Food Politics

female farmer
Shannon wrote this article for Atlantic Farm Focus. To read other articles they’ve published or to find out how to subscribe, go to their website.   I remember when Bryan and I started our farm and were applying for a loan. We noticed that the lending officer started off speaking and facing Bryan. Only when I kept replying, did the lending officer shift his position to face both of us. The same thing happened when we went to buy a tractor. This happened despite the fact that globally, women make up the majority of food producers. Many surveys from Canada […]

NFU has a long history of cultivating female ...

Asclepias 2
When you’re a farmer, you hear a lot about Yield. High-yielding varieties, “buy this product to increase your yield,” Yields of organic vs conventional, “we need to feed the world.” I’ll start this off by saying that I run a diversified small-scale organic farm that provides Bryan and I with 100% of our household income. Yields matter in our ability to do that. However not all of our crops yield well every year. We ensure our ability to pay all our bills, make our mortgage payments, keep our cash flow-ing during the winter months when we’re not selling anything, and […]

High Yields for Humans and and Biodiversity on ...

Principles of Organic
At the recent ACORN conference, Shannon spoke on a plenary panel called ‘Striking a Balance – Philosophy, Principles and Outcomes of Organic vs. Market Development and Profitability’. Other panelists were Allison Grant, Dr. Andrew Hammermeister, and Dr. Av Singh. This is what Shannon said:   “I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot over the course of the season and especially since this plenary topic was devised and I was asked to speak to it. I’ve delved more deeply into what these 4 Organic Principles mean to me – for my life, my farm, the life of other humans in […]

Principles of Organic vs. the Market

female farmer
So, I (Shannon) was all set (and sponsored by Canadian Organic Growers, Island Natural Growers in BC and the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network) to attend the IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) NA (North America) General Assembly in Baltimore.  But just a few hours before I was set to leave for the airport I ended up with a bad toothache and was too nervous to fly and spend 5 days in an unknown city sleeping in a 6 bunk-bed hostel room with a sore tooth. So I cancelled my flight and accommodation. I ended up being able to […]

International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (in North ...

Dear Eaters and Co-producers (all of you who are contributing to the local food and farm economy with your support, both financial and through words of encouragement to direct-to-market farmers –  farmers who are committed to seeing the faces of those that they feed and shortening the “supply chain” of that precious thing that nourishes our bodies and connects us to the earth – FOOD): Many of you tell us how much you love knowing your farmers, well WE LOVE knowing the people we’re growing for too! It makes every step of the work we do feel so important….knowing that […]

Dear Eaters and Co-Producers

market in Torino 4
I (Shannon) was incredibly lucky this year to be chosen as one of 56 Canadian delegates to Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in Torino, Italy. I was there for 6 days, from Sept.21 to 27th…..a fairly busy time of year on the farm….and I’m so grateful to Bryan for agreeing this was a not-to-be-missed, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and to his parents for coming out to help him on the farm while I was gone. So, what is Terra Madre? It’s a slow food event, a collection of different food-related happenings, the largest in the world, with people from over 140 different […]

What I Learned about Food and Farming in ...