBpxFy9oGm5TThank you in advance to all those who get a chance to check out the survey, we really do appreciate your time and input!
|Will be looking for land if not this season then hopefully next. Currently looking in Fruitvale, and will hopefully be looking in Nakusp in the future. Would also love the opportunity to work for or volunteer with a farmer in Fruitvale part-time (I’m currently on mat leave but would love more experience).||Michelle: firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-215-1509|
|I am a land owner / former farmer, and have leased our land to active farmers for past 6 years. They are moving on, and I am exploring next steps. I am very interested in regenerative agriculture and ways to build resilient soils to withstand climate email@example.com|
My husband and I have recently moved to B.C. (in Kimberley currently), with the hope of eventually obtaining land and starting a farm and orchard of our own in the West Kootenays in a few years. We’d like to find a farm/orchard that would be willing to apprentice/mentor us for the 2021 season, ideally a mixed farm that encompasses orchard management, animal husbandry, growing vegetables, etc.
Accommodation will not be required as we are currently completing an off-grid bus conversion, and are only requesting a small monthly stipend to live on. Mostly we are just looking for knowledge/experience from others that are already living and growing in the Kootenays. My husband is a journeyman welder and mechanic, my background is in nutrition and food science (and several years in the banking industry).
|Permaculture designer, agroforestry consultant and farmer with 30 years experience in the Columbia Basin and across Canada. Also implementing riparian and wetland restoration projects in the Kootenays.||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|This is my first year with 1/2 an acre of leased email@example.com|
|As Exec Director of the Boreal Centre for Sustainability and 30 year practicing agrologist and planner, I have valuable insight and experience in sustainable community development with experience in resource stewardship, water mgt and food firstname.lastname@example.org|
|I am a young farmer looking to work a full season in the kootenay region to gain more experience, and eventually start my own farm business on available land. Please contact for any job opportunities or other empowering information.||416-989-2444/ email@example.com|
|I am searching for avenues to become involved in regenerative livestock grazing in the lower mainland, BC.||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|I am planning to start a very small backyard nursery this year and am looking for any helpful email@example.com|
|We purchased a farm last year near Greenwood BC and are interested in food forestry and craft cider. We’re looking to recruit a farmer to work with us. We’re getting started with Young Agrarian’s land matching program and hope to post more about our farm opportunity soon. For now, some pictures are available at Bombini.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Out of curiosity – done some light farming and working in agriculture now.||6046714852|
|Looking to move to the area and interesting in networking and learning from Columbia Basin email@example.com|
|We will have a job posting for a part time farm worker to help with our market garden in Passmore area this firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Just here to learn and be inspired and gain knowledge for the future! 🙂||2509480738|
|I’m interested in farming in the Columbia Valley (flowers, veg and bees) and am looking to learn more about land and local email@example.com|
|We are hiring a Field Manager (full time April/May – Oct/Nov) this year (posting on YA website soon), and also hiring a Farm Hand (May- Oct). Seeking: leased land for 2022 season in North Okanagan/Shuswap area.||Emily – firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Raising meat rabbit email@example.com|
|live in East Vancouver but have farm in Tri-Cities – currently only selling eggs with other items for personal consumption and sharing – need to update/fix/create growing spaces in East Vancouver home, wanting to expand to chicken meat for firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Looking to hire a farm hand for 2021 season. Full time May-October. Victoria, BC. No accommodation email@example.com|
|We have two job opportunities at our organization. https://firstname.lastname@example.org|
|I manage a food rescue charity called Leftoversemail@example.com|
|We have recently purchased 40 acres of Land in the ALR. Open to all connections.||Becky Pelkonen, Becky@pelkonen.ca|
|New sheep farmer – wool and meat production. All connections welcome – especially other shepherds in the lower mainland/gulf island firstname.lastname@example.org|
|We offer a Market Gardener Program through NICemail@example.com|
|I do Agriculture business firstname.lastname@example.org|
|I’m currently searching for farm apprenticeship/community agriculture positions in BC. I’m a professional writer, editor, and project manager by trade, have 5+ years of farm volunteer experience, and am taking courses in food security through Ryerson University. Look forward to meeting you email@example.com|
|Looking to connect with shiitake mushroom cultivators, I would like to incorporate log production on my firstname.lastname@example.org|
|From Ontario, launching farm biz on Georgian bay. Happy to network 🙂||Kristynlandry@gmail.com|
|Upcoming volunteer opportunities.||604.369.2627|
|need: upcoming growing season full-time farm email@example.com|
Contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be included in this list.
Are you itching to learn more about farming? Then check out these amazing resources from farmers in the Columbia Basin and beyond!
Winter Crop Storage (KBFA Virtual Field Day)
Wild Flight Organic Farm grows a range of winter storage crops including carrots, cabbage, onions, potatoes and squash that are sold through the winter at farmers’ markets and wholesale channels. This field day provides a virtual tour of winter storage and packing areas and address questions of humidity, air circulation and temperature for specific vegetables. Check out the full recording of the winter crop storage field day.
Mechanization for Harvesting and Cultivating Field Crops (KBFA Virtual Field Day)
Hermann and Louise Bruns of Wild Flight Farm lead us through a virtual field day demonstrating his favourite equipment for weeding and cultivating field crops. This was a live ‘in field’ demonstration and Q & A. Equipment highlights included: basket weeder, under cutter, potato digger and hiller. Check out the full recording of the virtual field day.
Crimping Cover Crops (KBFA)
Erin and Wayne Harris of Kootenay Meadows Farm, Creston, BC, take us along as they experiment with crimping a fall rye cover crop to reseed a field to an alfalfa-sainfoin-legume-grass forage blend. Check out this video to learn more about how crimping cover crops can help with replenishing a field to improve the grazing capacity!
ECommerce Tips, Tricks & Tools
Are you looking to move your business online, transition from what you’re currently using, or integrate Point of Sale with your online sales for your farm or food business? This article will provide a toolkit for farmers and food producers who would like to build or manage their own online business, or be better equipped to work with a web or marketing professional. Read the full ecommerce for farmers article.
Do you have another great farming resources you’d like the Young Agrarians community to know about? Email the content to Alex at email@example.com
Check back throughout January as we post workshop recaps and recordings!
Yoga for the Farm-Bod
Join Shazad for two sessions of stretching designed to ease the demands that farming put on your body!
Frédéric Thériault of Tourne-Sol Co-operative, introduced us to the first two steps in planning a CSA. “Setting Your Financial Goals” and “Develop a Marketing Plan” covers the backbone of planning a profitable farm; from calculations of sales and revenue and what it looks like on a per foot bed plot, to how the produce is sold in various sales outlets (farmers markets and CSA). Frédéric demonstrated the planning through input-output calculations, spreadsheets, and how new farmers should plan harvest-revenue calculations.
In the second part of this two day workshop we further explored crop planning and planting & harvesting schedules. This planning involved inputting data – such as days to maturity and average yields – into spreadsheets to determine staggered planting, harvesting and greenhouse schedule. During the workshop we also determined many outputs, including seed quantity needed for planting with ‘safety factors’ built into the entire process. Through giving us a brief overview of the 11 step process in his co-authored book “Crop Planning for Vegetable Growers”, we got a glimpse into what it takes to plan a successful CSA.
Note: the recording is not publicly available but has been sent out to all participants.
Online Sales & Product Handling
The evening began with Jessica Piccinin, farmer extraordinaire at Roots and Vine Acre in Creston BC, where she told us about the packaging, labeling, and distribution of their meat, and the hurdles that they have faced including recalls, tracking, and working with abattoirs and butchers. After a short break we were joined by Hailey Troock and Nyree Marsh as they introduced us to the basics of online sales platforms and the elements that we need to consider when moving a farm business online. We learned about ‘Google my business’, hashtags (#), the relationship between cellulars and desktop/laptop purchasing and more.
Kim Watt of Thimblehill Nursery introduced us to the joys and importance of perennials. From creating sanctuaries for beneficial animals to what successional growing could look like with alley planting of perennials and the associated carbon sinking and season extension that can occur. We learned from her lived experiences of working difficult land, and planning for long term growth, and seeing how she planned around the topography of her land was invaluable. Ending the workshop we learned about the layers of the canopy and the benefits of working with mixed annual/perennial land.
Building Diversified & Resilient Markets in Start-up
Tonight we had a chance to hear from three panelists, each with a unique story. Nyree Marsh from the Basin Business Advisory, introduced us to the foundation of planning a farm followed by Matt Carr from Linden Farms who took us through the history of his farm, and the places he built resilience throughout the years. Alys Ford from Raven Creek Farms shared important lessons and the valuable understanding around technical versus existential problems. Questions to the panelists followed their introduction, which covered topics such as providing food to grocers, e-sales platforms, pivoting CSA and what the future looks like for their farms.
On Farm Water Planning
Andrew Bennett introduced us to planning for water management on the farm. From providing adequate systems maintenance, to using the right size pipes to limit excessive flow pressure friction and hammering, Andrew went through some of the mechanical needs for on-farm water provisions. After that, we nerded out on formulas to calculate evapotranspiration of plants in order to understand how much water is needed at peak growing season. Ending the presentation, Andrew answered questions from the participants and went through some valuable websites for water planning.
Growing the Farm: Hiring and Paying Farm Workers
Tonight we had the opportunity to learn about the steps and procedures needed for adding employees to your farm. Lydia Ryall spoke about her 10+ years of experience with hiring, training, and compensating employees. She talked about the value of retaining employees and highlighted the importance of supporting staff through remuneration and learning opportunities. We also heard from Rita Kim who provided great links and sites to budget and report employee payroll, calculate payroll deductions. Her perspective highlights the elements that farmers need to consider from a financial point of view when hiring staff.
Sacred Relationship: Navigating Indigenous Approaches to Holistic Stewardship
On this Friday evening we connected with two amazing Indigenous land and food stewards: Julian Napoleon (Dane-zaa, Cree) and Tiffany Traverse (Secwépemc). As storytellers, they wove narratives of their journey in food sovereignty through revitalization of land and community, and spoke of the historic and current issues around commodification and colonization. The two hours went by quickly and they were full of emotions, experiences, and created a beautiful foundation for future discussion.
Know Your Cost of Production
Chris Bondar introduced us to two ways in which we can look at how to calculate the cost of production. We were introduced to the importance of understanding fixed versus variable costs, and the value of connecting with peers to share information. In the Rough Unity Cost, Chris explained how to do a general calculation of the production cost for a certain crop. With the Enterprise Budget, Chris really honed in on a more detailed look at the production cost of a specific product. We also looked at how to collect needed information on spreadsheets and how to use it to make decisions that will increase profitability for the products from our farm.
Regenerative Grazing Panel
This evening we heard from three panelists excited about the work of rebuilding soil on their farms. From the importance for rotational grazing to different types of fencing, questions from the participants covered many issues faced by new and long time farmers who raise livestock. We got to hear how different animals could be used to manage invasive weeds, how to rest and replenish the land between grazing periods and the importance of timing and observation when practicing regenerative grazing.
Financial Management Basics for Farms
This evening Chris Bondar introduced us to the importance of recordkeeping on the farm. We reviewed the different types of farm records that can be kept and its relationship to the management process of controlling, planning, organizing and directing. Chris spoke about the difference between bookkeeping versus accounting and the key factors of recordkeeping, including ability to automate, manageability, usefulness and accuracy. To end the session he answered questions from participants, which focused around data migration and useful programs for data collection.