Kootenay Farmer newsletter is an initiative of the Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors to communicate with farmers and ranchers, and to grow and support the agriculture sector.
It’s a Small (Agricultural) World After All
This winter brings new learning opportunities for producers living in rural areas as many agricultural conferences and workshops are brought online for the first time. For example, annual events such as the Pacific Agriculture Show, Certified Organic Associations of BC, Regeneration Canada and the Young Agrarian’s Basin Mixer have all gone virtual.
KBFA is watching closely for speakers and themes that are relevant to our region’s producers as we prepare for spring programming. If you have ideas for field days, workshops or events for 2021, send them our way!
New year, new life! Calving season started mid-January in the Boundary region and will continue until late spring across the Kootenays. Ranchers typically stay close to home and endure sleepless nights to ensure the safe birth and health of calves and mothers.
Interested to know what the Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors do?
Learn more from this 4 minute video created by the Kootenay Conservation Program as part of the Stewardship Solutions Online Toolkit, a one-stop-shop for landowners looking for resources and information to help manage and steward their land!
In This Issue
Headlines: Enterprise Budgets | Pandemic Impact Survey | Bee Funding | Contract Opportunity
Events: Fruit Tree Pruning | Pasture Panel | Online Event Recordings
Kudos to our Farmers: Linden Lane | Elk Root Conservation | Settle Down | Basin Features
Local Dirt: Local Food Directory | Floral Design Job | Pandemic Research | Blog Update
Ministry of Agriculture: Agritech Grants | Greenhouse Guide
NEW Enterprise Budgets for Berries and Cow Calf
An enterprise budget projects the costs and returns of growing and selling a particular crop or livestock. The Ministry of Agriculture has recently added new enterprise budgets including haskap berries, raspberries and cow calf.
Linking Farmland Values to Floodplain Restoration
Request for Proposals – Contract Opportunity
The BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative is seeking proposals from qualified candidates to analyze and evaluate the role that agricultural land can play in floodplain rehabilitation and riparian area management, focused in the Kootenay & Boundary region. This project supports the implementation of the Regional Adaptation Strategy for Agriculture in the Kootenay & Boundary.
Request for proposal is open until February 9, 2021.
Find more information here.
Kootenay Farms: NEW Survey for Producers
Pandemic, Resilience and Needs for the Future
To better understand the impacts of the pandemic on small farms and how to support farm businesses in the future, the Central Kootenay Food Policy Council has created survey to learn how last year went and plans for the year ahead. The findings will integrate into the work of the diverse partners that support farming and food systems in our region. The survey is open for the month of February and will take about 15 minutes to complete.
Take the SURVEY Thank you!
What is Traceability and How Do I Apply?
Traceability is the ability to follow a food item or a group of items from one point in the supply chain to another, backwards or forwards. Learn more about the traceability program and its 50% cost share funding. Read the program guide about how to implement traceability for your agriculture business or
speak with Program Administrator, Jen McIntyre at 604 484-3490.
Small-Scale Research Funding for Bees
Funding is available for community-based research on the best practices of bee management. $100,000 of funding ($5000 per project) is available for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. Applications are accepted until February 12, 2021.
Learn more here.
Field Day: Fruit Tree Pruning
Creston: March 3
In-person pruning field days with horticulture specialist Molly Thurston. This event in Creston will focus on best practices for pruning peach trees. Additional dates and fruit tree varieties to be announced soon.
Producer Panel on Pasture Rejuvenation
Online: March 2
Join this panel discussion with six Kootenay & Boundary producers to learn what innovative practices they have been trialing over the last two years to revitalize pasture, incorporate legumes and increase soil carbon. This event is in partnership with the BC Forage Council as part of their three-year Innovative Pasture Rejuvenation project.
AGRICULTURAL ONLINE EVENTS
Central Kootenay Food Policy Council: Pandemic & Food Systems Roundtable
February 4, 2021
Connect and network with your local food systems workers, advocates and farmers.
Virtual Seedy Saturday Conference
February 19 - 21, 2021
FarmFolk CityFolk presents the first ever online Seedy Saturday Conference! Participants will learn seed saving best practices, access networking events and swap seeds.
BC Certified Organic Conference (COABC)
February 27 - 28, 2021
Two days of online events, workshops and keynote speakers including podcasts for attendees to listen to before the events.
ONLINE RECORDED EVENTS
Missed an event? These are some our favourite recent online events from BC.
- Winter Crop Storage with Wildflight Farm Virtual tour of winter crop storage facilities including air circulation, humidity and temperatures for storing specific vegetables.
- Building a CSA Program for Everyone Hear from BC farms who deliver successful Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs and their keys to success. Featuring Cartwheel Farm in the Creston Valley!
- BC Agricultural Climate Adaptation Research Conference
Presentations and the latest research for berries, soil nutrient management, vegetable production and pest management in BC.
- Climate Solutions for Farming Stories and inspirational videos of farmer-led projects for grazing, solar, soil management, carbon capture and livestock. Videos at the bottom of the page.
- Young Agrarians Columbia Basin Mixer: Recordings and resources on topics including online sales, regenerative agriculture and cost of production. Featuring farms and producers from the Kootenays!
Linden Lane Farms - Krestova
Article from Country Life in BC
Through applying both on-farm experience and education, Matthew Carr of Linden Lane Farms is operating a thriving organic farm in Krestova. Professors, researchers and academics are just a phone call away for Carr, who says these connections are “invaluable.” Online sales and information sharing has been particularly helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic, “tripling” the farm’s online nursery sales.
Read the full article here.
Bee Sanctuary at Elk Root Conservation Farm
Video from Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC
Kate Mizenka, founder of Elk Root Conservation Farm in Vallican, takes us on a virtual tour through their farm’s bee sanctuary. The Bee Barn, created to address bee health issues such as over-winter mortality, acts as bee housing on the property. The next steps for the farm involve a demonstration and educational space to showcase best beekeeping practices.
Watch the video here.
Columbia Basin Trust Farmer Features
Featured below are several farms from the Kootenay region that Columbia Basin Trust has supported in 2020. Take a look:
Happy Hills Farm in Rossland tackles local food security, during COVID-19 and beyond.
Cartwheel Farm in Creston supports local food supply with small-scale farming.
Spectrum Farm in Creston houses and employes people with disabilities, while producing local food.
Are You Listed in Your Local Farm Directory for 2021?
The highly acclaimed Central Kootenay Farm & Food Directory will be heading to the publishers again this spring. To be included in the printed version, all listing must be completed by March 31, 2021. Farms and food businesses located in the Central Kootenay and selling into its markets can be listed in the Directory for free. Learn how. Questions? Contact Abra Brynne: [email protected]
Farms in the East Kootenay can list their farm and food businesses in the revised and user-friendly Columbia Local Food Directory. Questions? Contact Alison Bell: [email protected]
Floral Design Job in Creston
Creative floral enthusiasts will love this full-time opportunity in Creston. Must have two years of floral design experience, customer service and retail skills.
Find more information here.
Survey Finds Canadians Asking for Better Food Systems & Food Access
Shopping anxiety, higher food prices and individual income limitations are some of the factors making access to food challenging for Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new inter-provincial research study with Kwantlen Polytechnic University suggests.
Read more here
Lidar, Cover Crops and Year in Review
Have you been reading the KBFA blog? Here’s what we’ve been talking about for the last few weeks:
- Crimping cover crops: video interview with Erin Harris of Kootenay Meadows Farm on methods to build soil and conserve soil moisture.
- Embracing technology for orchard management: video of precision spraying at River’s End Farm in the Creston Valley.
- KBFA year in review: agricultural round up on how many farms, issues and experts KBFA connected with in 2020.
The province of BC is offering assistance to farms looking to upgrade their production technology. Grants of up to $500,000 available. Applications are open until February 12, 2021.
Learn more about the grants here.
Interested in Building a Greenhouse?
NEW Checklist Assesses Readiness for Businesses and Organizations
The BC Ministry of Agriculture has released a guide for community greenhouses. The guide features self-assessment information of key considerations and links to other helpful resources.
Read more here.
Want to Enhance Digital Marketing?
NEW Grants for Digital Marketing for Small and Medium Sized Businesses
Enrol in a digital marketing bootcamp designed to grow small and medium sized businesses. Registration is open until March 31, 2021.
Find more information here.