Kootenay Farmer is a joint initiative of the Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors and the Basin Business Advisors Agriculture Program – two initiatives to grow and support the agriculture sector in the Kootenay & Boundary regions. 

Measuring Soil Moisture
It has been a wet start to the summer for many producers, but irrigation and water optimization are still top of mind for growers! Quiet Valley Cherry Orchard in Creston is participating in a trial to assess if mulching will make a difference to soil moisture and fruit quality. Preliminary results indicate that mulching makes a small difference to soil moisture and that there is an opportunity to reduce irrigation water which will be trialed next season. Read more.


Don Low, owner of Quiet Valley Farms, explains the mulching trial at a recent field day in Creston.

In This Issue

Headline News: Adaptation Plan, Land Linking, Cost of Production this Fall
Farmer Profile: Wloka Fruit Farms, Creston
Local Dirt: Garlic Tips and Tricks, Speciality Crops, Agriculture in the Slocan Valley


NEW REPORT: Adaptation Strategies Increase Resiliency of Kootenay & Boundary Producers

NEW PLAN outlines climate adaptation strategies and actions for strengthening the resilience of agriculture in the Kootenay & Boundary region. “It is important for agriculture to get a head start on dealing with the negative consequences that climate change will bring. Lack of water and the extreme fire situation are some of my biggest worries,” says Faye Street, who represented the Kootenay Livestock Association on the advisory committee for the Adaptation Strategies Plan. $300,000 in funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership is allocated to support projects identified as priority actions. Projects will commence as early as fall, 2019. 


Want land? Got Land? BC Land Matching Program Growing Strong

The BC Land Matching Program, delivered by Young Agrarians, has been picking up steam since launching in the Columbia Basin in July, 2018. To date, 3 agreements have been signed in the Kootenays and 4 more are in negotiation phase for a variety of farm businesses across the Basin.
Learn more

Cost of Production Workshops for Beef and Vegetables Coming this Fall

Do you know what it costs to produce that pound of tomatoes or kilo of beef?  Cost of production as a tool for creating a more efficient, profitable farm, is one of the topics where information is most frequently requested by farmers in the Columbia Basin region. The Basin Business Advisors Agriculture Program is launching a new Cost of Production workshop this fall.  There is no cost to attend but space is limited.  Register early through the following links:

Cranbrook – (Meat producers) Wednesday, November 13, 2019 
Invermere – (Meat and vegetable producers), Thursday, November 14, 2019
Nelson – (Vegetable producers) Thursday, February 13, 2020

Wloka Fruit Farms a Creston Landmark

Stepping into Wloka Fruit Stand, you would never guess that the diversity of fruit and vegetables for sale are all grown on one 9-acre farm! In operation since 2008, the farm produces a mix of cherries, peaches, plums, apples, pears, apricots and raspberries, and a number of vegetables.  “Frank loves the challenge of working with a diversity of crops, and I’m passionate about working with customers and staff,” Barb says. Wloka employs up to 45 people in the height of the busy season……..
Read the article 

kbfa-agricultural events

Provincial Field Day: BC Forage Council

Vernon: August 9

Join forage expert and field day host Mike Witt for a Field Day that includes alternative cropping methods for corn, cover cropping demonstration, carbon sequestration and more!!
Learn more

Multi-Farm Tour

Creston: August 18

Join Young Agrarians on Sunday, August 18th, to visit four farms in the beautiful Creston Valley. Stay for a potluck and live music.
Learn more


Workshop: Food Business Accelerator Program

Cranbrook: September 16 +

8-week accelerator program starts the week of Sept 16th. The program will assist early stage food companies in successfully operating and growing their businesses.    
Learn more

Workshop: Rejuvenating Soil Life

Greenwood: September 26 & 27

Unleash the power of your soil!! Join world-renowned agro-ecologist Nicole Masters to dive deep into regenerative agriculture to enhance your farm’s resiliency and productivity. 
Learn more.


Basin Food Summit

Rossland: October 24 & 25

This year the Food and Buyers Expo, Agriculture Forum and the Young Agrarians Kootenay Mixer are combined into one event! Don’t miss this annual gathering of producers, buyers and food processors.
Learn more 


AGM & Provincial Field Day: BC Forage Council

Vernon: August 8 & 9

Field Day will include sessions on alternative cropping, methods for corn, cover cropping demonstration, carbon sequestration and more!!
Learn more 

Save the date: Multi-Farm Tour in Creston

Creston: August 18

Join Young Agrarians on Sunday, August 18th, for a multi-farm tour. You can sign up to the YA newsletter or join the regional YA group to receive updates when they become available.


Save the date: 2019 Basin Food & Buyers Expo + Ag Forum

Rossland: August 24 & 25

Don’t miss this annual gathering of producers, buyers and food processors. This year the Expo + Ag Forum + Young Agrarian’s Kootenay Mixer are combined into one event!
Learn more 

Stay tuned for additional field days coming this fall!


Recap of 2019 Summer Events:


New Report: Agriculture in the Slocan Valley

What support does local agriculture need to thrive, and how can an economic development commission help facilitate this? This new report commissioned by the Slocan Valley Economic Development Commission identifies improved access to infrastructure, labour, water use resiliency and more!
Learn more


Garlic Harvest Commence! Efficiencies & Disease

  • Video on how to string 100 garlic quickly and efficiently made by the team at Rasa Creek Farm who led a KBFA garlic workshop last spring.
  • This excerpt on garlic disease can be very useful to trouble shoot crop health issues. Excerpt from: Gilkeson, Linda, Resilient Gardens 2017.

Economic Feasibility of Specialty Crops

Research was conducted for the Bulkley-Nechako Regional District on the agronomic and economic feasibility of specialty and alternative crops. Learn more about: haskap berriesJeruselum arichokeshard neck garlic and Saskatoon berries


NEW Food Policy for Canada

Canada’s first ever Federal Food Policy was announced on June 17 after consultation with more than 45,000 stakeholders. Highlights include creation of a Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council; a five-year $50 million Local Food Infrastructure Fund (see below), new Canada Brand and Buy Canadian promotional campaigns, and funding to crack down on food fraud.
Details here

Local Food Infrastructure Fund

The Local Food Infrastructure Fund, created as part of the new Federal Food Policy (see above) has two program streams:

Stream 1 is aimed at enabling small community-based organizations to improve their infrastructure and purchase equipment.
Stream 2 targets groups and organizations that collectively have the mission to reduce food insecurity in a sustainable manner.
Details here  

NEW Task Force to Boost BC Agriculture Through Tech and Innovation

The Province has created the Food Security Task Force to find new ways to use technology and innovation to strengthen B.C.’s agriculture sector.
Details here

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