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.

‘Tis the season of abundance, but what about profits?
After a challenging season for farmers, September delivered much needed reprieve of regular weather and clear skies. Although it may seem like the season of abundance, producers are looking at their pocket books after a tough year and wondering how all that hard work did not necessarily result in a living wage. The fall is a good time to reflect on our harvest plates and express gratitude to our local producers in hopes that they keep farming another season. Thank you farmers!

Follow KBFA’s photo journey in September via Instagram. 


Even the bees get put to bed before winter! Liz Huxter of Kettle Valley Queens gives a hands on workshop on overwintering hives at a KBFA field day in Grand Forks, September 2021. Read more.

In This Issue

Headlines: Drought in the Boundary | RFP Opportunity | Research Templates | Meat Inspections
Events:  Grow your Herd Locally | Cover Cropping | Tool School
Kudos to our Farmers: Winderberry | Heuston Family | Kettle Valley Co-Op
Local Dirt: Food Security Action Plan | Pesticide Disposal | Farm to School Grants 
Ministry of Agriculture: AgriRecovery Funding | Knowledge & Technology Transfer Program

Drought and Agriculture in the Boundary

Journalists traveled to Rock Creek and Grand Forks this summer to hear from producers and watershed experts about the season of ranching and farming while in level five drought. “That’s what ranching teaches us,” says Doug Fossen of Rock Creek. “In these drought years we are living off our management decisions of the last 20 years.”
Read the Narwhal article here


Linking Farmland to Floodplains: Local Project Seeks Input from Kootenay Producers

What are the most suitable production systems for the floodplain and how can local government better support producers? We want to hear from YOU! Tell us about your experiences with excess water from overland flooding, challenges with crop production, solutions tried and additional supports you need.
Register for one of these virtual input sessions:
October 13, 9:30 AM PST
October 14, 6:30 PM PST

Questions? Email Barb Stewart at: kettle.ecological@gmail.com
Project of the Climate & Agriculture Initiative

RFP Opportunity with Climate & Agriculture Initiative

Do you have knowledge of riparian health assessment tools and methodology? Want to to help farmers understand the importance of healthy riparian areas in the Kootenay and Boundary? Consider submitting a proposal to Climate & Agriculture Initiative BC. This opportunity is open until October 14, 2021. 
Learn more

New Provincial Meat Inspections & Regulations

Effective October 1, 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture will implement the new slaughter establishment licenses that introduce Farmgate Plus to replace the former Class D and E abattoirs. In addition to an annual inspection by the province, the Farmgate Plus license will also undergo inspection by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Read more in Country Life in BC

NEW! Grab and Go Research Templates for your Farm

Management for Cabbage Root Maggot

Have you ever wanted to conduct on-farm research independently? Want to experiment with new crops, or improve soil health? We’ve made the process a little easier! Take a look at our brand new research templates, developed in partnership with the Climate & Agriculture Initiative.
Download the templates here

kbfa-agricultural events

Field Day: Growing Your Herd Locally

Burton: Thursday, October 14

Attend this field day with local farmer and rancher Forest McCormack to hear about his experience growing his beef herd through the last decade. Forest will draw on his local knowledge regarding desirable traits for breeding, size, resilience and animal health.

Learn more and register here


Field Day: Tool School

Krestova: Sunday, October 24

Interested in a BCS tractor? This event is for you! Join the Young Agrarians and Linden Lane Farms to learn about the Kootenay Local Agricultural Society Tool Library and all the farming equipment available for rent. 

Learn more and register here

Webinar: Cover Cropping with Wild Flight Farm

Online: Thursday, October 28

Tune in to this cover cropping webinar with Hermann Bruns of Wild Flight Organic Farm and Kevin Elmy of Cover Crops Canada to hear how cover cropping can be integrated into farming operations and help build healthy soil. Hosted by FarmFolk CItyFolk.

Learn more and register here 


Recording: No-Till Virtual Field Day

Owner and operator Dan Oostenbrink of Local Harvest Farm in Chilliwack shares his experiences with reduced tillage and heavy mulching to control weeds and build organic matter on this 25-acre market garden. Hosted by FarmFolk CityFolk.
Recording here

Farm Tour Recap: Specialty Cut Flower Farm

A recap of the farm tour at Stone Meadow Gardens in Tarry’s BC with the Young Agrarians.
Read More


Winderberry Nursery - Windermere

Article from Country Life in BC

Sisters Lin Egan and Anna Steedman are growing a Columbia Valley-based business… literally! Winderberry Nursery in Windermere, a family business since 1984, has expanded in the decades since. “It’s exciting and also stressful owning your own business. But there are moments of adventure in that,” says Lin. 
Read the full article here


Also located on the Winderberry Nursery property is Edibles Cafe, a farm-to-table seasonal restaurant and catering establishment. 

Heuston Family Cattle - Balfour & Creston

Story from Living Here

Farming began in Balfour in 1925 for the Heuston Family, and then expanded operations to Creston in 1951. “I’ve been doing it for close to 60 years now. I’m running out of gas, but I still enjoy the cattle and enjoy doing things,” says Scott Heuston. Back then, Balfour was an active farming area with 10 to 12 dairies that sold to a little co-op. Dairy was processed and bottled in Nelson.
Read the full story here


The Heuston Family reminds readers of the importance of shopping local; purchasing local beef has a direct impact on keeping Kootenay farms in operation. 

Kettle Valley Food Co-Op - Grand Forks

Grand Forks Credit Union Feature

The Kettle Valley Co-Op is the definition of a symbiotic relationship for farmers and local food supporters! Producers save time and money by collaborative marketing, and locals are able to shop for all of their favourite vendors in one spot online.
Watch the video here. 

Kettle Valley Food Co-Op helps producers bring their products to market by providing a storefront, marketing, and delivery services for products.


Applequill Hosts Farm School in the East Kootenay

In August, KBFA partnered with the Kootenay Livestock Association to bring forth Farm School: Market Gardens 101. Those who attended the field days were treated to an array of valuable tips and tricks for growing tomatoes and berries including plant nutrition, bed preparation, irrigation, soils, pruning, trellis, and much more!
Read about Farm School here


Get Rid of Unwanted Pesticides: October 5

Cleanfarms will be collecting unwanted pesticides and old livestock/equine medications in Creston on Tuesday, October 5. This is a free service for farmers; no registration required.
Learn more about Cleanfarms Collection here


Central Kootenay Food Security Action Plan

The Central Kootenay Food Policy Council was in close contact with the Emergency Operations Centre of the RDCK in the early months of the pandemic. As the year progressed, the Council was invited to create an Interim Food Security Action Plan for the Central Kootenay. This work has been underway since the summer and wrapped up in the spring of 2021.
Read the Food Security Action Plan final report here. 


Food Access & Recovery Grants

Are you a non-profit looking to increase community access to local food? You may be eligible for Columbia Basin Trust Food Access & Recovery Grants. Join a meeting on Wednesday, October 6 to learn more, or apply until November 30, 2021.
Learn more


Farm to School Grants

Are you interested in partnering with local schools or mentoring future farmers? Farm to School BC has grants available for school projects. These projects can be used for activities such as building garden beds and foraging local food. 
Learn more


CBT Increases Dollars and Extends the Wage Subsidy Program

The Basin Food Producer Wage Subsidy Program is designed to provide flexibility to farmers to hire employees as needed through the growing and harvesting season. The program has an extended end date from October 31, 2021 to January 28, 2022. The maximum subsidy amount has also been increased from $10,000 to $17,000 due to increased budget for the subsidy. 
Learn more & apply here

Missed an Event?

If you missed a KBFA field day, catch up on the details, recordings, and resources on our Past Events page


AgriRecovery Wildfire and Drought Funding

Farmers that have been affected by wildfire or dought in the province can apply for assistance to cover the costs required to return to production. This initiative will provide significant funding upfront for farmers and livestock producers.
Learn more about the AgriRecovery funding here


Knowledge & Technology Transfer Program

Applications are now open for Fall 2021 intake for the cost-sharing funding program for farmers. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Fisheries has identified priorities including regenerative agriculture, climate action, addressing labour challenges, farm business management, and production. Cost-shared amounts range from $1500 to up to $7500.
Apply until October 11, 2021

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