Organic Food

Conference 2013

Certified Organic Association of BC
Friday, 22 February 2013 at 1:00 PM - Sunday, 24 February 2013 at 4:00 PM (PST)
Vernon, BC


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Are we going to let GMOs destroy our industry/movement?
Presenters: Dag Falck - Organic Program Manager, Nature's Path Foods
Lucy Sharratt – Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)

GMO Corn, Soy and Sugar Beets today, GMO Alfalfa tomorrow, and soon GMO Wheat, are crops that threaten the very survival of organic farming in BC. What is COABCs role in protecting organic agriculture?

This session will look at the status quo, the issues we know are coming, and the things that can be done.

The BC Organic Market in 2012: Consumers, Sales and Opportunities
Presenter: Shauna MacKinnon - Projects and Development Manager, Canada Organic Trade Association
The Canada Organic Trade Association is conducting the first comprehensive market study of the Canadian organic marketplace and consumers since the government regulated the sector in 2009. As part of this research we are doing a deep dive of the BC market with an analysis of the who, what, where and why of organic food buyers in BC and a comprehensive look at organic food sales across categories (fresh produce, dairy, grocery, etc.) and market channels (major supermarkets, natural food retailers, farmers' markets, CSAs, on-farm and foodservice). This presentation will provide the first look at this new research with insights into the growth, change and opportunities in the BC organic market and for BC producers.

BC Seeds Space - Back by popular demand!
Presenters: Mojave Kaplan and Susan Moore
BC Seeds is a project of FarmFolkCityFolk. We support organic farmers to increase the quantity and quality of locally grown seed by nurturing and networking community collectives. This year we will be hosting a space in the Tradeshow from Friday evening through to Saturday dedicated to informal exchanges and hands on opportunities covering all aspects of seed growing in BC.
Bring along any dried seeds you have that need cleaning and seeds to trade and the stories that enhance their meaning. Come on in for informal mentoring and participatory cleaning, packaging, and/or exchanging of seeds. Mojave Kaplan of Planting Seeds will demonstrate a variety of cleaning tips and tools as well as a workshop on seed growing and ways to integrate seed production into the farm plan.

Biodynamic Practices at Alderlea Farm
Presenters: John & Katy Erlich, Alderlea Farm
Alderlea Farm in Duncan, BC began in 2003 and has been using BD Practices ever since to build a healthy soil and farm community. Learn about using the BD Preparations, planting and soil work with the Calendar, and creating a healthy farm organism.

Farm Succession Planning: Opportunities and Challenges
Presenter: Open Discussion
In follow-up to the open discussion at the 2012 COABC Annual Conference on Land Leasing Arrangements for new farmers, this session will focus on the process of succession planning, particularly with non-family members in mind. Frameworks for succession planning will be presented. Open discussion to follow on issues such as: new farmers with little money, transfer of agricultural skills and knowledge, business planning, communication and decision-making about 'is this relationship/agreement going to work out and how do we go about it?'.

Farm to School BC: Putting healthy, local and sustainable foods onto students' plates
Presenter: Brenda Kent - Farm to School
This presentation will provide an overview about Farm to School BC including the many models that have been operating across the province, including the Farm Bag Fundraiser which has seen great success in the Okanagan. We will highlight the benefits and the challenges of running a successful program and the ways farms, schools and the broader community are overcoming such challenges! Participants will walk away with new ideas, tools and resources to engage in BC's Farm to School movement.

Free Choice Whole Grain Feeding on Laying Hens at the UBC Farm
Presenter: Jacob Slosberg - UBC Farm
The UBC Farm has been investigating free choice whole grain feeding regimes for laying hens on pasture for the past two years. Free choice whole grain feeding has the potential to lower feed costs by allowing hens to regulate their own nutritional needs and the use of locally produced unprocessed grains. This can strengthen regional food systems by promoting the production and use of locally produced grain by different types of farm, which also counteracts rising feed costs. We will present on the project development, experimental design/management system that we developed for free choice whole grain feeding on pasture of laying hens. We will then discuss our data and results along with management recommendations and suggested improvements.

Need organic funds? How to get the OSDP to say YES!
Presenter: Panel Discussion
A panel presentation with Organic Sector Development Program (OSDP) committee members describing the kinds of presentations that work for our funding partners combined with a question and answer period.

Organic Edamame: Potential Crop for Climate Adaptation in BC.
Presenter: Krishna Sharma, Sharing Farm, Terra Nove, Richmond, BC
Seven varieties of edamame (Glycine max L. Merrill) were planted on May 24, 2012 at Terra Nova Sharing Farm, Richmond BC. Clay loam soil was tilled and steer manure was added to create medium organic fertility condition. Six feet long four rows spaced 21 inches apart were replicated three times that were randomized for each variety. Thirty seeds were hand planted to maintain 3 inches plant spacing. Seedling emergence was counted after two weeks which showed poor to satisfactory seedling population. All rows were gap filled on June 17 to maintain recommended plant population. Plots were manually weeded and light irrigation was applied at critical stages to avoid moisture stress. Crop was free from major diseases and pests throughout the season. Centre two rows were harvested for fresh pod yield when beans were fully developed. Two outer rows were harvested two weeks later for seed yield. Varieties differed in germination, canopy height, date to flower, maturity, pod yield, 100 seed weight and seed yield. Though all varieties showed economic viability with respect to yield level, SPS-BL #3, Sayamusume, Harunamai and SPS-BL- #1+2 ranked higher with respect to earliness, pod type and seed filling over Shirofumi, Hakucho and Black Jet. Results indicated the fact that organic edamame cultivation can be a potential crop to address climate change adaptation in BC.

Organic Farmers of the Future - Feedback Session on Organic Farming Education in Elementary Schools
Presenter: Johanna McBurnie - Schools Coordinator, LifeCycles Project Society
LifeCycles' Growing Schools program builds school gardens and provides hands-on learning opportunities for elementary schools on Southern Vancouver Island. Our program has been in operation for over 15 years and has evolved to meet the changing needs of schools, enhancing the organic education of elementary school students. Last year we conducted interviews with teachers, principals, volunteers and parents to gather information on their experiences with organic education. We would like to take this opportunity to consult with farmers and gather feedback on the possibilities of, and gaps in, organic farming education. This feedback will be incorporated into our program and the aid in the development of curriculum focused on hands-on learning, which will be distributed free of charge to elementary schools in BC.

Organic Farming for the 21st century - What is our message, how is it delivered and to whom?
Presenter: Kate Petrusa, Glen Valley Organic Farm
As aspiring farmer and academic in the last three years, I have become really interested in the identity of organic farmers: who are we? What do we stand for? How do our wider public perceive us, and really why does any of this matter anyways? While I'm sure all of us could answer these questions intelligently for ourselves, there is value in taking a second look at what our answers are and what these answers might mean beyond our own communities. I argue that a degree of self-awareness will help organic farmers break new ground in our mission for a more just food system and I think dialogue with our conventional, larger-scale farm neighbours has a role to play. Join me for a short talk and discussion about who we are as individuals and as a community, and to explore our role in changing the world.

Organic Land Care - The who what where when and how
Presenter: Rochelle Eisen - Resilient Solutions Consulting
In 2003, the Society for Organic Urban Land Care (SOUL) published an Organic Land Care Standard and developed a certification system for Organic Land Professionals. The objectives were to create a means by which organic landscapers could be identified, and to raise the bar on land care practices of the day. SOUL is currently reviewing and updating the Organic Land Care Standard to assure it continues to remain complimentary and seamless with the Canada Organic Standards for agriculture. SOUL will be hosting a small discussion session during the lunch hour to discuss the opportunities and challenges that arise for the emerging organic land care sector.

Organic Okanagan Festival
The 2013 8th Annual Organic Okanagan Festival will be on Sunday September 29th, 2013 at Summerhill Pyramid Winery, 4870 Chute Lake Road, Kelowna.
The Organic Okanagan Festival is the Okanagan's finest green living expo! The Okanagan Greens Society produces the most accessible and enjoyable annual green living celebration in the Okanagan Valley and we believe the Organic Okanagan Festival (OOF) is representative of modern cultural diversity. We host a dynamic event and aim to educate with entertainment, showcasing vital information and growing green initiatives in the Okanagan community. Participants learn and engage in an exchange of goods, ideas, art and inspiration, which in turn nurtures a healthy community life-cycle. The Organic Okanagan Festival has proven impact; we have hosted seven years with an annual attendance of up to 72 exhibitors and over 1000 happy attendees. In total we have raised more than $10 000 for the Kelowna Community Food Bank. Okanagan and eco-conscious, natural and thought provoking, the Organic Okanagan Festival is your community-based event showcasing our growing green choices.

Post-Harvest Handling and Packaging
Presenters: Dave Wilson of Choices Markets
Randy Hooper of Discovery Organics
When your crops are ready to harvest, your job is not over. Dave Wilson of Choices Markets and Randy Hooper of Discovery Organics will give you their perpective of the organic produce world from a wholesaler and retailer perspective. Short presentations will be followed by a lengthy Q and A session, so please bring your questions.
  • Standardized packs - this is more important than you might think!
  • Do retail customers recognize your brand on the box? If they like it, they will come back for more - if they remember who you are.
  • Why big shippers use field hydro-cooling, pressure cooling and ice.
  • Why is 80% of the kale sold in Vancouver in August imported from Oregon and California? What other no-brainers are we missing out on! We have a long list for you!
  • Are you missing major markets all because of those darn PLU stickers?
  • Growers world-wide are facing the reality of climate change - 'bizarre'' is the new normal - are you ready for it?
  • Consistency, Commitment, Communication - the three big words.

Potentials of small lot, direct market ecological agriculture on underutilized ALR land in Surrey, BC.
Presenter: Caitlin Dorward - Research Associate, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Kwantlen Polytechnic University Surrey, British Columbia, is B.C's second largest city with approximately 1/3 of its land base (21,469 acres) in the Agricultural Land Reserve. Despite this classification, approximately 7,500 acres of this land is highly fragmented (78% of parcels under 10 acres) and classified as underutilized or not utilized for agriculture. From the contemporary industrial perspective, this land has, for all practical purposes, lost its utility for agriculture.
We assessed the potential for Surrey's underutilized ALR land to be used for small lot, direct market organic agriculture. Our findings suggest that 3,800 acres of ALR land in Surrey are potentially available for production, and if brought into agriculture they could satisfy 100% of Surrey's seasonal demand for 29 commonly consumed crops and animal products, create almost 2,500 jobs, and more than double the current economic magnitude of Surrey's agriculture industry by generating over $100 million in income for the local economy. Our methodologies and findings, and their implications for the organic sector, will be discussed.

Marketing in Your Region: Produced in the Comox Valley Logo
Presenters: Carmen Wakeling - Eatmore Sprouts
Arzeena Hamir - Amara Farm
Moss Dance - Merville Organics
In the spring of 2012 a small group of Certified Organic and Transitional farmers and interested parties started gathering. We wanted to get together to support each other and see what we could do to build understanding and community about organics here in the Comox Valley. The end result for the year has been an amazing logo for our area "Produced Organically in the Comox Valley" and "Transitioning to Organic in the Comox Valley". In this presentation we will talk about the process of getting together, from our late night brainstorming sessions thru our goal setting process, the rationale for the decision to develop the logo design and then the release and promotion of the logo, how it is being used now and what our hopes for it moving forward are. As well we will talk about our hope that other communities to create a version for themselves. We feel pretty happy with this outcome to date as it is opening up the door for conversation at all levels and for trust in the food that is being sold and consumed under the label of "Organic".

Small Scale Food Processor Association
Presenters: Candice Appleby - Executive Director Smalls Scale Food Processor Association
Brian Millward - Social Media Marketing Specialist
The SSFPA has been very busy developing tools and resources to assist food and beverage processors in the global market place. This workshop is designed to inform participants of the resources the SSFPA has to offer including promoting strategic utilization of social networking, presenting powerful and affordable e-commerce solutions and ensure that all those in the food and beverage manufacturing industry are introduced to the food safety tools and resources available to them. The SSFPA serves 5 needs to industry - Networking, Marketing, Advocacy, Education and Benefits.

Software Products for Small-Scale Farms
Presenter: Chris Bodnar - Glen Valley Organic Farm
The session will provide an overview of software products available for CSA management, farm planning and record keeping, based on my experimentation with the various products over the past season. I'll highlight the benefits and limitations of each product, explain pricing and give some ideas as to how to adopt the products into regular farm operations.

Straight Lines, Curvy Landscape: Applying Keyline and Permaculture Design Strategies to Small Scale Organic Production
Presenter: Jesse Lemieux Bsc. PDC - Principal, Lead Teacher - Pacific Permaculture
This workshop will begin by briefly running through fundamental permaculture design principles: addressing some of the common misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding permaculture approaches regarding holistic water management and Keyline design. Keyline design is an integrated approach to landscape water and soil creation. It is commonly used in the management of broad acre range land systems. Keyline principles have universal application. As a backbone concept in permaculture design, a keyline approach can be effectively applied to improve water management efficiency, soil development and ultimately the productivity of small scale organic production.

Summerhill Biodynamics
Presenter: Gabe Cipes - Summerhill Winery
Sourcing, Making and using the Biodynamic preparations, the Cosmic Rhythms, Animal integration, Companion cropping.

Targeted Grazing for Weed Management - A new IPM technique for the toolbox
Presenter: Jo-Ann Fox – Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee
In the field season of 2011 the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee piloted a 'Cows eat Weeds' program and in 2012 the Southern Interior Weed Management Committee piloted a 'Weed eating Goat Herd'. This presentation will discuss how targeted grazing can be used as a weed management tool and give an overview of the Cows eat Weeds program and the Weed eating Goat Herd.

Young Agrarians
Presenter: Sara Dent - Young Agrarians & FarmFolk/CityFolk
An interactive workshop on the development of Young Agrarians. Our focus is to grow the youth agrarian ecological/organic/self-sustaining farm movement in B.C. We are an on-line and off-line community building project. We will present on tools created to date: the interactive resource map and land access guide, and our on-the-ground fun-building events designed to inspire and connect our food communities.

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