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.  

Hello Spring!

KBFA wrapped up our virtual winter by discussing cover cropping with Erin Harris of Kootenay Meadows Dairy and Jillian Bainard of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Watch the recording here to learn how local farms are using cover crops.

KBFA is excited to get into the field, host in-person events and hear what your farm plans are this season! We will be reaching out for farm visits this Spring!

Kootenay Meadows Organic Dairy in the Creston Valley has been experimenting with dryland and irrigated cover crops. In this photo they are crimping their fall rye cover crop while no-till seeding their perennial pasture.
In This Issue
Headlines: Irrigation Week | Find Farm Labour | Feeling the Heat
Events:  Low Tillage Market Gardening | Range Field Day | Meat Processing Q &A
Kudos to our Farmers: Fairfield Farm | Terra Firma Farms
Local Dirt: Food Producer Internship Program | Soil Health and Food Nutritional Quality

Get Ready to Water! Irrigation Week April 4 - 9 

Irrigation specialists Bruce Naka and Andrew Bennett toured the Kootenay region in 2020 inspecting and investigating irrigation systems. The result is a 12-part irrigation video education series that will launch on April 4. Every 2 days, your inbox will receive new videos to gear you up for this season.
Watch a teaser HERE. Irrigation has never been so exciting!

Feeling the Heat: Effects of 2021 Heat Event on Tree Fruits in the PNW

The Okanagan Horticultural Advisor's Group and BC Fruit Growers' Association hosted sessions related to tree fruit production, fruit quality, and the extreme heat event that affected fruit growers in the Pacific Northwest including the Okanagan and Kootenay region. 
View the summary here and the recordings here

Looking for Farm Labour this Season? Post on the Kootenay Agricultural Job Board!

KBFA is encouraging all farms looking for labour to post on in an effort to attract agricultural workers to the Kootenay and Boundary region. Kootenay Jobs has an agricultural job board and tremendous resources to support employers and are well connected to grants and wage subsidies. Kootenay Agricultural Job Fair 2023? This is what we are working towards!
Post your job now!

UBC Field Trails in BC and the Kootenays

On-farm market garden research trials in the Kootenays and Fraser Valley examined the role that silage tarps can play in managing agricultural soils for vegetable production. The research was based on the project with UBC Masters student Raelani Kesler and four Kootenay farms from 2019 - 2021. 

Field Days: Assess Your Irrigation with Bruce Naka and Andrew Bennett

Windermere, Skookumchuck, Creston, Grand Forks: Monday, April 25 - Friday, April 29

Irrigation designers Bruce Naka and Andrew Bennett will visit five farms in five days across the Kootenay and Boundary regions, including vegetable, tree fruit, and forage operations. Each field day begins at 1pm to review the highlights of an irrigation assessment done in the morning, as well as demonstrate useful tools and techniques to diagnose common problems and fix them.

Learn more and register here

Field Day: No-Till Seeding with Franz Feldmann

Columbia Valley: Monday, May 16

Franz Feldmann and his family have been ranching in the Columbia Valley for over six decades. Three years ago they purchased a no-till seeder for forage crops and haven't looked back. Attendees will hear about their experiences with the no-till drill and see equipment demonstrations. 

Learn more and register here

Field Day: Low Tillage Market Gardening

Slocan Valley: Wednesday, May 18 & August 31

Ravine Creek organic vegetable farm in the Slocan Valley has been practicing low tillage farming to manage weeds, build soil and retain moisture. Attendees will network with fellow producers and hear from experienced market gardeners about how to maximize production, build soil, and control weeds.

Learn more and register here

Webinar: Q&A on Meat Processing Regulations

Online: Tuesday, June 21

Are you interested in small scale meat or poultry processing but don’t know where to start? During this informal Q&A session, Nova Woodbury from BC Meats will answer questions from producers about small-scale on-farm slaughter, meat processing regulations and the new Farmgate/Farmgate Plus license.

Learn more and register here

Range Field Day

Fort Steele: Wednesday, June 29

Attend this field day to see the results of an East Kootenay project to restore rangeland for livestock grazing at the Peckham's Range Unit.  Participants will hear from Hanna McIntyre with MFLNRORD who will share the history of the area, restoration strategies, seeding techniques, and project results. 

Learn more and register here

KBFA Event Recordings 
On-Farm Research Event Series
Have you ever wanted to try a different crop, measure soil health, or conserve water? Watch this series to design your own on-farm research project. 
Watch the 3-part series on soil health, seeding rates and research design.

Tomato Production for Soil-Based Systems
In this interactive online session, Dr. Vern Grubinger shared best practices by organic high tunnel (hoophouse) tomato growers in the Northeast U.S. to optimize nutrient management.
Watch the webinar

Flock Health for Optimal Broiler Production
This flock health workshop was tailored for small scale meat bird producers in the Kootenay region with Dr. Vicki Bowes, Small Flock Poultry Health Specialist and Veterinarian with the Ministry of Agriculture. 
Watch the webinar & interactive Q&A here

Other Great Events, Recordings & Resources
Wildfire Preparedness
Join an interactive webinar with the Climate Change Adaptation Program on Tuesday, April 12 to develop a customized wildfire plan using the Farm/Ranch Wildfire Guide and Workbook. View the resources here and register for the webinar here
Virtual Grazing Conference with Peace Country Beef and Forage (8 videos). Presentations on soil health with Dr. Kris Nichols, livestock handling with Dylan Biggs and year round grazing with Jim Gerrish. Watch here.

Fairfield Farm - Grand Forks

Article from Country Life in BC
The demand for high-quality, local meat from small-lot farmers is in high demand. The key to success? Learning how to best address broiler health, and in turn, economic viability and food safety. Alex Fostvedt of Fairfield Farm in Grand Forks discusses his operations and learnings from attending KBFA's January workshop on broiler health.
Want to explore the resources from January's Flock Health for Optimal Broiler Production workshop? Look no further!

Terra Firma Farm & Kitchen - Revelstoke

Article from Country Life in BC
Certified organic commercial market gardeners Rob Jay and Terra Park of Terra Firma Farms in Revelstoke took a big leap in 2020 started Terra Firma Kitchen, a new farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Revelstoke. The menu changes seasonally to provide the best food throughout the year. The farm added two new greenhouses to help supply the restaurant. 
Terra Firma Farms specializes in high-quality local vegetables and ethical meats.

The Relationship between Soil Health & Food Nutrition Quality

Many studies show the environmental benefits associated with regenerative agriculture and improving soil health; however, less is known about the relationship between soil health and food nutritional quality. A recent literature review by the Soil Health Institute looks at this relationship and the challenge of available data to draw any firm conclusions.
Read the Executive Summary Report here

Challenges for Small-Scale Meat Producers in BC

Results of a province-wide survey of small-scale meat producers in BC led by the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association has identified access to slaughter as the #1 challenge of producers across the province. Only 1% of respondents reported operating at a high profit, while 37% operate at a loss, 26% operate at a low profit, and 26% of respondents just break even. 

Read more - Country Life in BC article

Columbia Basin: Food Producers Wage Subsidy

The Basin Food Producer Wage Subsidy Program provides support to primary food producers in the Basin. The program will provide flexibility to farmers to hire employees as needed throughout the 2022 growing and harvesting season.
Learn more

Thank you to our sponsors:


KBFA Website
Copyright © 2018 Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors · 3816 Highland Road · Cranbrook, BC V1C 6X7 · Canada

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp