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.  

No-till Spring!

Two in-person field days in May showcased no-till strategies for forage and vegetable production. The Feldmann Ranch in the Columbia Valley is seeing improved soil structure and productivity using a no-till drill for forage, and Ravine Creek Farm in the Slocan Valley has tackled weed and moisture issues in their commercial market garden. View the photos and summaries here: Feldmann & Ravine Creek.
Irrigation Field Days
In April, irrigation field days brought producers together at five different farms across the Kootenays including fruit, forage and vegetable farms. See the photos and summary here

Field day at the Feldmann Ranch, May 16. 
The Feldmanns purchased a no-till drill for seeding forage three years ago and haven't looked back. They are seeing improved soil structure, increased yields and reduced tractor time.
In This Issue
Headlines:  Federal Funding | Soil Health Video Series | Soil Reports | Big Horn Sheep
Events: Market Gardening | Meat Processing |  Creston Field Day | Range Field Day 
Kudos to our Farmers: Sunshine Valley Farms
Local Dirt: Fighting Fires | Small Scale Meat Processors | Wireworm Monitoring

NEW Federal Funding Program: Cover Crops, Rotational Grazing and Nitrogen Management

A new federal program is offering cost-shared funding to a maximum of $30k per business for practices that store carbon and reduce greenhouse gases through implementation of nitrogen management, cover cropping, or rotational grazing practices.
Find out more information on who is eligible and how to apply here.

Organic BC: Soil Health Series

This 4-part series filmed in the spring of 2022 tours farms and interviews producers from orchards, dairies and vegetable farms. Learn about cover crops, soil management strategies and transitioning to organic farming! Featuring Hermann Bruns of Wild Flight Farm and Molly Thurston of Claremont Ranch Organics.
Watch here

Soil is Our Future: New reports identify how Canada's soils can save us & agriculture's role

Soils at Work: Soil Health Learning Program
The Compost Council of Canada introduces the Soil Health Learning program with step by step resources and audio books on soil health and composting. 
Recruiting Soil to Tackle Climate Change: A Roadmap for Canada
The Soil Conservation Council of Canada outlines the current soil organic carbon status of Canada's soils and identifies targets and strategies to increase these levels. The report showcases agricultural success stories from across Canada.
Carbon Sequestration in Agricultural Soils: Addressing Canada’s Climate Change Targets
Canadian agriculture’s future strategies must seek to increase production while reducing emissions and enhancing the amount of carbon sequestered at the same time, according to a new report from the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute.

Protecting Wild and Domestic Sheep Populations in the East Kootenay

A new documentary film by The Wild Sheep Society of BC is raising awareness about a deadly disease threatening both wild & domestic sheep. In the East Kootenay, Jennifer Bowes of Riverside Farm in is coordinating efforts to build relationships between domestic sheep producers and wild sheep conservation to improve the knowledge and the prevalence of M.ovi disease. Bowes will be sampling as many domestic sheep as possible this year to determine the level of risk to domestic flocks and the bighorn sheep population.
Learn more

Market Gardening for Environmental and Economic Sustainability

Online: Monday, June 6

Join experienced market gardeners John Hofer and Brenda Paterson online for part 2 of the market garden series. During their time running Wise Earth Farm, they discovered the most optimal ways to economically manage soil nutrients, manage staff and plan crop succession for their thriving farm business.
Watch Part 1 
Register for Part 2

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

Field Day: Farming and Ranching in the Creston Valley: Ecological Challenges and Solutions

Creston: Thursday, June 23

This field day will bring producers and organizations together to discuss strategies for cows, fish and frogs to co-exist on agricultural land and new funding opportunities for farm projects. Participants will tour Goat River Farms (Kootenay Natural Meats) to see implemented farm management practices such as feeding areas for livestock and efficient ways to fence riparian areas. 
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, Range Agrologist from the Ministry or Forests, who will share the history of the area, restoration strategies, seeding techniques, and project results. 
Learn more and register here

Field Day: Low Tillage Market Gardening

Winlaw: Thursday, September 15

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.
See photos from Part 1 on May 18.
Learn more and register here

Other Great Agricultural Events
Field Day: Electric Fencing & Equipment Library
Cranbrook: June 3
Hands-on demonstrations of electric fencing, solar waterers, soil and hay sampling equipment with the Kootenay Livestock Association and KBFA. Learn what new tools are available for rent! 
More details & registration information here
Symposium: Grassland and Rangeland Enhancement with East Kootenay Invasives
Fort Steele: June 9
Join farming and ranching experts to get the latest information and techniques to improve farming practices and rangeland habitat as it relates to invasive species management. 
More details & registration information here
Online: Food Licensing & Labelling with Mandi Lunan
Thursday, June 30
Food labelling and licensing is often an intimidating and hard to navigate part of taking your product from farmers’ market to grocery store. Join the Basin Business Advisors online to learn all about licensing and labelling with Mandi Lunan, Food Business Coach. 
Register here
KBFA Resources
Farm Water Fix
“Farm Water Fix” is a 12-part video series designed to make irrigation concepts as clear as possible to help you tune up your systems and schedules to get the right amount of water to your crops at the right time. Watch the series here.


Sunshine Valley Farms  - Creston

Feature from the Kootenay Co-op
Patrick Bartel of Sunshine Valley Farms in Lister, BC has grown his operation to 10,000 happy chickens. In a video produced by Kootenay Co-Op, Patrick explains that the technology available for small-scale egg farmers hasn't improved much in the past few decades — their equipment is from the 1970s!
Watch the video here
Sunshine Valley Eggs are distributed throughout the West and East Kootenays for purchase. Check out more about the fam here. 

Documentary Film: Fighting Fires While Feeding Cows

After witnessing firsthand how grazing can impact fire behavior, ranchers, researchers and municipalities have come together to collaborate on a series of pilot projects utilizing cattle to reduce fire risk adjacent to urban communities. The Kootenays are one area that will be included in this pilot project. 
Website and documentary | View documentary launch & discussion

Event Recording: Small Scale Meat Producers Association (SSMPA)

Recent regulatory changes in small scale meat production have opened up some new opportunities, but have also highlighted some of the challenges inhibiting the growth of the sector. Insurance continues to be a serious obstacle for most producers that only increases when on-farm slaughter is factored in.
Watch here  | Read the report here

Fact Sheet: Wireworm Monitoring and Control

Wireworms, the larvae of click beetles, can be found in British Columbia and are becoming increasingly problematic in numerous crops. Due to the lifecycle of the beetle, a field with a high level of wireworms will likely continue to have high levels of the pest for 3 to 6 years. Read the full fact sheet here

Canada Organic Trade Association: Organic Conversion Support Program

Canada Organic Trade Association is assisting organic producers financially for their added costs incurred while transitioning to organic farming through their Organic Conversion Support Program. This program reimburses producers for their certification costs up to $1,000. Learn more here.

Thank you to our sponsors:


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