A snapshot of what’s happening this month in the local island agriculture community, courtesy of the Islands Forage Committee.  


A snapshot of what’s happening this month in the local island agriculture community, courtesy of the Islands Forage Committee.

Used to be anybody could farm. All you needed was a strong back. . . but nowadays you need a good
education to understand all the advice you get so you can pick out what’ll do you the least harm.
~ Vermont Saying, Mid-1900s

Foxglove Farm
Centre for Arts, Ecology & Agriculture Salt Spring Island, BC
October 2, 2010
Field to Plate: Fall Roots & Squashes with Chef Heidi Fink
October 24, 2010
Foraging for Fungi

Upcoming Food Safety Planning Workshops on Vancouver Island
(registration fee $20, includes lunch and coffee breaks)
• Thursday, September 30 – Courtenay (Courtenay Community Futures, Suite 200–580 Duncan Avenue, Courtenay)
• Friday, November 5, 2010 – Victoria (Saanich Fairground, 1528 Stelly's Cross Rd, Saanichton)
Jane Kelly
FSSI (Processor) Program Outreach Coordinator
Small Scale Food Processor Association
1-866-619-7372 or direct 250-951-9945
Register on-line at:  www.ssfpa.net/foodsafety

Foxglove Community Garden & Culinary School
Cooking in the Barn
October 3rd.
“Art of Canadian Heritage Cuisine”
In this first class of the series, Pat Germschied will take us back to the beginning when Canada was being settled. She will teach the art of preserving  and “putting by” the produce  and fruit from our gardens. Time 1:30 – 3:30 m.   Cost  $35 with lunch
October 17th.
“The Art of Chinese Cuisine”
Li Ping, originally from China will take us on a  culinary journey to China as she creates her countries cuisine in this first series. Time 1:30 – 3:30 pm Cost, $35 with lunch
October 24th,
The Art of Coast Salish Native Cuisine”
Using her Native culture as her guide, Gloria Norris, will teach the art of preparing and smoking a salmon. Time 1:30 – 3:30 pm. Cost $35 with lunch
November 7th.
“Art of Canadian Heritage Cuisine”
In this second series Pat Germschied will teach the art of making soups and stews.
Time 1:30 – 3:30 pm.  Cost $35 with lunch.
All classes are limited to 12 students. Please call Nancy at (250) 246-4967 for information and reserve your space.  info@foxglovecommunitygardens.org
Foxglove Community Gardens and Culinary School non-profit Society, 8035 Vye Road, Crofton BC V0R 1R0

Vineyard Workshop
Wine Islands Growers Association
Saturday October 2nd
Topics:      Botrytis Control,  and Determination of Grape Maturity                                
Where:     begins at Rocky Creek Winery
1854 Myhrest Rd, Cowichan Bay
Time:                2 – 4 p.m.

Sunshine Coast Stakeholders Meeting: 
Thursday October 28th
Land managers, stakeholders, interested organizations and landowners are invited to attend a meeting in Sechelt on Thursday October 28th.  The objectives of this meeting are to: increase awareness of invasive plant issues and coordinated management approaches along the Sunshine Coast, share information about invasive plant activities already occurring in region, discuss areas for improvement and identify the level of interest in joining with or forming a regional invasive plant committee. 
Where: Seaside Centre 5790 Teredo Street, Sechelt 
When: 9:30am - 3:30pm on Thursday October 28th (refreshments and lunch to be provided)
RSVP: Melissa Noel, CIPC Coordinator at: info@coastalinvasiveplants.com or 250-857-2472 by Tuesday October 26th
There is no cost associated with attending the meeting. 

Farm Credit Canada – Upcoming Free Workshops
Farm Financial Management – Profitability and Budgeting in Abbotsford on November 9
Farm Financial Management – Statements and Ratios in Langley on November 10.
Maureen Hari
Customer Service Manager / Directrice, Service à la clientèle
BC Coast & Interior District
Farm Credit Canada / Financement agricole Canada
#301 – 5460 152 Street
5460 152 Street, bureau 301
Surrey, BC  V3S 5J9
Tel/Tél: (604) 575-4268   Cell: (604) 722-6891   Fax/Téléc: (604) 575-4260
E-mail/Courriel: maureen.hari@fcc-fac.ca

Building Sustainable Communities Conference
November 15th-18th, 2010
Delta Grand Resort & Conference Centre, KELOWNA, BC
Hosted & Facilitated by the Fresh Outlook Foundation
EMAIL: jo@freshoutlookfoundation.org  • PHONE: 250-766-1777

The Island Agr-food Initiative is Open for Business
The Islands Agri-Food Initiative (IAFI) was started in 2001, to encourage the development of a viable and sustainable agri-food sector on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and Powell River. Funding is available to groups, societies and organizations based in the areas served by the initiative for projects that fit at least one of the initiative’s four strategic priorities:
1.      To enhance market and product development and promotion of the agri-food industry.
2.      To increase the agri-food stakeholder knowledge base (including stakeholder communication, economic potential, statistical data, marketing skills and product development).
3.      To facilitate the development of strategic partnerships and alliances that enhances the long-term sustainability of the agri-food industry.
4.       To support increased agri-food processing as a catalyst for rural community development
IAFI funding is provided by IAF through the federal-provincial Agri-Food Futures Fund.
Jamai Schile
Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC
Program Manager
Direct Line: 250.356.0119

Farm Business Advisory Services Program
Are you considering changes to your farm business? Do you have the financial information and plans you need to make the best decisions for you, your family and your farm business?
Up to $5,000 is now available for both new and established farms to answer these questions.  Check the link below for all the program and eligibility details or contact:
Toll Free: 1 877 702-5585 Email: BCFBAS@gov.bc.ca for more information. http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/busmgmt/FB_Advisory_Services.html
BC Assessment Authority Farm Classification
Application Deadline October 31st
Janice Weninger
Farm Appraiser
Vancouver Island Region
300 - 125 Wallace St,
Nanaimo BC V9R 5B2  
Tel 250.753.6621 x 228
Toll-free 1.800.977.2775

Island Ideal Meats
Class A custom meat processing service
Operated by: Vancouver Island Heritage Foodservice Co-operative
located at Valley View Farm, 2322 Gomerich Rd. in Nanaimo
Now Open August 2010 offering slaughter and custom cut-and-wrap services
All enquiries should be directed to:
Grant Henry,
250 6680-8718

Agriculture and Water -  Waterbucket website for information on drought management, irrigation scheduling, drainage and more

Provincially Licensed Meat Plant Establishments

UPDATE Spotted Wing Drosophila (Fruit Fly)
Attention: Berries, grapes and stone fruit producers
Spotted Wing Drosophila been found in all fruit growing areas in BC where traps have been placed including Southern Vancouver Island
Information on sanitation New
Canadian Horticulture’s Council CanadaGAP On-Farm Food Safety program
Annette Moore, recognized trainer
Quality First in Agriculture Inc.
T: (604) 859-5962

BC Good Agricultural and Collection Practices
Keith Hunter, recognized trainer
phone 250 720-8907

Agri-Food Trade Service Funding Opportunities for BC Producers, Processors, and Associations
For a print copy of this publication please contact:
BC Regional Office
Market and Industry Services Branch
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
420 – 4321 Still Creek Drive
Burnaby, BC
V5C 6S7
Telephone: 604-666-6344
Fax: 604-666-7235
Email: atsbc@agr.gc.ca
ISSN 1923-0060
AAFC No. 11160E

Farm Centre Agriwebinar’s  http://agriwebinar.com/

Soil Nematodes with Rosy Smit

Canadian Organic Growers Vancouver Island Chapter (COGVI)
Meets monthly every third Thursday of the month 7 p.m. at Haliburton Farm, 741 Haliburton Road, Victoria.
Please see www.haliburtonfarm.org  for map."

Comox Valley Farmers' Institute
Meets at the Dove Creek Hall, Courtenay the third Tuesday of every month.
Contact:  Gerry 250-334-4562
Cowichan Agricultural Society & Farmers Institute Meeting
Come to our meetings and learn from other growers during the “Farmers Soap Box”
Meets the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00 pm. 5855 Clements St. Duncan, BC
Contact:  David at 250-748-8089
Meetings from June to September will be at member farms hosting tours!

Cowichan Exhibition Society
Meets at 5855 Clements St in Duncan on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm.
Island Farmer’s Alliance

Nanaimo-Cedar Farmers' Institute
Meets at the Cedar United Church Hall (1644 Cedar Rd) on the second Thursday of October - June. 
Contact Joanne at 250-722-3397
Peninsula Agricultural Commission (PAC)

For more information please contact:
Isobel Hoffmann Secretary to PAC Isobel.Hoffmann@saanich.ca
Shawnigan Cobble Hill Farmers Institute
Meetings are the fourth Monday of the month at 7:30 P.M. in the Cobble Hill Hall.

Vancouver Island Goat Association Meetings
Contact:  Marion 250-752-8526 e-mail mousefieldfarm@uniserve.com

Wine Island Growers Association 
A majority of our 2010 Conference Presentations are now available on our website under Events and News
VEGGIE, POULTRY AND SMALL ANIMAL SWAP that has started up at the Lighthouse Community Center on Lions Way in Qualicum Bay. There is an indoor swap meet and Pancake Breakfast from 9am - 1pm and an outdoor farmers market (including live poultry) that runs from 10am till 1pm. The contact person is Sheena McCorquodale 250-757-9991

Farm Animal and Poultry Swaps
Courtenay - South Country Feeds - 2rd Sunday each month 11am - 1pm
Courtenay - SharKare Feeds - 3rd Sunday each month 11am - 1pm
Duncan, (Cowichan Feather Fanciers) at Buckerfields - 4th Sunday each month 11 am til 12:30 pm starting Feb 28 til Oct http://members.shaw.ca/cowichanfeatherfanciers/
Coombs, Farm Animal & Poultry Swap, Coombs Fairgrounds - 1st Sunday of the month 11 am - 1 pm starting March 1 until November. Contact 250-752-1703 dogma@bcsupernet.com  "Subscribe to free eNewsletter"

BC HST Information
Canada Revenue Agency – Technical Questions: 1 800 959-5525
B.C. Ministry of Finance: 1 877 388-4440
BC Crop Production Guides
 Home and Garden Pest Management Guide for B.C. is now available!
Ordering information available at the following link  http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/prodguide.htm
Courses being offered through Vancouver Island University Continuing Ed.
Call today to register! 250-746-3519
G.R. Paine Horticulture Training Centre

Courses being offered through North Island College Continuing Ed.
Campbell River 250-923-9750
Comox Valley 250-334-5005
Port Alberni 250-724-8705

Courses being offered through Camosun College Continuing Ed.

BC Farmers Market Association “Find A Market”
Farm and Ranch Safety Association (FARSHA)
Provides ongoing safety courses, safety materials and helpful advice to the farm and ranching community of BC

Agriculture Labour Pool (based in Abbotsford but does the Islands as well)

Western Agriculture Labour Initiative

Federal - Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) 2008

Federal - Youth Employment Strategy

Bee Information
Apiculture Inspector Vancouver Island
Brenda Jager
Canada - British Columbia Environmental Farm Plan Program

Multispecies Grazing Articles

Farm Vehicles on the Move
A guide to licensing and insuring farm vehicles in British Columbia

Farm Structures and Fencing Information can be found at:
To apply for Farm Status you would contact BC Assessment in Nanaimo or Courtenay.

Leasing options for farmers and rural land owners

Dam Safety in BC

Food Safety Systems
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Programs and Services

Investment Agriculture Foundation

Ranchers look for government help after fires  



By Erin Hitchcock - Williams Lake Tribune

Published: September 21, 2010 8:00 AM

Ranchers hope the B.C. government will help assist them with forage and fence rehabilitation in the aftermath of the forest fires in the Cariboo Chilcotin.

Ranchers met with Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson and MLA Lana Popham, the Opposition critic for the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, last week to discuss the help they need.

Duncan Barnett, president of the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association, says one of the biggest issues is forage and fence rehabilitation.

“Without those fences, ranchers have no ability to manage their livestock,” Duncan says, adding that not only does a loss of fencing cause herds to mix with each other, but it also causes forage issues. “You can’t manage the livestock so they use the forage properly.”

He says ranchers want the provincial government to help get the fences rebuilt, otherwise ranching businesses will be put at risk.

“They’ve lost a lot of their fall forage this year,” he says, adding that unless fences are replaced for next year, ranchers will face major problems.

He says there is emergency response funding in place, but it’s not yet known if the funding can be used to help the ranchers replace the lost fences.

“We basically have businesses that have lost the infrastructure that they need to operate, and if we can’t get it replaced, then obviously those businesses are in serious trouble.”

He says the government needs to either provide some funding to rebuild the range infrastructure that’s been lost or emergency/disaster relief funding needs to be used.

Ranchers are also dealing with lost forage that was burnt up in the forest fires. Not only does the grass need to be re-seeded so there is forage supply, but also so invasive weeds don’t move in.

Ranchers also have a number of suggestions for the future, he says, including using local people who can provide equipment and their knowledge of the area and dealing with fires when they start. Barnett says ranchers and the ministries of forest and environment also need to work together to ensure ecologically sound seeds that also suit the natural environment are planted.

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett attended a meeting two weeks ago in Alexis Creek, where she met with ranchers to hear their concerns about the devastation caused from the fires.

“We are working on the analysis on what has happened to the fencing, the cattle, to the grasslands, all of those types of things,” she says. “We are working with the communities on a mitigation plan.”

She says she also went on a two- to three-hour tour to see the devastation for herself, and has also met with individuals throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin to discuss the forest fires and other issues.

Simpson and Popham, who had also met with the Ministry of Forests and Range in Williams Lake, said they will discuss the issues with the Minister of Agriculture.

“We heard (from ranchers) that the Minister of Agriculture needs to champion this,” Popham said. “We can make a push for that.”

Simpson said the loss of forage could be the last straw for ranchers already suffering challenges to the industry.

Alexis Creek resident and rancher Bev Madley is the president of the Chilcotin Stockmen’s Association, an organization that falls under the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association.

“Out here, there were seven members of our association that were affected by the wildfires,” Madley says. “In the run of all of these fires, we lost a lot of fence.”

She says the government has agreed to reseed and rehabilitate the CAT guards that were built on the ranges in the Bull Complex area.

She says the ranchers also want the fences replaced, soon.

“These are boundaries between people with different breeding programs,” she says, adding the fences also provide barriers between pastures that are rotated to keep the range in good condition.

She notes the firefighters did a good job, but says the management of the fires could have been done differently.

“Those fires were allowed to run, and they didn’t get anybody on them to put them out until they became quite large and quite dangerous and somewhat unmanageable,” she says.

If and when money is provided to replace the fences, she says ranches would like them built on large right-of-ways so there is exposed soil that would serve as fire breaks.

A meeting between the ranchers and government field officials was to be held at Madley’s home last night, after press deadlines.

Report by Auditor General shows BC Government not protecting ALR  


A new report from the Auditor General shows how the B.C. government is undermining the Agricultural Land Reserve and leaving B.C.’s valuable farmland at risk of being lost forever.

As we face an increasing population and the impact of climate change, it is more important than ever to promote local food production and develop the green jobs that our agricultural sector has to offer.

But instead of listening to British Columbians who are saying they want to see more local food in their grocery stores, this report shows the B.C. Liberals have been undermining the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Graph from Report
The report notes despite the fact that 95 per cent of British Columbians support the ALR, the amount of agricultural land in the ALR on the south coast has declined by eight per cent and the amount of agricultural land in the ALR on Vancouver Island has declined by 13 per cent since the reserve was created by the then-New Democrat government in 1973.

Less than five per cent of British Columbia’s land base is suitable for agriculture, which is why we must protect the farmland we have, especially in the face of an increasing population and a changing climate,” said Popham. “British Columbians want access to fresh food from local farmers. It’s time for the B.C. Liberal government to listen up and stop undermining the ALR.

The Auditor General’s report also notes that the B.C. Liberals have cut the budget for the Agricultural Land Commission by more than 28 percent since 2002.

The commission doesn’t have the resources it needs to ensure it fulfills its mandate of preserving productive farmland, let alone the staff to dedicate to enforcement and evaluation of the hundreds of applications that come to the commission every year.

If protecting our agricultural resources was important to the B.C. Liberals, they’d start by ensuring the commission had the resources it needs to protect the ALR.

Check out these media links for more information:

Let's Swarm the Legislature!  


The bees need your help!

Last year more than 90% of the honey-bees on the island died!

And what is worse, the provincial government's response has been to weaken the protections for our precious island bees.

Bee-keepers from across Vancouver Island ask you to join them for a rally:

Wednesday September 22nd at noon at the BC Legislature.

We are calling on the government to consult with island bee-keepers and strengthen the regulations.

This is about more than honey. Bees are critical pollinators, and without pollinators more than a third of our food plants will die.

We are asking everyone who supports local farming and food security to join us.

Visit islandbees.ca for more info.

Comments at ALC Meeting, Aug 30 2010  


Comments at public ALC hearing regarding Hudson's Bay Farm, August 30, 2010.

Hi, my name is Lana Popham, I’m the Agriculture Critic and the MLA for Saanich South.

Before I was elected, I worked on my farm for over a decade…while at the same time fighting for food security and sustainable food production.

I left a job that I loved and that inspired me every day to enter provincial politics and to take on the role as Agriculture Critic. A job that disappoints me every day…because I don’t understand why we have to fight for farming in British Columbia.

Building capacity for vehicles at all costs will never stop unless we stop doing it. Our quality of life will continue to decrease as we increase the capacity for vehicles. To remove productive agricultural land to make room for cars is unacceptable.

The ALR was put in place to protect our food growing capacity. Without it we would see little to no farming in this area [Langley] and we wouldn’t be here tonight fighting for the Hudson’s Bay Farm. Because it wouldn’t exist.

Why was this land so important back when the ALR was created but not now? It’s because the creators of the ALR - like Harold Steves - looked at our future with unselfish eyes. Agriculture has seen the lowest level ever in BC history in the past provincial budget. And that includes the budget for the ALC.

Agriculture and food production are the lowest priority for the BC government and vehicles and carbon-emitting modes of transportation are one of the highest. With this equation, It’s hard to see when these types of proposals will stop.

At a time when we know climate change will affect our ability to source food, we don’t have a made-in-BC food security plan. We seem to be setting ourselves up to be absolutely dependent on imported goods. Why? We have so much potential. The BC food self-sufficiency study that the government produced – showing that we need to increase our food producing capacity – was shelved. We have a BC Agriculture Plan, but we can’t use it because the Ministry is under-funded.

Without a plan, will we end up developing every last acre of farmland? Decisions like the one that is before us tonight, the decision to split up this valuable farm, has far-reaching implications that must be seriously considered. We have a responsibility to our future generations to ensure that we have food security in this region and Hudson’s Bay Farm is part of the solution.

We need to look at these problems with the same eyes that the creator of the ALR used. I want the ALC to fulfill its mandate to preserve farmland and not to take away our ability to feed ourselves.

My final point is a question: what is the end-game? What is the final outcome that we expect from chopping up farmland to make room for vehicles?

It is about our future survival or is it about a short-sighted plan that is unsustainable and irreversible.

Link to Langley Times news article on the ALC meeting.