October was a busy month for KBFA! We have been squeezing the last drops out of this beautiful fall for a full schedule of farm visits and events.
Here’s a recap to get you up to speed on what we’ve been up to!
Events
Digging Deep into Soil Knowledge Rock Creek, October 5

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Soil scientist Wayne Blashill lead us through a soil identification exercise by looking at deep soil pits. Wayne described soil properties and introduced participants to the Canadian soil classification system. We also discussed new land mapping tools that are available free to producers.
The field day focused on Chernozem, a dark, natural grassland soil. This soil is productive for agriculture and can be found in the Kootenay-Boundary region. Knowing about your soil and its nutrition and deficiencies can impact your farm’s operation.


Click here to find more information including ranch mapping tools, links to the soil information finder tool and further results.


Riparian & Streambank Restoration Field DayGrand Forks, October 13

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Local restoration specialists Jenny Coleshill and Barb Stewart shared their work at two restoration sties in the Grand Forks area for stream bank stabilization and bio-engineering. Participants viewed two restoration sites and discussed practical considerations for plant varieties, cost, maintenance and livestock management. This field day was relevant to landowners, ranchers and farmers who want to learn key restoration design strategies and how to protect streambanks and riparian areas from erosion and livestock impacts.


Find more information and photos of the event here.


Seed Production as a Diversification Tool for BC FarmsArgenta, October 22 Winlaw, October 23 Grand Forks, October 24

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David Catzel with FarmFolk CityFok’s BC Seeds Program toured the region to provide information and resources to local producers about initiative to support seed security and seed sovereignty and he inspired discussion about future seed opportunities in BC. The workshop in Argenta focused on cleaning a large quantity of buckwheat and cover crops with the mobile seed cleaner and at Hummingbird Farm in the Slocan Valley, over seven different varieties of flower seed were cleaned using the smaller seed cleaning equipment.


Find more business, production and equipment resources here, along with further information about the events.


Targeted Grazing Field DayCranbrook, October 27

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Rangeland ecologist Amanda Miller, with support from rangeland practitioner Tim Ross, shared findings from year one of a pilot project with the BC Cattlemen’s Association (BCCA) using targeted grazing to reduce fine fuels and wildfire risk in BC’s wildland/urban interface. Local ranchers Jordy and Leanne Thibeault partnered with BCCA on this project and kindly volunteered their time, resources and cattle. The results of year one on the Thibeault’s operation were very favourable, highlighting how knowledge and sound stewardship paired with prescriptive vegetation management can work to deliver desired results, in this case, potentially protecting communities.


Find more information about the field day, results, academic articles and pilot projects here.


Greenhouse Tour at Salix & Sedge FarmSalmo, November 10

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Brendan and Cali completed their first full season in their heated greenhouse at Salix and Sedge Organic Farm in Salmo, BC (natural gas) and it’s been an exciting year with lots of learning. The crop production plan for the greenhouse is in early season heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers and later season salad greens.
Sharing information between local producers is a valuable practice and participants discussed a range of production topics from the 2020 season.
 
 
In the News
 
National Observer
Check out this news article from the National Observer including an interview with program coordinator, Rachael! The article describes how Environment Canada will be dealing with changes to farming in the province. Have a look at the article here.
 
Farming in the Kootenays
Check out this great short video of farming in the Kootenays, produced by Finlay Burrage, a BC videographer. This video features the Kooenays’ very own Bent Plow Farms, Linden Lane Farms, Forrest Farm and Valhalla Ranch. Watch the video here.
 
Blog Posts
 
Our blog posts this month gave farmers an insight into the world of garlic disease and the basics of targeted grazing. Find these posts here and be sure to check back every two weeks for a new read! (We’ll also share our blog on Facebook, of course).
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