Closely observing and responding to weather fluctuations has always been key to a grower’s success, however the recent extreme heat in early July is forcing farmers to rethink plans for future resiliency.
“This heat dome was the first time where I actually felt, holy crap, here it comes. We’ve been talking about it, we’ve been hearing the impact of the droughts in some of our southern neighbours. We’re going to have to get a lot stronger about how we’re doing things and how we’re supporting each other as community members and how we can support the food producers,” said Tamara McPhail.
Continue reading How island growers are adapting to the dry summer heat
Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Organic farmer Adam Schick holds a single Rembrandt pea aloft in the light of his drying shed to contemplate the magic and generosity of nature.
“There we go. From that we’ll get 50 peas next year. Just from one little tiny seed,” Schick said. “There’s no reason why there should be any insecurity when it comes to food.”
Simply put, access to seeds means access to food, says the market gardener for Linnaea Farm — a 314-acre organic co-operative land trust dedicated to sustainable agriculture, the environment and education on Cortes Island, B.C.
But the privatization and consolidation of seed production over time has driven down seed diversity — which in turn threatens food sovereignty and resilience to climate change, Schick said.
So, Linnaea Farm is setting up a seed library to keep more seeds in the public domain and to ensure they change along with the local climate.
Continue reading Seed Banks Are Rewriting the book on food security
National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Every May, long-time farmer Tamara McPhail’s day begins and ends with frog song. Followed closely by the chatter of birds.
McPhail, her partner and their two kids live off-grid in a fortified yurt with a dugout basement, which means even inside the walls of their home, the family maintains a close connection to nature.
“We’re essentially living in a glorified tent, so in the mornings I awaken to the dawn chorus right now,” said McPhail.
Continue reading Tamara McPhail Talks About Small Farming & Linnaea Farm
By Roy L Hales
When the Cortes Island Business and Tourism Association (CIBATA) was launched, it faced some tough challenges. Some believe Cortes is still stuck in the seventies and many residents would like to preserve that. Yet there is a need for the same business sectors you find everywhere else: retail, health, building and trades, tourism medical marijuana, aquaculture, learning / professional development and social profit. On February 24, CIBATA will be unveiling the draft of Cortes Island’s Local Economic Action Plan at the Klahoose Multipurpose Building, between 10 AM and 4 PM. In this morning’s program the association’s President, Colin Funk, talks about economic development while preserving Cortes’ core values.
Continue reading Economic Development While Preserving Cortes’ Core Values