Organic


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*Shannon wrote this article for Rural Delivery magazine, one of our favourite magazines. Check it out if you’re not already a subscriber! Every so often, a customer at the farmers’ market asks me about pesticides. They know I’m an organic farmer and they’re specifically asking because they’ve heard there are pesticides allowed on organic farms.   First of all, what is a pesticide? It’s anything that is used to kill a pest. A pest can be a type of bacteria or fungus, an insect, a rodent, a mammal like a deer or coyote. A pest can be a plant like […]

Does Organic mean No Pesticides?


pea seed saving
To improve our food system, it’s not just about growing good food locally. To grow delicious vegetables, we first need to plant seeds. In the same way that vegetables don’t “come from the store,” neither do seeds. Seeds are also grown on farms. Our customers seek us out according to why, how, and what we grow; we also seek out seed that is grown in certain ways and with certain values. We’ve bought some really cool seeds bred by plant breeding elder Carol Deppe who says “When you breed a variety, you breed your own values right into the variety. […]

Farm-Raised Seeds: The 2016 Adventure


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After years of using biodegradable biobased mulch films (or biofilms for brevity), in early 2015 certified organic farmers in Canada were told that biofilms would no longer be considered an allowable input. Farmers from across the country were understandably upset and confused. Biofilms offer benefits in weed control and soil warming.  And they biodegrade within 2 seasons, eliminating the need to be picked up. Every ecologically-minded farmer who was using or wanted the benefits of regular plastic mulch, was happy to avoid adding more waste to the landfill. When I first learned about non-GMO, corn starch-based biofilms, I was excited […]

Biodegradable Plastic Mulches No Longer Allowed in Canadian ...



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Organics isn’t just a farming sector or a marketing option…Organic is a movement! And, like any other movement, it needs to change over time as it grows and people demand more from their movement. Organic farmers, leaders, processors, and eaters around the world recognize this and have been trying to work together to envision what they want the future of the organic movement to look like. I saw a presentation on this topic (called Organic 3.0) at last year’s ACORN (Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network) conference, given by Dr. Andy Hammermeister and I was really inspired! So, I googled Organic […]

The Future of Organic Farming



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I (Shannon) just returned from the Organic Seed Growers Conference in Oregon. I attended because I want to learn to improve our skill at growing seed crops (vegetable, herb, and flower) we grow on our farm AND to meet (in-person) other seed growers from across Canada who had been part of a peer-to-peer seed exchange group during the 2016 season. (to learn who is in this group: http://www.seedsecurity.ca/en/15-program-overview/what-we-do/training-and-networking/200-the-cross-canada-peer-exchange-project) I found it physically exhausting to travel across the continent and 4 time zones. But after some sleep, the incredible weather in Corvallis, Oregon was rejuvenating. I was amazed to see green […]

Farmer Education: Organic Seed Growers Conference