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.
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: [email protected]
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.
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
Field Day: Growing Your Herd Locally
Burton: Thursday, October 14
Webinar: Cover Cropping with Wild Flight Farm
Online: Thursday, October 28
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT….. RECAPS & RECORDINGS
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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