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BERRIES MEAT BEEF BC berries face mixed outlook this season 7 Closures underscore need for licensing reform Outlook cautiously optimistic for fall run 11 21 YOUR BC SEED SOURCE 1 888 770 7333 Quality Seeds where quality counts The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 AUGUST 2020 Vol 106 No 8 Second farm locked down Cases expose farms to risk as BC reopens by PETER MITHAM Master of Vine Karnail Singh Sidhu of Kalala Organic Estate Winery in West Kelowna emigrated from India in 1993 and has built an award winning reputation with low input viticulture and top notch wines This summer he was named first recipient of the BC Grapegrowers Association s new Viticulturist of the Year award His peers recognized his good practices hard work and leadership that have contributed to the BC wine industry s success Read more on page 23 PHOTO MYRNA STARK LEADER OLIVER An outbreak of COVID 19 at an Oliver cherry grower in early July underscores the challenge the pandemic poses the farm sector as BC reopens Communities across BC have been wary of outsiders during the COVID 19 pandemic fearing an influx of non locals could lead to an outbreak of the dreaded disease The concerns led to extreme measures this spring designed to limit the interactions seasonal farm workers have with local communities by PETER MITHAM Diesel PTO Pumps PVC Aluminum Pipe Irrigation Reels DRIP IRRIGATION Centre Pivots 1 888 675 7999 888 6755 7999999 I R R I G A T I O N L T D watertecna com t t VICTORIA The province s farmers rang up a record 3 9 billion in farm cash receipts in 2019 but the financial fallout from COVID 19 could paint a different picture for 2020 The newly legal cannabis sector drove farmgate sales 13 higher in 2019 versus 2018 The province s licensed cannabis growers saw sales of 361 5 million up 300 million from 2018 This pushed the crop to third spot among the more than 200 commodities produced on BC farms Dairy held the top spot with receipts of 683 million in 2019 up 47 million from 2018 Poultry ranked second with revenues of 429 3 million up 12 million from 2018 BC agriculture minister Lana Popham framed the growth as underscoring the agriculture sector s resilience in the face of the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic We know the pandemic has impacted farmers greatly this year but the farming sector s record economic growth in 2019 sets the sector up for a strong recovery she said in a statement However growers across the province are scaling back production either because of reduced demand from restaurants and hospitality businesses or as a result of labour shortages A recent survey by the BC Fruit Growers Association indicates that more than 67 of growers plan to harvest less fruit this year as a result of COVID 19 Dairy producers have also been cautious See SMALLER on next page o Country Life in BC 36 Dale Road Enderby BC V0E 1V4 COVID 19 darkens sales outlook Postmaster Please return Undeliverable labels to Growing more with less water CANADA POSTES POST CANADA Vol 106 No 8 Postage paid Port pay Publications Mail Post Publications 40012122 See PANDEMIC on next page o

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2 AUGUST 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC PANDEMIC adding to labour woes nfrom The province stepped in to provide accommodation and meals for foreign workers during their mandatory 14day self isolation period and public health protocols for farms required the workers to limit contact with the community during the term of their employment Domestic workers from outside the province were also urged to avoid contact with their communities with the province setting up campgrounds to accommodate them The cost to the province after three months was more than 10 million with the sum expected to approach 20 million by the end of the season Community spread The last thing anyone expected was that communities might transmit COVID 19 to farm workers But in early July that s the exact scenario that seemed to be playing out at Krazy Cherry Fruit Co in Oliver where one seasonal foreign worker and one member of the farm family tested positive for COVID 19 Interior Health Authority officials soon connected the outbreak to a surge in cases in Kelowna Krazy Cherry was quickly slapped with a public health order from the Interior Health Authority confining workers to the farm premises and limiting outside access to the premises Both the foreign worker who tested positive and the farm s family member were placed in isolation while eight other staff and 35 foreign workers at the farm were told to self isolate Two other workers have since tested positive We are taking every precaution to mitigate any risk to our employees their families and the public said Krazy Cherry chief operating officer Harman Bahniwal noting that the farm was working closely with Interior Health Second outbreak The outbreak was the second major outbreak at a farm in BC The first at Bylands Nurseries Ltd in West Kelowna at the end of March was also the province s first confirmed case of community spread In both cases the farms and their workers had complied with the prevailing public health protocols Both outbreaks were limited in scope and far less severe than outbreaks in Ontario where hundreds of foreign workers have tested positive for COVID 19 and three have died We took extra precautions right from the start and so because of that Mexico is citing British Columbia as an example of how it should be working said BC agriculture minister Lana Popham told Country Life in BC at the end of June But the measures haven t made everyone happy Advocates for foreign workers in the Okanagan seized on the incidents The accommodations at Krazy Cherry were criticized as being substandard despite provincial inspections prior to workers arrival and the high standard to which employers have been held this year Bylands Nurseries for its part ran into criticism for firing two workers alleged to have repeatedly broken protocols designed to limit the spread of COVID 19 Advocates say the protocols which prohibited visitors breached the workers rights The issues underscore Mexico s desire to revamp the national Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program which it joined in 1974 The program brought about 7 500 participants to BC from Mexico last year Berenice D az Ceballos consul general for Mexico in Vancouver praised BC s decision to fund housing and meals for self isolating workers and step up inspections of on farm housing to ensure it met the requirements of public health orders aimed at preventing COVID 19 and protecting workers British Columbia has done exceptional things she told Country Life in BC at the end of June I am sure after COVID19 has passed that these temporary measures will become permanent because I think that s the way to protect the safety health and human rights of foreign workers Those protocols set the pace of an overhaul of the program announced June 21 Mexico has established an intergovernmental committee page 1 from 2018 We ve been focusing quite heavily on housing inspections and making sure there s less incidents of mistreatment of workers including low standards of housing says Popham But it s a work in progress I think the pandemic has shone a light on improvements that are needed with Canada to chart a path forward Since her arrival in Vancouver in 2016 Ceballos has overseen efforts with SAWP stakeholders including government industry and non governmental organizations to identify and address issues On the housing front last year saw a 60 improvement SMALLER harvest regarding production targets uncertain of how reopening plans will affect demand On the labour front many fruit and vegetable growers are expecting shortages of between 50 and 80 The province has spent more than 10 million to date to accommodate incoming seasonal workers in line with COVID 19 protocols and promote opportunities for domestic workers via the BC Farm Fish and Food Job Connector portal but growers continue to voice concerns over harvest labour Weather woes also threaten to reduce how much farmers can harvest and sell this year adding up to a stressful season While bankruptcies and insolvencies in the agriculture sector are down nationwide BC has seen the number of businesses facing financial trouble grow The first five months of 2020 saw 58 businesses in the province declare bankruptcy or make proposals to creditors according to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy This is up from 45 in the same period last nfrom page 1 year Just one of the failures was an agricultural businesses a fruit and vegetable farm The horticulture sector was concerned enough that the BC Landscape and Nursery Association launched an insolvency triage program for producers this spring The BC Ministry of Agriculture has since taken over the program contracting four consultants to assist producers facing severe financial impact from COVID 19 i e farms and operations facing insolvency or bankruptcy The consultants will work with farmers to address topics including dealing with financial institutions effectively managing cash flow and understanding financial options Conversations 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AUGUST 2020 3 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Initiative takes aim at invasive Asian hornets So called murder hornets make the local kill list by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER LANGLEY Farmers gardeners and residents of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island are advised to be on the lookout for Asian giant hornets AGH this summer an invasive insect classified as a serious honeybee predator A few of the massive hornets can kill an entire beehive in a few hours Reports of the hornets have been circulating for a couple of years However the first positive capture came in May 2019 when a single Vespa ducalis was captured in Vancouver Another species Vespa mandarinia was spotted in Nanaimo in August 2019 and a nest destroyed the following month by a group of experienced beekeepers The next discovery also of V mandarinia was in White Rock in November The species was also spotted in Whatcom County Washington last fall and this spring The province issued an information bulletin in March asking residents near 0 Avenue to look out for the wasps which can be up to 5 cm long Hornet traps have been set and pest alerts were distributed This year a confirmed sighting of a V mandarinia queen occurred in Langley in May Several reports of sightings also arrived from the Cowichan Valley in June The province set up 20 traps there in July as part of surveillance efforts which also continue in the Nanaimo area We anticipate further sightings in the next weeks or months says BC provincial apiculturist Paul van Westendorp We have developed a program by using the public s involvement as well as beekeepers municipalities invasive species councils Canadian Border Services Agency RCMP and residents near the Canada US border Westendorp adds that if the hornets have established several nests sightings will likely occur in summer when the population will be the largest Apiculture staff will triangulate confirmed sightings to help teams on the ground find and destroy the nests We have not trapped any AGH yet and have expanded our bottle trap placement says Westendorp We are not the only ones as Washington State Department of Agriculture WSDA has not caught any AGH in its traps Washington and BC hold bi weekly meetings to coordinate their different approaches to the new pest WSDA in cooperation with the USDA set up a large scale control program in the spring with lots of equipment and traps while BC has decided on a more measured approach linked to the seasonal development of hornet populations WSDA entomologists have engaged the public through a citizen science campaign enlisting their help in trapping the AGH Any suspicious sightings are reported to an online form and a map of sightings is being used to track them to help locate the nests throughout the summer We have had thousands of responses from our citizenscience program reporting Asian giant hornets says Olympia WSDA entomologist Chris Looney Looney explains that the hornets have not yet established themselves in Washington This means the increased effort is to keep them from becoming established in the region It is important to act now says Looney The WSDA has received a boost in funding to support the increase in control activities Washington provided funding for outreach and citizen science and the USDA provided funds to focus on specific trapping and eradication efforts There are end of year funds available for research to identify the hornets origins through molecular genetic analysis developing better trapping methods and attractants The next fiscal year will see a budget increase to fund collaborative work with Japan and Korea Work is planned to trap and label wasps to track them to their home nests and to experiment with carbon dioxide levels so trapped wasps can be handled safely for labelling We are at a wait and see GOTCHA Beekeepers Moufida Holubeshen Peter Lange and Conrad Berube were ecstatic when they were able to find and destroy an Asian giant hornet nest in Nanaimo last September PHOTO SUBMITTED stage as we wait for sightings and location of nests says Looney August and September are expected to be the most critical periods as sightings are verified and nests are sought The proposed Murder Hornet Eradication Act of 2020 in the US Congress directs the Department of the Interior to provide states US 4 million a year for the next four years for management research and public education activities necessary to eradicate the hornet and restore bee populations damaged by the pest We are still in a critical period for understanding the Asian giant hornet says Looney How to trap and manage it the next couple of years are critical Outreach has also been important in Washington State A fact sheet outlines the risk to farmers and farms including direct damage by the hornet to soft fruits reduced pollination by destruction of beehives aggressive defensive actions as hornets defend the hive as they would their nest and stings to people pets and livestock if their nests are disturbed BC residents are encouraged to report sightings to the Invasive Species Council of BC at 1 888 933 3722 Proudly offerring quality farm equippment and wholesale farrm product delivery acrross BC SPECIAL SPE CIALL PRICING On In Stock DELT TA Drain Tile Cleanner NQSPWFT SBJOBHF r POEJUJPOT 4PJM r DPOPNJDBM 3FMJBCMF r PX BJOUFOBODF r 4BGF BOE 1SPWFO AND On In Stock AEROS STAR A Tine Weedders Check outt our Einbock Tillagge Equipmennt For Organic Farm ming Tine Weeders t 3PX SPQ VMUJWBUPST r 3PUBSZ PFT BNFSB VJEBODF 4ZTUFN Call ema ail or visit us onliine info reim mersfarmservice ccom 855 737 0110 reimersfarmservice com

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4 AUGUST 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Relax rethink reset Summertime and the living is cautious While the province has moved to Phase 3 of its reopening plan the initial restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID 19 mean fairs and exhibitions scheduled for the summer and fall remain cancelled A resurgence of cases in early July triggered a more defensive posture as this issue went to press With the pandemic becoming the backdrop for how society operates there s a real danger the efforts to keep people healthy will be seen as normal rather than extraordinary Our guard has to stay up if public trust in the system is to be maintained something farmers know too well Best practices can never be second best practices when it comes to maintaining biosecurity on the farm or in our communities This point has been driven home by COVID 19 outbreaks on farms this summer According to public health authorities proper protocols were followed on the farms but COVID 19 still managed to find a way in While the risk to the general public was low the risk to the farms in question was potentially greater A recent BC Agriculture Council survey indicates growing public confidence in the transparency of on farm practices but panic buying at the start of the pandemic revealed how quickly consumers will act in self defence It doesn t matter how often people are told food is a low risk item they ll buy what they believe is the safest option The great irony is that BC s farm sector has actually adapted quite well to the new way of doing business Despite the challenges sourcing labour infection rates among workers have been extraordinarily low compared to other parts of Canada The province has stepped up to reduce the costs to employers notwithstanding a scheduled hike to the minimum wage and wineries farm stands and farmers markets have not been epicentres of outbreaks However there s plenty more to be done to support the farm sector We ve weathered the first wave of adaptation well now it s time for the second The province has an opportunity to reimagine the rural economy The pandemic has coincided with a more protectionist stance on the part of many countries and follows an exodus of young professionals to more affordable read rural parts of the province with lower housing costs Often the properties have land enough to raise some hens for eggs and meat Bylaws need to respond and slaughter facilities need to exist And there will be friends and friends of friends who might want a part of what those small lot growers are producing It s in everyone s interest for that food to be not just local but safe The stringency from which the Province has suffered during the past months has had one good effect It has made people think this paper s editorial observed in August 1915 And thinking has brought the conviction to many a city man and woman that they ought to devote a portion at least of their time every day to the production of vegetables fruit and eggs The small farmer also is considering the question of more intensive culture Crises are always moments of risk and opportunity and that was as true a century ago as it is today As we learn to live with COVID 19 it s also time to reimagine what agriculture can be A fire prevention and response plan is crucial I was moving the irrigation reel to a new field when I heard the first siren When I got there at least half a dozen were wailing away I listened as they came closer wondering what catastrophe was unfolding They were crossing the river a mile and a half downstream then heading west By the time the water was on there was a pall of smoke rising in the southwest There are four farms between two and three miles in that direction a BOB COLLINS store several homes and a lot of forest With all the rain in June the forest fire hazard was low and the size of the response and the amount of smoke seemed excessive for a house fire I headed for the home fearing for all the neighbours At the house I was met with the news that a neighbour s barn was on fire A phone call to another neighbour on the farm next to the fire revealed there were four fire departments fighting the fire ambulances were on scene the road was closed and there was nothing more that any of us could do to help There was nothing left but to wait and worry Like most places where ranching or farming happen there is a special kinship in the farm community in our small valley Many of our friendships span lifetimes and we share each other s joys and sorrows and stand ready to lend a hand in times of trouble understanding full well that there but for the grace of God go any one of us There is no bleaker feeling than to watch helplessly as misfortune befalls someone you are close to There were firefighters on the scene all night and the damage became clear the next morning The main barn an entire first cutting of hay an extensive inventory of machinery and a shop full of tools were lost entirely Thankfully no one from the farm was injured and all the cattle and sheep were on pasture at the time The true extent of the tragedy only became clear later in the day when we The Back Forty learned that a volunteer firefighter who suffered a medical emergency at the scene had died Our hearts go out to his family and the firefighting community Dedication service and sacrifice Most of us in small and rural communities are served by volunteer fire departments manned by friends neighbours and family members There are more than 126 000 volunteer firefighters responding to disasters and tragedies nationwide We owe them a debt of gratitude along with all first responders for their dedication service and sacrifice Fires are devastating as BC farmers and rancher well know from recent experience Disaster is never more than a tiny spark away As the temperature climbs and everything dries out the need for caution becomes more acute and a review of your fire prevention and response plan is prudent If you don t have one it is critical Does everyone on your farm understand what to do if there is a fire Where is the fire extinguisher from the shop and how long has it been since it was charged Is Gramps still the only one who knows just how to fiddle with the irrigation pump to get it primed Don t assume anyone else understands the plan you ve had in your head for the last 10 years Don t be afraid to give someone from your local fire department a tour so they ll know what is where if you ever need to call them See if they have any observations or suggestions while you re at it You owe a comprehensive fire safety plan to everyone on your ranch or farm and you owe it to all the volunteers who will be there when you need them Bob Collins raises beef cattle and grows produce on his farm in the Alberni Valley Publisher Cathy Glover 604 328 3814 publisher countrylifeinbc com Editor Emeritus David Schmidt Associate Editor Peter Mitham The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 Vol 106 No 8 AUGUST 2020 Published monthly by Country Life 2000 Ltd www countrylifeinbc com news countrylifeinbc com Advertising Sales Marketing Cathy Glover sales countrylifeinbc com Production Designer Tina Rezansoff Slap on the suncreen PW Advertising is accepted on the condition that in the event of a typographical error that portion of the advertising space occupied by the erroneous item together with reasonable allowance for signature will not be charged but the balance of the advertisement will be paid for at the applicable rate In the event of a typographical error which advertises goods or services at a wrong price such goods or services need not be sold at the advertised price Advertising is an offer to sell and may be withdrawn at any time All advertising is accepted subject to publisher s approval All of Country Life in British Columbia s content is covered by Canadian copyright law Opinions expressed in signed articles are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Country Life in British Columbia Letters are welcome though they may be edited in the interest of brevity before publication All errors brought to our attention will be corrected 36 Dale Road Enderby BC V0E 1V4 Publication Mail Agreement 0399159 GST Reg No 86878 7375 Subscriptions 2 issue 18 90 year 33 60 2 years 37 80 3 years incl GST

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AUGUST 2020 5 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Food priorities need to focus on the basics Shorter local supply chains make for resilient food systems People working on sustainability have been talking for years about a tipping point This may well be the year we ve reached it A mortal threat to human health COVID 19 has disrupted the global status Viewpoint product from farms to consumers Farm and food businesses added or improved online capabilities To the people immediately involved it probably felt and may still feel like daily scrambling but food has kept growing and moving and that is a significant achievement by KATHLEEN GIBSON quo and will condition everything we do from now on at least until we have an effective treatment or vaccine The pandemic joins with the widening effects of climate change and significant social inequality We can t go back to the way things were Amid the challenges and uncertainties few matters are more immediate or important than food The pandemic spotlight has picked out significant weaknesses in long complex just in time supply chains where food passes through many hands A few very large companies own key links in those chains and we ve realized how dangerously fragile big and concentrated operations are We have also realized that the many hands that make the chains work are essential and require appropriate compensation good working and living conditions and access to health care The good news is that food providers and the people of BC are demonstrating adaptability and resilience And there are many hands and minds willing to help and think our way forward The farmers fishers food businesses and organizations in BC are engaged When our restaurants closed and everyone began to cook more at home retail markets adapted and farmers shifted their planting marketing plans and sales channels Smaller processors picked up some of the slack from the big players Distributors helped re route Missing the mark In this context the BC government s 201920 Economic Plan Emerging Economy Task Force Report and Food Security Task Force Report conceived prepandemic and promoting the theme of BC becoming a world leader in agri tech and innovation miss the mark More relevant are pandemicinformed reports such as the European Commission s From Farm to Fork the Green Technology Education Centre s Rebuilding BC A Portfolio of Possibilities or the First Nations Health Authority s Planning for Food Security a Toolkit for the COVID 19 Pandemic There is general agreement that putting more emphasis on closer shorter supply chains is a good idea because they provide resilience against shocks and stressors There is also a focus on reducing waste along the chain which can include the development of new products If we want robust BC supply chains here are some suggestions for how a few key organizations could take action BC Ministry of Agriculture Double extension services with agrologists agri tech experts and other advisors who will get to know farmers and processors on site and connect them with useful resources Universities and colleges Provide resources that help solve supply chain problems Pick an area build relationships stay with it A livestock example is the Niche Meat Processors Assistance Network an information and problemsolving hub operated by extension personnel at Oregon State University Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC Lean into the possibilities of re developing products from existing supply chains and repurposing waste Livestock examples include fleece wool and hides Food policy councils and local governments Provide coordination something no supply chain can do without This goes to facilitation contract development and management logistics scheduling and more Unpaid coordinators tend to burn out and then supply chains crack or break The Premier Find a way to insert food into the mandate of every ministry This can support and reinforce agriculture s efforts The BC Ministry of Health s definition of food security as a key determinant of health has proven beneficial The education minister could make food a key topic for food literacy and citizenship Overall the key resilience variable and hallmark of sustainable food systems is diversity in seeds crops livestock breeds land and water use practices business models not to mention points of view at the table These remarks are based on a post tipping point assumption that our food providers are now in survival mode and we need to reinforce basics No shiny things no promises here about making BC a world leader Technology has many important and useful roles but it should be understood as a means to an end not an end in itself Provincial reports such as those cited above mistakenly emphasize technical solutions for what is really an enormous adaptive challenge While these reports were being published farmers fishers and food businesses were improvising and innovating like never before When it comes to charting a path forward the pandemic has reminded us to listen to them when they come up for air Kathleen Gibson is a policy analyst and founding member of the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable CR FAIR the BC Food Systems Network and Food Secure Canada Between 2005 and 2012 she assisted with industry s adaptation to the Meat Inspection Regulation and introduction of BC s graduated slaughter licensing system PERFECT SEEDBED PREPARATION IN EVERY CONDITION EVERY FIELD EVERY TIME LOOK TO LEMKEN Look to LEMKEN s Zirkon 12 for one pass seedbed preparation in any condition The wellthought out details offer critical advantages including a modular design with a larger range of available transmissions and tines This ensures that each machine can be optimally adapted to the specific needs of each individual farm Hydraulic depth adjustment for ease of operation DUAL Shift transmission for easy change of the direction of rotation Screwed or quick change tines for short set up times Versatile range of rollers for 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AUGUST 2020 7 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC BC berries face mixed outlook this season This year s challenges will have lingering effects through 2020 growers say by RONDA PAYNE ABBOTSFORD A combination of weather woes and labour issues have conspired to push down yields for many BC berry growers this year Blueberries are expected to be the hardest hit with an estimated 25 reduction in overall crop volume says Anju Gill executive director with the BC Blueberry Council The drop follows last year s record breaking harvest of 189 million pounds All growers are feeling the pain of a cold wet spring Rain and melt led to a late freshet and high streamflows in the Fraser River challenging Jason Smith of Fraser Berry Farms on Matsqui Prairie in Abbotsford The lake I have in my field from seepage is not making me very happy he says The cool spring also made 2020 one of the worst years for pollination he s seen I ve been doing this all my life and this is definitely a poor pollination year across all varieties he says Mandy Rai co owner of Surrey Farms in South Surrey also cited poor pollination as an issue Ongoing cool weather delayed ripening of her fruit which was surrounded by standing water after repeated heavy rains in June They re not ripening she says Maybe a pollination problem Maybe a little bit down in volume David Doc Braich farm manager with JK Agro Industries in Abbotsford says Bob Zhang shows off his basket of u pick blueberries at Surrey Farms PHOTO RONDA PAYNE the Duke variety has sized up nicely but lacks the sweetness BC berries are known for due to cool weather keeping Brix levels down Smith hopes that later varieties will fare better in terms of sweetness and volume but reports from growers are mixed Access to workers is also a challenge with Gill estimating that her growers are working with about half the labour they usually do This is making it tough for growers to get blueberries destined for the fresh market off the field in a timely manner While growers of fruit destined for processing can rely on machine harvesting hand harvesters are essential for top quality fresh fruit We already know from weather conditions the volume is down she says Now we have to get them off the field The council estimated earlier this year that labour challenges could cost the sector 108 million in revenue The actual losses will depend on market prices which may benefit from lower yields in Michigan also hit by weather issues but face pressure from higher yields in Oregon Smith is trying to stay optimistic projecting an overall decline in the range of See WEATHER on next page o Little Large Local Long Europe N America Port to Dealer Farm to Farm Anything in Between Chilliwack Langley Chemainus Kelowna 1 800 242 9737 47724 Yale Rd W 1 800 665 9060 21869 56th Ave 1 250 246 1203 3306 Smiley Rd 250 765 8266 201 150 Campion St www rollinsmachinery com info rollinsmachinery ca

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8 AUGUST 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC WEATHER labour big issues for berry growers nfrom Crap shoot The variability in weather from Abbotsford to Delta resulted in a real crap shoot for strawberry growers says BC Strawberry Growers Association manager Lisa Craig Braich says his strawberries were the worst this year with production down by about 50 They were big and red but just not sweet The quality wasn t there he says Rain meant a lack of picking opportunities and a number of mouldy berries for Braich and other growers in Abbotsford but growers in Delta and Surrey saw lighter rainfall and a bumper crop Kevin Husband of Emma Lea Farms on Westham Island in Delta describes his June bearing berries as a very very good crop It was actually one of the best crops that we ve ever had It was incredible he says While temperatures were cooler than usual in June and July the rain provided moisture for the berries to size up nicely The lower temperatures also gave Husband a 30 day harvest window on his berries rather than the usual 20 days The weather also gave Rai an extended season She says both her June bearing and ever bearing Raspberry season started about eight days later this year for most Fraser Valley growers Weather and labour have been major challenges PHOTO MYRNA STARK LEADER strawberries were of good quality and very good size Yields exceeded last year s BC Strawberry Growers Association president Ed McKim says some growers of ever bearing varieties experienced rot from standing water due to the use of plastic mulch He expects ever bearing varieties will boost the total BC strawberry harvest closer to last year s total of 2 7 million pounds if weather conditions are favourable No normal Raspberry growers have become inured to challenges and this year delivered more of the same There is no normal anymore says James Bergen chair of the Raspberry Industry Development Council Compared to last year the crop started on time but with the cool late June early July we re probably four to eight days later The weather also delivered plenty of quality issues with some growers resigned to sending their berries for juice There was a demand for highquality fruit this year It s difficult to produce with the weather events that we ve had says Bergen There s going to be some mould for sure Processing varieties will be hit hardest Bergen hopes quality will be better for late season varieties Bergen expects this year s yields will be about the same as last year at 2 75 tons per acre but it will depend on Meeker Growers harvested approximately 15 million pounds last year but between weather and declining acreage this year s crop will likely be less Unfortunately as with other commodities labour was the biggest issue Many growers dropped fruit intended for the fresh market due to a lack of workers Braich tried hiring local students but after just one day on the job many didn t return While the farm built cabins for temporary foreign workers processing delays in Mexico and quarantine requirements mean incoming workers won t be able to work until early August The effects of this season will carry over into next year he says At the beginning of the season we were saying we couldn t wait for the season to be over he says This impacts next year s crop too GIVE YOURSELF T H E AVENUE RELIABILITY 20 before the berries even make it off the field If we can pack 160 165 million pounds we ll be doing well he says It hasn t been a bed of roses for blueberries It s hard to say what is actually going to get packed page 7 It doesn t matter what is going on in the world you have a job to do and you need a team behind you that won t be phased by circumstances Avenue Machinery has been standing with the farmers of B C since 1947 and we are here for you today ABBOTSFORD VERNON KELOWNA 1 888 283 3276 1 800 551 6411 1 800 680 0233

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AUGUST 2020 9 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Pandemic puts the squeeze on blueberry growers Reduced workforce threatens fruit quality by SARBMEET SINGH ABBOTSFORD BC blueberry growers face tighter profit margins this year due to COVID 19 Public health protocols have created additional costs including the need for personal protective equipment for workers safety and a hike in labour costs Meanwhile fewer workers in the fields mean fruit could over ripen reducing quality and prices We have spent more than 50 000 on the equipment including gloves masks and hand sanitizer Additionally to maintain social distancing during lunch times we have placed new tents for the workers says Rajinder Singh Lally owner of Lally Farms in Abbotsford pointing towards the new Plexiglas dividers being installed at his packing house to ensure social distancing between workers Lally owns 13 farms totalling 500 acres Despite his size he feels the extra costs are likely to reduce his profit margins Besides spending money on personal protective equipment a significant cost in itself farms are having to hire additional workers to sanitize everything from crates to retail areas Kris Maan at Maan Country Farms is also feeling the pinch due to the need for additional staff to maintain a high level of sanitation at the popular agri tourism venue We have hired workers just for sanitization he says They keep on sanitizing various things at the farm We are very cautious about the disease This has increased our costs Farmers also fear overripening of fruit that can t be harvested as quickly because of the need to maintain social distancing among workers Picking began this year in early July and will last into September The farm labour contractors who provide workers need to make more trips to deliver the same number of workers to farms and there are also specific protocols at the farms themselves We are planning to enroll the workers in picking berries by keeping them at a distance of at least one row This will however cause over ripening due to slow picking leading to a decline in price says Bhupinder Singh a Punjabi farmer in Langley We need around 200 people to pick berries in our farm says Parmjeet Sahota who farms in Pitt Meadows This year we are not getting enough labour and that can result in over ripening of the fruit because the berries can t wait to be picked The need to maintain space among workers is compounding troubles associated with a shortage of labour To tackle the situation farm owners are offering higher wages for pickers In the past we used to offer 50 to 60 cents per pound for picking berries for early and mid season varieties respectively This year we are planning to hike that by up to 10 cents per pound says Lally On an average one person can pick around 300 pounds of berries per day which means Lally will pay around 30 more per day to each worker As hundreds of workers work at the farm this will result in hundreds of extra dollars in harvest costs and a reduction in profit margins With an average yield of 12 000 pounds an acre the extra pay could boost costs by up to 1 200 an acre Farm owners say many people are reluctant to work due to the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit which Ottawa has announced will run an additional eight weeks until August 29 CERB Rajinder Singh Lally says he s spent more than 50 000 on personal protective equipment to keep his staff safe while harvesting and processing this year s blueberry crop It s a significant expense especially when a labour shortage could result in a smaller harvest this season PHOTO SARBMEET SINGH pays 500 a week to workers who have lost work due to COVID 19 or about 2 000 a month Recipients can accept work but wages are capped at 1 000 before the benefit starts being clawed back This means farmers would have to pay a full time worker at least 3 000 a month in order for employment to be competitive with staying at home The aid given by the federal government is also luring the people to not resume work Monthly aid by the government is another factor contributing to the prevailing shortage of labour says Balraj Singh of Abbotsford When people can get money by sitting idle at their homes why will they Serving the Okanagan and Fraser Valley We ve been proudly family owned and operated since opening in 1976 And with two blending plants we re one of BC s largest distributors of granular liquid and foliar fertilizers Our buying power and proximity to the Fraser Valley makes us the logical choice for truckload shipments OKANAGAN FERTILIZER LTD 1 800 361 4600 or 250 838 6414 come to farms But there s also another reason for the shortage of workers that s unique to IndoCanadian farms A large number of IndoCanadians rush to Punjab to visit their homeland in winter a time when most of the marriages are held in Punjab They return in April and May However due to COVID this year many of them were not able to return on time as per their schedule I went to India to attend the marriage ceremony of my relatives in December last year I was scheduled to return by April end However due to COVID all the flights were cancelled says Gurnam Singh who worked on berry farms last year but has been unable to return to Canada for this season When the Canadian government started repatriating the Canadians the costly flight tickets was another challenge before me So I decided to remain in Punjab for some more time and wait for the tickets to get cheaper Farm and Rurall Residential Properties in the Peace Country are our specialt lty ty Anne H Clay yton MB BA AA AACI P Ap pp RI Appraiiser Judi Leem ming BHE AIC Candiidate BHE e info aspengr info fo aspengrro rovepropertyservices rovepro roperrty tyserrvicess ca s ca

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10 AUGUST 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC U picks popular as consumers seek outdoor activities Going local means great business for berry u picks this summer by RONDA PAYNE DELTA U pick berries have proven to be an ideal option for consumers looking to stay close to home safe and healthy amid ongoing concerns over COVID 19 U picks are a chance to get outside a lower risk compared to indoor activities when it comes to COVID 19 while also stocking up on local food Kevin Husband owner of Emma Lea Farms on Westham 1994 JD 7800 4WD 161 HP POWERSHIFT 4 000 ON FACTORY REMANUFACTURED MOTOR 43 000 Island says kids being out of school made weekdays feel more like weekends at his u pick operation during June He estimates his number of u pick visitors was up by 25 We had a great response he says People this year were just craving to get out of their house and do something outdoors People are also securing their supply of fruit in the freezer into the winter that s the second thought Husband s strawberry crop of June bearing berries didn t disappoint He calls it one of the best crops that we ve ever had The crop and customers may have been great but concerns around COVID 19 cast a pall over it As much as it was a great crop it wasn t that joyous because of what s going on in the world he says According to BC Strawberry Growers Association general manager Lisa Craig BC Ministry of Agriculture recommendations for u pick operations were well received by growers Husband says 95 of customers accepted the new Mandy Rai of Surrey Farms says her strawberry and raspberry u pick was very popular this season She s hopeful the momentum continues as the blueberry harvest gets underway PHOTO RONDA PAYNE ministry standards that prohibited the use of containers not supplied by the farm required physical distancing and mandated handwashing and separate check out procedures at some locations Overall it worked well he says noting that BC s progress on reopening means farms may be close to a point when consumers can once more bring their own pre sanitized containers An announcement allowing this had not been made by press time Craig adds that most everyone visiting a farm understood and respected the requirements put in place to keep people safe Surrey Farms co owner Mandy Rai says her strawberry season lasted almost six weeks on her June bearing berries The long season was a benefit with the abundant u pick customers she welcomed It s very popular she says I ve been doing this 30 years This year it was very busy People I guess they want to come out She notes that both strawberries and raspberries have been busy for u pick Like other growers she has separate fields for u pick customers and fruit harvested for wholesalers In Abbotsford David Doc Braich farm manager with JK Agro Industries says he didn t open his farm s u pick operation at all this year We didn t want to take the chance he says Other farms like Richmondbased W A Farms also chose not to allow u pick this year A public statement from W A noted health and safety concerns during COVID 19 and poor weather and field conditions as the reasons UNIFORM FLUFF Y WINDROWS 2000 JD 6410 W JD 640 LOADER 4WD 104 HP 4534 HOURS POWER QUAD 37 000 2006 JD 5325 2WD 67 HP 5906 HOURS 3 REMOTES 55 PTO HP 19 900 G A SINGLE ROTOR ROTARY RAKES Masterdrive gearboox for increased reliabilit y and toughness during intense use Double cur ved tine arms provide clean raking and increased for ward speed 1990 JD 2955 4WD 97 HP 9052 HOURS DUAL PTO 85 PTO HP JD TSS 19 000 www tjequipmentllc com 360 815 1597 LYNDEN WA ALL PRICES IN US FUNDS IN N V E S T IN Q UA LI T Y 10 6 14 9 raking widths Matsqui Ag Repair Abbotsford Countr y Tractor Ar mstrong Kamloops www k u h n c o m Northline Equipment Ltd Dawson Creek Visit your local Brritish Columbia KUHN Dealer today Huber Farm a Equipment Prinnce George

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AUGUST 2020 11 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Closures underscore need for licensing reform Growing demand for local food demands a larger abattoir licensing vision by PETER MITHAM COOMBS A year ago Lori Gillis was sounding the alarm about the coming wave of retirements that threatened to drastically reduce meat processing capacity on Vancouver Island She was 66 and had nearly 23 years experience under her belt All the butchers red and poultry we re all in the same sort of age group says Gillis who runs The Cluck Stops Here a licensed Class A poultry plant in Coombs We can t last forever and no one is coming up behind us She thought she might have another 18 months or until the end of 2021 at the very latest but then a longtime employee resigned citing arthritis Shortly afterwards while working her garden Gillis own hands stiffened and refused to cooperate with her My hands can t do it anymore she said But the demand is huge Despite growing demand for her services from smallscale producers which only seems to have increased in the wake of COVID 19 and greater interest in local food she decided to close She called the clients she could and in July was handling the last few birds for the clients she couldn t reach It s just tidying up now she said Al s Feathers Be Gone in Port Alberni is taking on most of her clients but Gillis says shops like hers filled an important niche Her closure follows that of Plecas Meats in Nanaimo this spring leaving 10 Class A abattoirs on Vancouver Island five each for red meat and poultry Lori Gillis has processed her final chicken at The Cluck Stops Here another casualty of abattoir owners not being able to find new owners for their businesses as they reach retirement age PHOTO MYRNA STARK LEADER local processing but caps the extent to which it can grow Processors looking to expand need to have inspection services to facilitate access to larger markets not just within their region Moreover the demand for local slaughter capacity is outstripping the ability of smaller processors to accommodate it A larger plant such as Island Farmhouse Poultry in Duncan has limited capacity to handle custom slaughter The equipment that they use in an industrial plant is very fast says Gillis But it doesn t hold the home grown birds which are much larger The little plants are so needed Without a viable solution she expects underground processing will increase BC Ministry of Agriculture compliance and enforcement staff have opened 188 files related to the Meat Inspection Regulation since 2014 The files led to 21 illegal operations being shut down and at least six new abattoirs licensed as a result of compliance and enforcement activities Gillis herself was an underground operator before licensing in 2010 We had no trouble with going into the meat inspection system It was just a smooth transition we basically were operating like that anyway she says For straw and lyme 1 1 2 high paddles Rear mesh back panel Secondary beater drum Agitator Material can be discharged from either side www hlaattachments com Incentives The threat of fines a last resort says the province and incentives to upgrade plants helped bring many operators into compliance at the time They offered all kinds of government grants to help you switch over That was a very good incentive first the See REGULATIONS on next page o Changing times Changing times mean the rules need to change to ensure the services of the smaller abattoirs that provided custom slaughter won t be lost Gillis says this requires more than an expansion of Class D licences a move the province made in June to boost processing capacity in the AlberniClayoquot Regional District as well as two other areas Class D abattoirs are geared to provide fresh meat on a regional basis but lack inspection which limits distribution to within their home region This supports Side Discharge SILAGE FACER Mounted on a 4 ft frame 400 Brinell high tensile steel teeth Dual drive motors Heavy duty chain www canadianorganicfeeds com FOR BAGGED or BULK ORDERS Darren Jansen Owner 604 794 3701 organicfeeds gmail com Certified by Pro Cert Organic Systems Ltd Road Flex Running Gear 185RF 10 ton 4 wheel 205RF 12 ton 4 wheel 285RF 15 ton 4 wheel 365RF 20 ton 4 wheel 485RF 24 ton 4 wheel 325RF 18 ton 6 wheel 308RF 20 ton 8 wheel www horstwagons com www horstwelding com 1 866 567 4162

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12 AUGUST 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC REGULATIONS fail to reflect current realities nfrom year focused on animal welfare humane handling and slaughter hygiene at 10 locations throughout BC BC Association of Abattoirs executive director Nova Woodbury was one of the trainers independent of her association work and says the association supports training for all members of the slaughter industry BCAA is supportive of training of absolutely everybody who is involved with the slaughter of animals she says The better we are all at it the better it is for the animals and the consumers She looks forward to provincial training initiatives resuming as the province continues to reopen following the pandemic fine and I didn t want to lose my farm and then the incentive to upgrade the buildings she says But now that the new licensing system has become established it has to adapt to reflect current realities Changing times Times have changed she says There s a whole switch in society in how we re viewing food and our lives There seems to be a huge increase in people growing their own chickens You could say in a hard way the system is archaic One scenario she sees is a closer relationship between farmers and processors She suggests a processing co op where growers would contract with an abattoir operator for services The need for closer relationships throughout the value chain is an idea supported by other industry groups including the BC Association of Abattoirs Gillis also sees the need for training that addresses both the technical aspects of butchering animals but also animal welfare and consumer concerns We need something better than the D and the E licences she says Farmers will always butcher their meat regulation is not going page 11 Catching her breath Lori Gillis with husband Brian left says the loss of abattoirs like hers is going to push more processing underground She wants to see better support for rural meat processors PHOTO MYRNA STARK LEADER to stop them There should be a course for them a certificate and a yearly meeting But training is in short supply Olds College in Alberta offers slaughter courses and occasional workshops focused on slaughter for personal use the ministry says these are not a concern but no formal accredited training program in BC A series of workshops hosted by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and BC Breeder and Feeder Association last Gillis for her part is taking a break from raising her own birds right now as she catches her breath but she s concerned about what awaits her next year She ll be just like any other small lot producer at that point We have the barn we have the feeders and all that but I m going to need a place to take my birds to she exclaims So I m quite curious It s going to be interesting because I m on the other end of the spectrum now As smooth as it gets is now an option for select 6M models Match your speed precisely to your job with no speed bumps From creeper applications to transport speeds and any speed in between IVT is as smooth running as it gets The 6M Reimagined by you For you Contact your local PrairieCoast equipment today 1 877 553 3373 PCEQUIP CA PRINCE GEORGE 250 561 4260 KAMLOOPS 250 573 4412 KELOWNA 250 765 9765 CHILLIWACK 604 792 1516 NANAIMO 778 441 3210

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AUGUST 2020 13 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Small lot farmers call for greater infrastructure Small producers will stay small without basic supports by TOM WALKER ARMSTRONG Small scale producers say the province needs to rebuild rural food processing capacity if it wants them to thrive While small local producers have come into their own in recent years and drawn several aspiring farmers to rural acreages the rules often restrict growth and leave them scrambling for the kind of support that was withdrawn as the economy became centralized The provincial small lot poultry quota of 2 000 birds a year is a case in point Andrea Gunner of Rosebank Farms in Armstrong is a business consultant who regularly speaks to farm groups about the importance of knowing production costs and planning for profits She knows how tough it can be A small lot grower with just 2 000 birds cannot make a living Absolutely not says Gunner without hesitation Gunner and her husband Steve have made Rosebank work by combining several small lot quotas to direct market about 3 500 chicken and 300 turkeys a year to some 600 buyers But it still isn t enough In order to make ends meet Gunner and her husband have part time jobs off the farm If we had other species and value added and managed it full time I think it could be viable she says This is the direction they are heading with the business but many small producers have trouble making the leap Linda Geggie executive director of the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable CRFAIR told the Expanding the Influence of Regional Agriculture Support workshop organized by the AlberniClayoquot Regional District in Duncan this past February that the biggest challenge facing small lot farmers in the Capital Regional District is moving from modest income direct marketing at the local farmers market to a full time income The Gunners have invested in a provincially inspected processing plant Rancho Cooling in Armstrong provides them with freezer space and they can transport their product to an established customer base willing to meet them at designated pick up spots but they wonder if there isn t a better way Julia Smith president of the Small Scale Meat Producers Association quips that her business model is based on meeting her meat customers in gas station parking lots But Lisa Dueck of Sterling Springs Chicken in Falkland says there s no way she is doing that I m not going to sit at a truck stop with a cash box she says Instead Dueck gets up at 4 am twice a week to be at the farmers markets in Kelowna and Vernon when they start at 8 am The model is not one that appeals to Gunner who sold flowers at the local farmers market for several years I admire people who can do it she says I know what it s like She recalls the early starts hoping the weather and her display and smiling personality would help her sell everything she had brought It didn t What s needed she says is a renewed appreciation for and investment in the basic elements of the food system that connect food with consumers We need to rebuild local infrastructure she explains The processing cold storage and distribution and marketing infrastructure that were part of the lesscentralized economy of the past have disappeared she points out A centralized processing plant is efficient and costeffective but disruptions Andrea Gunner of Rosebank Farms says rebuilding local infrastructure such as cold storage and distribution options not just processing is critical for BC s small lot farmers to realize their potential PHOTO CATHY GLOVER related to COVID 19 at Alberta beef plants this spring jeopardized 70 of the country s processing capacity Abra Brynne executive director of the Central Kootenay Food Policy Council and a long time advocate for local food systems says BC needs to recover its processing capacity People will always ask me what are the top three things that we need to move sustainable food systems forward in the province and I simply can t answer them she says There are so many parts to the issue and we have lost so much capacity in the province Gunner and Brynne both put agriculture extension programs at the top of their wish lists They have been gone since 1993 Gunner notes Nevertheless they remain part of the province s mandate under the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Act Brynne points out Brynne says that when she first approached the Columbia Basin Trust and the three regional districts about funding the popular Kootenay Boundary Farm Advisors program it was an easy sell But not all regional districts have the funding or the desire to take on a responsibility mandated to the province she says Brynne is one of the 13 signatories to an open letter to Premier John Horgan in July providing 21 recommendations to foster safe sustainable and resilient food systems She says the group has already heard back from the province She expects a meeting in the coming weeks but a quick solution is unlikely It has taken 50 to 60 years to deconstruct our localized food economies into a globalized food supply chain she notes It is going to take a long time and a complex set of interventions to turn it around That s where government leadership and dollars are needed In terms of recreating the infrastructure of our food system there are some things in which the business case will never be there says Brynne There will need to be a significant input of capital to rebuild infrastructure and level the proverbial playing field 2021 Tree Fruit Replant Program ANNOUNCEMENT Application forms and the updated requirements of the 2021 Tree Fruit Replant Program are now available on the BCFGA website www bcfga com Project applications along with the required documents will be received by November 30 2020 Please avoid the last minute rush and get your application in early An horticultural advisor is required to sign individual applications for the 2021 Tree Fruit Replant Program The following information will be provided to assist growers in completing applications a A list of qualified advisors b Program operational policies c A series of reports on replanting and variety performance and selection are available and should be referenced when preparing a Tree Fruit Replant Program Application The Tree Fruit Replant Program provides funding for quality projects Project approval is subject to funding availability and is allocated by the date of receipt of applications Completed projects are verified by inspection and must attain minimum program standards HAS GROOVING LET YOU AND YOUR COWS DOWN 40 years of concrete experience research development is behind our custom built patented Traction Milling equipment 7 step process and quality workmanship Call to learn more Also because of the Farm Show cancellations we are giving away Discount Coupons call to get yours Call 717 682 8557 or toll free 877 966 3546 or visit www agritraction com The Tree Fruit Replant Program is a 7 year program funded by the Province of 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14 AUGUST 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Milk production adjusted to meet demand going to restaurants more recently we still have more milk being produced than demand The board hasn t determined if fall incentive days will be possible this year due to this uncertainty EDITED BY PETER MITHAM and unknown demand The goal is to bring producers up to full A June 25 notice informed production availability 5 conventional and organic 15 days before producers that they are implementing incentive days currently restricted to BC Milk is working with producing their daily quota plus one day the Western Milk Pool to monitor production and Credit transfers are still demand very closely and will permitted but producers will meet again before the end of only be paid for production July to determine any up to plus one day beyond their quota changes to the current production limits adds As a result of COVID 19 Delage many restaurants are still Jackie Pearase operating at lower sales volumes and consequently their purchases of dairy products are significantly lower than normal explains BCMMB general manager Robert Delage Although we ve started to see increased volumes of dairy products Rancher and one time agriculture minister Ed Conroy died June 26 following complications from hip surgery He was 73 A long time member of the BC NDP he worked closely with colourful agriculture minister Corky Evans succeeding him in the cabinet of Ujjal Dosanjh in late 2000 Conroy spent just a few months in the role before The BC Milk Marketing Board continues to make adjustments to meet demand as the province slowly eases COVID 19 restrictions Ag Briefs Former minister of agriculture Ed Conroy dies INCREASE CROP YIELDS TRI WAY FARMS We service all of Southern BC IMPROVED DRAINAGE UNIFORM IRRIGATION FAST ACCURATE SURVEYING CALL FOR AN ESTIMATE LARRY 604 209 5523 TROY 604 209 5524 Paton introduces artisan food bill in legislature Demand for local food has soared in recent months and Delta South MLA Ian Paton hopes a bill he introduced in the legislature in July will make it easier for artisan foods to get into the hands of local communities The Home Based Craft Food 2 0 Act is a private member s bill that would allow individuals to sell foods prepared in home kitchens as long as the producers have the appropriate FoodSafe certification and a local business licence Right now if someone cannot afford an industrial kitchen they are incredibly limited in where they can sell their products says Paton My bill would remove these barriers and allow individuals and families to supplement their income and give British Columbians access to a greater variety of fresh local food He says the bill promotes food security supports local economies during recovery from the COVID 19 pandemic and helps grow the province s farm sector Peter Mitham Milk board takes out recall insurance The BC Milk Marketing Board took steps in June to protect producers from possible product recalls in the future A product contamination insurance policy bound by the BCMMB in partnership with the Western Milk Pool has secured a group insurance policy to cover regulated producers effective June 1 2020 The policy provides coverage to producers and the board in the event that milk is alleged to be tainted or unfit for human consumption By joining together with the Western Milk Pool it allowed for higher policy limits while also being much more cost effective as a group says BCMMB general manager Robert Delage The costs to insure each producer separately were cost prohibitive which led to the group policy being created he adds Costs associated with recall events can be substantial regardless of liability The policy covers assistance in the event of a claim coverage for government recall malicious product tampering adverse publicity and accidental contamination There is also a component for professional claims consultation in the event of an incident We haven t experienced a consumer product recall in the past notes Delage The insurance policy is a result of several years of consultation with producers and processors to address the risk to the industry should a significant contamination occur Premiums are pooled based on quota in the Western Milk Pool and will be deducted from the producer equalization pool in each province Jackie Pearase PROFESSIONAL SERVICES LASER LEVELLING LTD UNIFORM GERMINATION losing his seat when the BC Liberals swept to power on a landslide in the May 2001 election Originally elected in 1991 Conroy played a role in establishing the Columbia Basin Trust in 1995 and more recently spoke up in support of the beef industry in the Kootenays Conroy was a respected Hereford breeder for more than 50 years first as Norns Creek Farms and then in his 30 year partnership with Murray Gore as Kootenay Polled Herefords The latter won awards at many shows often ranking ahead of much larger breeders Ed is survived by his wife Katrine Conroy MLA for Kootenay West and BC Minister of Children and Family Development as well as their children Jennifer Wyllie Sasha Ben and their families and siblings Lynsie Alan and Janice Peter Mitham Expert farm taxation advice Purchase and sale of farms Transfer of farms to children Government subsidy programs Preparation of farm tax returns Use of 1 000 000 Capital Gains Exemptions Chris Henderson Nathalie Merrill Dustin Stadnyk CPA CA CPA CMA CPA CA Approved consultants for Government funding through BC Farm Business Advisory Services Program ARMSTRONG 250 546 8665 LUMBY 250 547 2118 ENDERBY 250 838 7337 TOLL FREE 1 888 818 FARM www farmtax ca BC FARM RANCH REALTY CORP Jack Reams P Ag Agri Consulting Toll free 1 888 852 AGRI Buying or Selling a Farm or Acreage Call BC s First and Only Real Estate Office committed 100 to Agriculture v BC Farm Business Advisory Services Consultant GORD HOUWELING Cell 604 793 8660 GREG WALTON Cell 604 864 1610 View over 100 listings of farm properties at www bcfarmandranch com v Farm Debt Mediation Consultant v Meat Labeling Consultant CONFIDENTIALITY GUARANTEED Phone 604 858 1715 Cell 604 302 4033 Fax 604 858 9815 email marlene reams gmail com

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AUGUST 2020 15 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Vancouver Island hazelnut plans focus on growth Diversification is a prime benefit as the province funds acreage by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER DUNCAN Some new and established growers on Vancouver Island have found the province s hazelnut renewal program to be a critical element in the success of their new orchards Jeremy and Andrea Smith planted nearly three acres of the Eastern Filbert Blight EFB resistant bare root Yamhill variety with Gamma Sacajawea and Jefferson pollinizers on their 22 acre property near Duncan last fall with provincial replant funding They plan to plant another seven acres using singledensity planting The program now allows for up to 20 acres to be planted using singledensity plantings which some growers are moving to because the new varieties often grow faster than expected if conditions are ideal This requires growers to remove every other tree from a double density orchard sooner than expected Based on information received at the BC Hazelnut Growers Association field day at Fraser Valley Hazelnuts last year as well as from BC Ministry of Agriculture industry specialist Karina Sakalauskas the Smiths decided to apply for funding It was clear to us that it was a good option says Jeremy Smith We were able to get a lot of information that we didn t have to dig around for The Smiths both have offfarm jobs so they wanted something to suit their lives They already produce hay and raise Romney sheep Hay production is hard with inconsistent weather and an operation too small for new equipment says Smith The Cowichan Valley already has hazelnut farms and we even had old hazelnut trees on the property when we bought it Hazelnuts growing in a region indicate a good likelihood of success with the program but only with EFBresistant trees EFB was first reported on Vancouver Island in 2007 five years after being reported in the Fraser Valley Smith says the trees they ve planted are doing well They are working with an irrigation company to refine their needs for the orchard expansion The program is wellsupported making great efforts with people trying to meet the requirements of the program says Smith Diversity option Some new growers who are program participants are full time farmers looking to diversify their operations Established in 2006 Beaufort Vineyard and Estate Winery in the Comox Valley became the first certified organic vineyard on Vancouver Island in 2019 It grows 10 grape varieties on 12 acres of its 80 acre property It also produces haskap berries sour cherries garlic cover crops and now hazelnuts Beaufort which sold to film director James Cameron in 2014 began research on hazelnuts in 2015 Its interest in EFB resistant varieties was stoked after staff attended the Horticultural Growers Short Course and the Pacific Agriculture Show We were looking for a while at other crops says Cohen Brown who oversees vineyard management and project development for Beaufort At the time that Beaufort Vineyard applied the program required a minimum of five acres We were encouraged to plant more than we had originally planned The SPOKEN FOR Demand for blight resistant hazelnut trees means these seedlings are already earmarked for new homes in the Comox Valley PHOTO NATURE TECH NURSERY program is an incentive says Brown Beaufort planted three equal blocks of EFB resistant cultivars Jefferson Yamhill and Sacajawea in a doubledensity planting in spring and fall 2019 Orchard and vineyard management are coordinated This allows for difference in crop needs and scheduling and allows us to coordinate labour says Brown noting that some of the strategies employed in the vineyard are equally suited to hazelnuts Last fall Beaufort planted garlic as an intercrop as well as clover fescue and field peas as cover crops Resilience is in our overall mandate explains Brown Beaufort has been able to share some of what it s learned with other growers We hosted a tour of the orchard for growers and Attract Pollinators to Your Farm We grow a selection of Pollinator Plants and others for reclaiming disturbed land ditches and creating windbreaks and hedgerows It starts with a conversation contact our team today 604 530 9300 www NATSnursery com 24555 32nd Avenue Langley BC V2Z 2J5 potential growers says Cohen Growers in the Comox Valley realize that the Fraser Valley has anchor growers and processors so they plan to look at the Fraser Valley model and discuss how it might work in their region See TOUR on next page o Hazelnut Trees From EXkli K Z_ Elij ip p Jg Z Xckp ifn i f

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16 AUGUST 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Hazelnut replant program enters home stretch Three year program has resulted in 150 acres planted to date 75 of its target by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER VICTORIA The province is inviting applications for the final round of funding under the BC hazelnut replant program launched in 2018 The three year program has offered 300 000 to support the removal of Eastern Filbert Blight infested hazelnut trees to mitigate the spread of the disease and to plant new EFB resistant hazelnut trees to expand production The last intake opened on May 27 Applications from new and existing hazelnut producers will be accepted until September 15 The program has reached 75 of its target planting of 200 acres to date According to the BC Ministry of Agriculture 18 850 trees were planted on 94 acres and 4 800 diseased trees were removed from 42 5 acres in the first two years of the program Most new plantings were in the Fraser Valley 87 with 13 outside the Fraser Valley This year 13 600 trees have been planted on 55 acres 42 in the Fraser Valley and 13 24 outside the Fraser Valley The hazelnut industry is primarily in the eastern Fraser Valley with some orchards on Vancouver Island and in the southern Interior We have seen a big jump in the Comox Valley says biologist Thom O Dell of Nature Tech Nursery in Courtenay We are very pleased with the demand All of our production for next year is for the Comox Valley Although the program has stimulated interest and applicants from Vancouver Island the Gulf Islands and the Okanagan where hazelnuts are known to grow well Nature Tech has sold the EFB resistant hazelnut trees all over the province Province wide appeal People are buying them on an experimental basis pushing the boundaries We have sent trees to Quesnel Whitehorse Terrace Bella Coola and the Kootenays says Nature Tech owner Haley Argen People are starting to recognize the value to agroforestry as a high quality protein in a permaculture system and in local food security says Argen Some who have bought trees are planting less than an acre to test them out or as an addition to a mixed farm or market garden or expanding an existing operation Nature Tech was the first nursery in BC to propagate and sell the EFB resistant hazelnut cultivars developed by breeders at Oregon State University EFB resistant hazelnut trees are now also available from Mosterman Plants in Chilliwack and Mountain View Acres in Agassiz The organism causing EFB Anisogramma anomala was first detected in the Lower Mainland in 2002 By 2007 it was reported on Vancouver Island According to the CFIA the pathogen is now in all commercial production areas of the province The fungi s widespread presence and growers access to EFB resistant trees has led the Canadian Food Inspection IMPROVING AGRICULTURE Available in 12 14 and 16 wheel models H S Hi Capacity Rakes are the PRVW H LEOH UDNHV RQ WKH PDUNHW and feature an overhead frame design for high volume capacity of crop The LW1100 In Line Bale Wrapper features the new Honda EFI engine for fuel savings and an updated hydraulic system for faster wrapping Agency to propose deregulation of A anomala But as BC s hazelnut renewal program winds down with the last round of funding provincial staff are in contact with BC hazelnut growers about the program s success The discussions will guide the development of options to support hazelnut growers in the future According to O Dell hazelnuts warrant further support He believes they re a good fit with other provincial initiatives aimed at supporting farming in BC such as the new Vancouver Island Adaptation Strategies Plan that the BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative prepared It indicates a need to research new crops and O Dell believes hazelnuts are a good fit TOUR nfrom pg 15 The program is a success It has encouraged expansion It has a streamlined process aided by contact with a professional agrologist and ministry staff says Brown It is a benefit unto itself a good part of the program Thom O Dell of Nature Tech is nearby This is a benefit He is active in the community Brown feels there should be adequate follow up by the ministry as the program participants orchards develop and mature Beaufort would like to see the next stage of support for the industry include advice on how to manage a doubledensity orchard as the time approaches for temporary trees to be removed Should they be transplanted or cut and mulched Then there is the harvest and processing Although all growers of new orchards are cognizant of timelines it is early days before the full harvest is upon them We are not in a significant need of equipment yet says Brown Don t forget RENN 0LOO HQWHU LV RXU 6 LVWULEXWRU P 403 784 3518 ZZZ rennmill com RENN Mill Center Inc RR 4 Lacombe AB T4L2N4 Subscription to to RENEW Country Life your in BC Subscription

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AUGUST 2020 17 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Agrologists unveil new designation Smithers resource manager among the first registrants by BARBARA JOHNSTONE GRIMMER SMITHERS Smithers resource manager Jim D Andrea is one of the first recipients of a new designation from the BC Institute of Agrologists Unveiled this spring the new professional certification waives the requirement for a formal articling program One other RTAg has also been accepted under the expedited program both have over 15 years of experience in agrology related work In addition there are seven articling technologists who have applied for the designation since the program was unveiled in March We expected more uptake It has been slow to get the word out to potential applicants from the colleges and universities because students are online and not on campus says BCIA deputy registrar Laurena Olsen referring to the impact of COVID 19 Despite the timing of the new program there was immediate interest A BCIA webinar in June described the journey D Andrea took through the process and the benefits to the designation It pleases me to see that BCIA has a designation that aligns it with other professional governing bodies says D Andrea who works as a senior advisor for the BC Ministry of Forests Lands Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development He manages the Skeena Region Wildfire Suppression Rehabilitation program as a resource manager on temporary assignment D Andrea grew up fishing and hunting which led to a diploma in environmental sciences and a Bachelor s of Applied Conservation Enforcement degree He began his career as a fisheries officer with Fisheries and Oceans Canada My work had a lens of enforcement says D Andrea But I was working hand inhand with biologists learning as I was going and over time had a ton of mentors in the field Some of his work as a fisheries office involved preventing silt accumulation in streams from the introduction of cattle and machinery After helping with the wildfires in 2018 D Andrea began work in wildfire rehabilitation He noticed that registered professionals were required to sign off on the work and with his experience he thought he could get the designation since he had gained over 20 years of learning through experience I was missing some pieces some upper level courses for a PAg Professional Agrologist but with the technology pieces and experience I realized that I could be a RTAg says D Andrea With the designation and the voice of experience he can work with another professional to provide professional prescription advice Registration for RTAg designation typically requires a minimum of a two year college or university education in a variety of agrology related programs A four year university degree is required for the PAg designation RTAgs will work within a scope of practice defined by their education and experience Several institutions offer BCIAapproved diploma programs including BCIT College of New Jim D Andrea is the first registered technologist in agrology RTAg a new professional certification introduced by the BC Institute of Agrologists earlier this year PHOTO SUBMITTED Caledonia Douglas College Kwantlen Polytechnic University Okanagan College Selkirk College University of the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island University Additional programs will be added as they are identified Currently the approved programs include fish wildlife food technology geomatics engineering technology forestry horticulture water engineering and agricultural technology RTAg certification requires completion of an articling program and at least two years of relevant work experience prior to achieving full status To promote this new category the BCIA will waive half of the application fee for all applicants until February 28 2021 Get a FREE PTO Pump t 3 5 x985 25 200 or 2500 discount on r 4 x1378 30 900 select Irrigation Reels r 4 5 x1476 39 300 Computer included with 110 450 only TRACTORS M MOLINE 2WD LOADER REBUILT CNS749 7 000 NH 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COUNTRY LIFE IN BC AUGUST 2020 19 Woodjam Ranch honoured for sustainability Ranch riparian programs key to award recognition by TOM WALKER HORSEFLY Being a successful cattle rancher requires you to work with nature The connection between how you care for the land how you care for your animals and the success of your operation is very strong The BC Cattlemen Association s ranch sustainability award recognizes a ranch that takes care of the land and this year s winners Chad and Ricky Seelhof of Woodjam Ranch embody that care You have to do what the land tells you to do says Chad from the ranch house overlooking the Horsefly River The land and the animals teach you The land at Woodjam Ranch presents an extra element The Horsefly River is one of the most important sockeye salmon runs in the province explains Ricky who notes that it s also designated as one of 52 highly productive trout streams in the province With 10 km of Horsefly riverfront and 16 fish bearing tributary creeks on the ranch the interaction between cows and water is a key focus for the Seelhofs Woodjam s stream fencing program is what gives them the most pride The cows used to go down to the water all summer explains Chad When it was hot they d be standing in the river losing weight as they had eaten all the grass down there It was bad for the river and bad for the cows When we installed fencing the grass came back quickly and the banks stabilized he continues Those streamside pastures are now hayed for winter feed and there is grass available for fall grazing All told the Seelhofs have been able to build 30 km of streamside fencing much of it two strand electric wire that has a low impact on wildlife Tapping into support But fencing is expensive Ricky and Chad say the support they have tapped through the provincial Environmental Farm Plan program and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has been key We got started with the EFP says Ricky who adds the Ricky and Chad Seelhof and their family were this year s recipients of the BC Cattlemen s Association ranch sustainability award for their protection of riparian habitat at Woodjam Ranch in Horsefly PHOTO TOM WALKER importance of the Horsefly as a salmon river means DFO has been very supportive of any work that they do It takes time to talk with people and fill out the paperwork but if you take that time the support for projects is out there Producer Check off Supports Beef Industry Projects The ranch also benefited from a recent BC Forest Practices Board investigation of how forest and range practices are impacting fish habitat in five watersheds across the province www cattlefund net 1 877 688 2333 See FENCING on next page o BEEF VEAL BISON MEADOW VALLEY MEATS Expertise like ours is Rare LAMB CUSTOM SLAUGHTER SERVICES PROVIDED GOAT for the 2020 PACIFIC NATIONAL EXHIBITION DEER PROVINCIALLY INSPECTED ABATTOIR BC 34 PROUD 4 H SPONSOR 18315 FORD ROAD PITT MEADOWS BC V3Y 1Z1 ashiq meadowvalleymeats com 604 465 4752 ext 105 fax 604 465 4744 PROVINCIIAL LIVEST LIVESTOC OCK FENCINGG PROGRAM Applic lications i Cl Close Septembber 30 2020 View i program o a updatees at cattlemen bbc ca fencing e htm British Columbia Office 1 778 412 7000 Tooll Free 1 866 398 28848 email fen encebc gmail ccom BCHA Pre r sident John o Le L wis 2500 218 2537 BCHA Secretary Janice Tapp 2500 699 6466 T H E B R E ED Y OU C A N TRU S T In partnership with

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20 AUGUST 2020 FENCING protects spawning habitat They noted impacts to the spawning habitat in Woodjam Creek and the district range office came in right away and built 80 000 of fencing says Chad We had been wanting to get the animals out of that area for a long time and now the first 5 km up from the river is completely fenced off Lots of grass COUNTRY LIFE IN BC nfrom page 19 Then if we could winter feed on it the manure would help to put organic matter back into the soil to support better grass in the summer adds Ricky The ranch has seven offstream watering systems that support many of the pastures and eliminates the need to break a hole in the ice so the cows can drink There s also no risk of losing an animal through the ice The on farm benefits of sound management also contribute to a positive image of the industry off the farm It is the responsibility of our generation of ranchers to show the public that we are leaving a positive footprint stresses Chad Lots of people are going to eat beef because ranches are kind of romantic with the cattle grazing in the meadows Chad describes the Horsefly River valley in the eastern Cariboo as an example of an inland temperate rainforest With all that water we can grow a lot of grass he says That allows the Seelhofs to keep their 500 cow calf Angus based herd on their 2 100 deeded acres for eight months of the year Most years they can grow enough feed to winter the animals But it wasn t always that way When Ricky Chad and Flooding his parents came west from Saskatchewan in 2003 the But ranching in rainforest The Horsefly River and 16 fish bearing tributary creeks flow through Woodjam Ranch in BC s Cariboo Efforts to place needed work and was can have its downside This protect the ranch s riparian areas from cattle is being recognized this year by the BC Cattlemens Association only supporting 170 cows year the Seelhofs had yet to PHOTO TOM WALKER This was an take their first hay cut at mid underdeveloped gem says July Their yards were full of to their environment selecting the best traits from Chad mud and the creeks were still overflowing and within the herd to improve it rather than buying The Seelhofs brought part of their Saskatchewan damaging pastures animals from somewhere else herd with them but Mother Nature showed her We had to buy feed last year because it was too The Seelhofs also began restoring pastures to wet for us to get much hay and if things continue hand again support more animals Our Saskatchewan animals weren t used to this the way they have it will be the same this year says If we had an area that was coming in all weeds environment and we had a lot of open cows the first Chad But as challenging as it is to deal with at and saplings we would graze the snot out of it says times like this year with all the flooding you have to years says Ricky Chad They have worked to build a closed herd suited think back that it was worth it

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AUGUST 2020 21 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Outlook cautiously optimistic for fall run Alberta feedlots are clearing creating space and demand by TOM WALKER CALGARY The Canadian Cattlemen s Association CCA is optimistic about the market outlook for BC cattle producers looking to sell animals this fall At this point it is looking okay says CCA general manager Dave Moss Certainly the prices we are seeing now for fall delivery are sending some very strong signals that life will be okay for the cow calf sector come the fall run There are a number of factors working to bolster prices Alberta processing plants which handle 95 of the BC herd are running at 95 plus capacity after shutdowns this spring related to outbreaks of COVID 19 They are very close to if not at full capacity says Moss The fact that the plants have been up and running for five weeks now at near or full capacity gives me some sense that they are in a steady state The backlog of animals in feedlots is being whittled away We estimate it at around 125 000 currently says Moss That s down from the highest estimates of 135 000 back in May It is hard for us to gain ground this time of year Moss explains A lot of cattle came into the feedlots at the beginning of 2020 and are ready for processing now We are at full capacity and yet the supply is beyond full capacity in some ways Those large numbers of cattle will remain in the system for a while yet It is not hard for us to look out and say it will likely be into November maybe into December till we are fully caught up But that doesn t mean the feeding pens in Alberta need to be empty If that number is around 100 000 head percentagewise there is still going to be enough space for that fall run to operate Any space cleared will leave room for animals coming in from BC this fall There is still cause for caution on prices however The feedlot sector is experiencing heavy losses on a cash to cash basis and if they have not taken some risk The cattle industry is recovering from setbacks due to COVID 19 earlier this year PHOTO TOM WALKER mitigation measures there is some exposure now Moss says adding that if one part of the supply chain loses money the ripple effects impact everyone It is not hard to create a scenario where that equity Set aside program easing backlog Canadian Cattlemen s Association general manager Dave Moss says the federalprovincial set aside program known in Alberta as the Canada Alberta Fed Cattle Feed Cost Offset Initiative got underway June 29 and is doing the job it was intended to do Each week a group of producers and government employees look at a number of factors to determine how many animals they believe should be set aside each week The week of June 29 for example the committee set aside 5 100 head They look at box beef prices profitability of packers basis levels about 10 things in all says Moss Based on those parameters they estimate the number of finished cattle they need to set aside on a weekly basis to kind of match supply to capacity The feedlot producer registers with Alberta s Agriculture Financial Services Corp which gives them the chance to place a bid each week on what they are prepared to accept for daily feed compensation to hold each animal on a maintenance diet The average bid price for the June 29 week was 1 73 per head per day The program committee works its way up from the lowest bid until the total set aside numbers for that week are reached Compensation runs for nine weeks Bidding will continue until funds are wholly distributed the need to set aside animals no longer exists or March 31 2021 whichever comes first We will see what comes of it and whether we need to extend it or not says Moss Tom Walker d her you ining ars e v a bin Ha Tr We VBP s or p ho ree rks re F a Wo drain has an impact on feeder prices this fall he says The prices now are positive but the equity drain coupled with that backlog may have an effect on that fall run and that is yet to be seen This means cattle buyers will likely be more cautious when purchasing animals this fall keeping a careful eye on their break even price The set aside program in Alberta is working to repair interruptions in the supply chain related to COVID 19 but fed cattle are not the only part of the chain the Canadian Cattlemen s Association is considering for support says Moss We are working with governments both provincially and federally to take a look at the fall run to reassess where we are with prices and supply and do we need a feeder set aside program he says Such an initiative would be for marketing calves and yearlings in the fall for the cow calf sector I think the set aside is doing what it is intended to do now says Moss Hopefully the market conditions are such that we will be in good shape and we won t need an additional program e mor rn lea raise o o gt tle kin wt Loo ut ho ef cat o e b b a y lth hea 1 866 820 7603 BAUMALIGHT T COM Dale Howe 403 462 197 75 dale baumalight com ll of a ers duc o r p ers n to sizes produc Ope ef e b all c in b e to fre MFG A VARIETY OF O ATT TA ACHMENTS BRUSH MULCHER RS B O O M M O W E R S STUMP GRINDERS TREE T SAWS SHEARS T R E E S PA D E S ROT TA A Y BRUSH CUTTERS AR TRENCHERS DRAINAGE PLOWS PTO GENERATORS EXCAVATOR ADAPTER RS FELLER BUNCHERS TREE PULLERS SCREW SPLITTERS S AUGER DRIVES

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22 AUGUST 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Managing crop residue to increase soil health The best strategy will depend on the specific conditions of a field When a crop is harvested residue in the field typically gets either tilled under left to degrade through the work of soil microbes over the winter or is subjected to a controlled burn Research by MARGARET EVANS But which system is best and what would benefit soil health in the long term At the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center researchers have been working to determine the best way to manage residue between growing seasons They focused on how no till and prescribed fire management affect nutrients and microbes in the soil The team applied their research to wheat and soybean rotations and continuous corn production systems which are common practices in many regions including Canada Residue on the soil surface in no till management acts as a blanket that can impact soil temperature and moisture says Lisa Fultz assistant professor Soil Microbiology of Cropping Systems at LSU In some climates environments this is a sought after outcome as it can increase moisture availability to support plant growth In some areas it can create optimal conditions increased moisture and decreased temperatures in the spring for the growth of microorganisms which can YOUR MAHINDRA DEALER HANDLERS EQUIPMENT include both beneficial and detrimental organisms When these communities become unbalanced you may see an increased incidence of plant disease In these instances we haven t seen long term decreases in the breakdown of organic matter As for conservation or lowtill practices she says that they can provide some ways to create favourable conditions They can address issues like weeds or compacted layers that may limit growth A managed surface cover can reduce soil erosion provide a barrier to wind and water erosion and allow for increased water infiltration Crop residue degrading through the influence of soil microbes is part of the carbon cycle The cycle allows the carbon to remain stored in a stable form in the soil rather Long lasting 7 Year and 5 Year limited powertrain warranties ABBOTSFORD 339 Sumas Way 604 850 3601 HOUSTON 4001 Williams Crescent 250 845 3333 TRACTOR TIME VICTORIA 4377C Metchosin Rd 250 474 3301 30 minutes from Victoria and 15 Minutes from Highway 1 in Metchosin PREMIUM TRUCK PRINCE GEORGE 1015 Great Street 250 563 0696 WILLIAMS LAKE 4600 Collier Place 250 398 7411 than being released into the atmosphere While the harvested material can contain large quantities of nutrients that are removed from the site the remaining residue is a source of nutrients and organic material that gets recycled back into the soil environment she said Nutrient management is a very important best management practice that remains of on going interest to the research team But they fully recognize that no two farm management systems are the same and each one s success is defined by the individual user Examining all possible scenarios helps to provide accurate and sustainable recommendations to farmers There are many practices from simple soil testing to more involved variable rate or precision agriculture practices that can be influenced by how surface residue is managed It can influence what type of fertilizer is used application methods timing etc Prescribed fire is used to burn off crop debris but can leave bare soil vulnerable to soil erosion In most cases prescribed fire in agricultural residue moves quickly across the surface so the impacts are from the removal of residue and possible deposition of ash and less from the direct heat associated with the fire she says Prescribed fire impacts are dependent on timing and frequency Using prescribed fire immediately after harvest may leave the soil surface exposed which can increase potential losses of soil and nutrients that may be deposited with the ash material may be lost before the following spring In our study we were focusing on short term impacts and found very little direct influences immediately after the prescribed fire However we did not examine the longterm impacts of annual burning Their findings showed that prescribed fire had short term benefits but timing was crucial Prescribed burning of wheat residue provided an increase of nitrogen for about seven days but the benefits should be assessed against carbon dioxide emissions and crop yield In their report published in the journal Agrosystems Geosciences Environment Fultz and her team wrote that they hypothesized that through the influx of charred residue prescribed fire would increase soil organic matter and soil enzyme activity over time enhancing soil fertility in a wheat soybean rotation and continuous corn production system Going forward research on best practices for crop residue management will continue I plan to continue to investigate best management and soil conservation practices to identify those that may have the greatest potential for increasing soil health and provide economic sustainability for producers she says There is no silver bullet and each system from one field to an entire operation is unique The more we understand the potential impacts of these management practices the better recommendations we can make for producers as well as developing decision tools for a variety of land uses from production to restoration

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AUGUST 2020 23 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Inaugural viticulturist of the year chosen Grapegrower Karnail Singh Sidhu singled out by MYRNA STARK LEADER WEST KELOWNA Of the approximately 120 honours viticulturist and winemaker Karnail Singh Sidhu has received since opening Kalala Organic Estate Winery in 2008 receiving the BC Grapegrowers Association s inaugural Viticulturist of the Year award is the most satisfying Ninety percent of winemaking is done in the vineyard says Sidhu If a wine loses a contest they blame the grapes and grower but there are few awards that recognize the work it takes to create great grapes BCGA created the award to both recognize growers who set the pace for the rest of the industry and raise their profile in the eyes of the public so they know the work that goes into their favourite wines BCGA has talked about doing an award for several years says BCGA administrator Tyrion Miskell who credits the arrival of Blasted Church Vineyards vineyard manager John Bayley now BCGA president with getting the initiative off the ground Bayley says the award was established to commend those in our industry who rarely get the public recognition yet provide the grapes needed for the fantastic wines we produce Recipients of the peerjudged award are selected by a BCGA board member an industry member and a government researcher during vineyard visits Sidhu was one of five nominees for the first award His win recognizes 20 years of hard work Karnail cares about his land his grapes and his community and sets a great example for other growers says Bayley one of this year s judges His approach to his farming practices and to his colleagues were a significant reason for his winning as the judges saw these actions as integral to forwarding the industry Started as berry picker Sidhu arrived in Canada from Punjab in 1993 at the age of 25 with his parents brother and sister and 40 While he trained as an electrical engineer in India his qualifications weren t recognized in Canada He found work first as a berry picker then as a vineyard Kalala Organic Estate Winery s Karnail Singh Sidhu has won the BC Grapegrowers Association s first Viticulturist of the Year award PHOTO MYRNA STARK LEADER worker eventually landing his first full time job at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna His work ethic attracted the attention of Summerhill owner Stephen Cipes who paid for his viticulture training and promoted him to vineyard manager The decade he spent at Summerhill also taught Sidhu the art of winemaking and business skills He also gained mentors He affectionately refers to former Summerhill winemaker Alan Marks as his older brother The two continue to work together today Kalala s research and development is aided by Ashish Dave CEO of FloraMaxx Technologies Ltd in Kelowna Dave a leading edge research and production scientist in plant biotechnology has been key in optimizing pruning practices and irrigation management at Kalala as well as evaluating plant extracts and nutrients for improved grapevine vigour yield and juice quality Marks and Dave aren t the only ones who ve been part of Sidhu s business journey In 1995 he was managing grapes for the owner of the land where Kalala s tasting room now sits Knowing he wanted his own business Sidhu planned to purchase the property when it came up for sale in 2005 but his financing was delayed It sold instead to the Novak family of Prince George owners of Dunkley Lumber Ltd The former owner facilitated introductions and the Novaks See AWARD on next page o Selling e ng BC s B s Lif ifesty tyle Prrooperties 604 491 1 1060 3agroup sutto on com Lakeside Country INN Pipers Glen RV Park Mountain Vieew Cabins Multi unit B B Waterfront Resort Wilderness Resort r BNMPPQT BLF FBDIGSPOU r DSFT XFMMJOHT r 3PPNT X QSJWBUF FOTVJUFT CBMDPOJFT FOUSBODFT r 0 XZ 4UBS 3FWJFXT r 8BUFSGSPOU DSFT SPOUBHF r VTZ XZ r 37 TJUFT T BCJOT r TRGU PH PNF 0 DF r BHOJJ DFOU BLF 7JFXT 4BWPOB SBTFS BLF PMEFO Beaver Guest Ranch Mahoood Lake Secret Water e front Hide out at Deka Lake r BUVSF RVJOF VFTU 3BODI r DSFT TUBCMJTIFE USBJMT r TRGU PH IPNF FE BUI JUDIFOT JWJOH 3PPNT NJOVUFT UP UIF MBLF r PSNFFSMZ 8FMMT SBZ BNQ r TRGU PNF 4MFFQT r MM OWWFOUPSZ ODMVEFE r DSFT PW FBTF BOE r BTZ PBU DDFTTFE r 0 XZ OFBBS PMEFO r IFBUFE GVSOJTIFE DBCJOT XJUI FET QJFDF CBUI r 0VUEPPS LJUDIFFO MPTF UP MBDJFS S P PIP BO 1BSLT Green Lake Escape Recreationaal Cabin r DSF 3FD FUBXBZ r TRGU ESN N BCJO r DSPTT 3PBE GSPPN BLF r 1PXFS JUDIFOO JSFQMBDF r ZS 3FOFXFE PW FBTF BLF FLB BLF BLF BIPPEE BLF BLF SFFO BLF www www theBestDeal w theBest t stDeallsinBC com sinBC com o ARM ARMs RCHARD RCHARDs6INEYARD 6INEYARDs ERRY ERR Y4 4RELLISING RE L L I S I N G KILN ILN DRIED DRIED PRESS PRESSURE SURE TREA TREA AT TED ED ROU ROUND WOOD WOOD POSTS POSTS AND RAILS R AILS Preferred supplier for British Columbiia Ministries Parks Canada aanada B Everitt 250 295 79 Bill 911 ext 102 oll free 1 877 797 7678 ext 102 beveritt xp plornet ca t To Princeton Wood 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24 AUGUST 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC AWARD winning winemaker doesn t drink The way nature intended Pre owned Tractors Equipment page 23 If you say you can t do it you can t do it he says I jump into it If we fail we learn He s also willing to help others learn A former employee recently embarked on distilling training at Niagara College after an internship and more than two years working at Kalala When she came in 2015 as an intern she was tasked with producing Kalala s top end white red and ice wines She was surprised and nervous but with guidance she did it completed her course and came back to work at Kalala until this past December She did a wonderful job and she knew it She told me she learned way more here than students who worked at some of the bigger wineries he says I like to instill confidence in people People like her are the future of this industry ended up leasing the vineyard and residence to Sidhu Sidhu now manages 63 acres of vineyard across the Okanagan as well as seven acres of orchard and market gardens Approximately 37 acres are owned and 33 acres are leased including his home property The winery opened in 2008 produces about 6 000 cases a year Sidhu is also the winemaker although he doesn t drink Approximately 95 of the winery s production is sold in BC Sidhu also sells a small amount of bulk wine as well as some grapes to other wineries Sidhu attributes part of reason for receiving the award to the health of his vineyards He grows organically because that s the way nature intended agriculture a legacy of his father who farmed wheat rice cotton and sugar cane without chemicals I remember when they were using DDT in India to help kill mosquitoes to battle malaria Even though it was the law my dad refused to have our home sprayed He thought it was dangerous explains Sidhu who says the secret to a clean crop is avoiding issues by catching potential problems early This is especially important in organic agriculture because of the limited pest and disease treatment options available to certified organic growers I tell all my tractor drivers they have the perfect opportunity to see all the plants in the vineyard so they need to keep their eyes open and if they see any changes or anything different to nfrom Family business Viticulturist of the Year Karnail Singh Sidhu in the tasting room at Kalala Organic Estate Winery surrounded by award winning wines PHOTO MYRNA STARK LEADER let me know he says He s also a believer of ongoing learning He conducts his own trials and is a partner on research projects with UBC Okanagan Simon Fraser University and the Summerland Research and Development Centre He regularly attends conferences and workshops and gladly shares what he knows with others If people ask me I ll tell them You don t do yourself any favour hiding information You learn from people s questions he says Despite his success he s also known disappointment He lost a property in the Similkameen because crop projections weren t realized and the bank stepped in More recently all but 10 vines in a new Vidal block died He s unsure if the soil quality or weather conditions in the block were responsible However he s propagating the surviving vines to replant the block confident their genetics will make a winning crop Sidhu s entire family is involved in the business His wife Narinder serves as controller and oversees sales and marketing and their two daughters now 21 and 14 assist in various capacities The two girls spent Father s Day helping lay irrigation pipe Sidhu is not sure if they will continue the business but that s not stopping him from thinking about the future including the possibility of expansion He s also not about to stop learning how to improve what he s already doing The award from the BCGA comes with a 2 000 prize to attend an educational event anywhere in the world With files from Tom Walker Go with your gut JAGUAR CASE IH MAXXUM 120 MFD CAB TRACTOR W LOADER 117 700 CLAAS 860 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 12 5 PICKUP 6 ROW CORNHEAD 93 700 CLAAS 970 SP FORAGE HARVESTER 10 PICKUP 10 ROW CORNHEAD CALL FOR MORE DETAILS PRICING CLAAS 4000 4 ROTOR RAKE CALL FOR DETAILS X 2 FENDT 930 MFD CAB TRACTOR CALL FOR DETAILS JD 956 MID PIVOT MOWER CONDITIONER COMING IN SOON CALL FOR DETAILS JD 8295R MFD CAB TRACTOR WITH DUALS JUST IN CALL FOR DETAILS NH 900 PT FORAGE HARVESTER WITH GRASS PICK UP 5 400 604 864 2273 34511 VYE ROAD ABBOTSFORD www caliberequipment ca STORE HOURS MONDAY FRIDAY 8 5 CLOSED SATURDAYS TIL SPRING

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AUGUST 2020 25 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Shuswap couple sees future in elderberries Health benefits ease of growing touted by JACKIE PEARASE SALMON ARM This year s cool wet spring has slowed down production at Elderberry Grove but it hasn t dampened the spirits of owners Jed Wiebe and Louise Lecouffe The pair started a certified organic elderberry farm at Wiebe s parents property east of Salmon Arm in 2017 after eight years of tending the land and growing most of their own vegetables The move from a selfsufficient lifestyle to commercial farming was part holistic part necessity I found that I had no time for anything whatsoever other than the gardening and the starting of plants and the nurturing of trees and bushes to the point where my other job wasn t getting done says Wiebe a former luthier I realized I needed to take that hobby and turn it into a fulltime thing The pair s shared interest in herbal medicines wild edibles and science focused agriculture led them to explore many crops It took us quite a few years to figure out what wanted to grow what would work well with us the type of farming We like the seasonal aspect of elderberry says Lecouffe The fall harvest allows them to also grow an extensive vegetable garden and forage wild mushrooms throughout the season Elderberry s medicinal benefits tipped the scales significantly for the couple Hippocrates 3 000 years ago he said elderberry is the people s medicine chest because each part of elderberry has a use for human health Today we use mostly the berry and the flower notes Lecouffe The plant s deep purple berries are rich in anthocyanins a type of flavonoid with antioxidant properties Elderberry research demonstrates its effectiveness as an anti inflammatory and for reducing cholesterol fever and seasonal allergies Wiebe says it stimulates the immune system enhances cancer prevention and is an antiviral agent There s two flavonoids found in elderberry that aren t found in any other plants in nature There s really none comparable to them that have a very very strong antiviral effect Wiebe says There s no known antiviral agent either made in a lab or found in nature that s more effective against the cold and flu This quality became a huge selling point for their elderberry syrup this spring as COVID 19 hit the world We sold what we expected to sell in six months in the first two weeks of March says Wiebe We planted elderberry at the right time The couple grows 26 varieties of elderberry 13 European and 13 North American I believe we have the biggest collection of elderberry varieties in North America adds Wiebe They grow about two acres at their own farm and another acre at leased property where they planted new cuttings this spring We ve chosen a field with very different conditions so we can give each of the varietals a fair opportunity to succeed or fail in different scenarios but within the Shuswap explains Wiebe Elderberry is native to the region but Wiebe wanted to experiment with multiple varieties to increase his knowledge of the plant and his chances of success Elderberry is well suited for quick and easy multiplication and propagation Elderberry is the easiest plant that you could ever grow Wiebe says If you plant Jed Wiebe and Louise Lecouffe of Elderberry Farm in Salmon Arm PHOTO JACKIE PEARASE them early and take really good care of them you could actually get a lot of berries the following year The plan for Elderberry Grove is to have five acres under production by 2025 A climate without extreme heat and cold is ideal for elderberry making the Shuswap very suitable Washington Oregon and the Lower Mainland also provide good growing climates for elderberry They seem to be doing quite well here but they seem to be almost impossible to grow everywhere else in North America notes Wiebe Wiebe and Lecouffe currently use all of the approximately 2 500 pounds of berries per acre they produce to make syrup and juice About 20 of the flowers are also harvested in early summer and used by other value added businesses such as distilleries and kombucha makers Thousands of dormant cuttings are sent to customers in the mail each winter and a plant sale quickly sold out this spring The long term goal is to produce enough berries to supplement the market that is currently dominated by dry imported berries While currently sold out of product Elderberry Grove is typically found in health and natural food stores The couple has secured shelf space in almost 20 stores in Salmon Arm Armstrong Vernon Lumby Kelowna Revelstoke Golden New Westminster and Vancouver Folks see it and they love to support grown in BC adds Lecouffe You are really able to taste what elderberry tastes like from ours People are really surprised how nice it is Elderberry is hugely popular in Europe but there are less than a half dozen growers in BC Wiebe hopes to encourage others to farm the healthy tasty berry I think BC is going to be an amazing opportunity as far as a great place to grow elderberry he says I think that what wine has done for the Okanagan maybe the next thing could be elderberry Financial planning for farm families Farm transition coaching Customized portfolio strategy Retirement income planning Driediger Wealth Planning Mark Driediger CFP FEA Senior Wealth Advisor Brent Driediger BAA CPA CMA CFP Wealth Advisor www DriedigerWealthPlanning com 604 859 4890 Assante Financial Management Ltd Insurance products and services are provided through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc Please visit www assante com legal jsp or contact Assante at 1 800 268 3200 for information with respect to important legal and regulatory disclosures relating to this notice

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26 AUGUST 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Keeping it Simple WHEN SUCC W CESS S IS ME EASU URED D IN ACRES C S AN ND NO OT HO OURS S IF IT S WORTH IT TO YOU IT S WORTH IT TO US Contact our agribusiness specialissts by email at agribu usiness rstwestcu ca Bank Borrow Insure Invest Divisions of First West Credit Union

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AUGUST 2020 27 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Research farm grows in the Garden City Sustainable focus delivers 10 000 a year in community benefits by PETER MITHAM RICHMOND Ten years after Richmond acquired 136 5 acres of protected farmland just east of its core a research farm is taking shape on the property that will support small scale agriculture in the region The work accomplished to date was the focus of a field trip during this year s annual conference of the Certified Organic Associations of BC in Richmond at the end of February Rebecca Harbut a faculty member in the Sustainable Agriculture Food Systems program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University led one of the tour groups Harbut was part of the delegation that addressed Richmond council in 2014 in support of a research farm on what is commonly known as the Garden City lands Approval of the master plan for the lands that year opened the door to KPU s development of the property which is primarily a peat bog Farming peat soil is actually terrible from a carbon perspective she said To mitigate greenhouse gas emissions associated with disturbing the bog KPU obtained mineral soil removed from Sea Island during construction of the new runway at Vancouver International Airport in 2017 A hundred trucks a day arrived at the site for a month depositing 70 centimetres of fill on the property The fill served to protect the peat from what was going on above as well as separated the growing area from heavy metals that remained from previous uses of the property The site was once a shooting range KPU is now working to build organic matter in the soil through both soil amendments and other means This would not make sense were it not for the fact we re in an urban environment says Harbut It surprises us to think about what the possibilities are KPU operates the 20 acre property under a five year renewable lease with the city KPU expects the farm to achieve full organic certification in 2021 The farm has been designed to encourage biodiversity and provide habitat for beneficial insects Beetle banks around the garden beds allow for ground beetles to overwinter while native flowers provide forage xx LOOKING UP A geodesic dome offers an energy efficient greenhouse for starter plants PHOTO PETER MITHAM for pollinators through the summer Six sections have been set aside for a market garden with high tunnel growing systems being added in 2020 There are plans for a small orchard with pears and persimmons The work done to prepare the site is allowing KPU researchers to put their methods to the test Burying peat is a common way of protecting bogs from the ravages of agriculture in other parts of the world but KPU has a chance to put some numbers behind the practices Among the experiments being undertaken are plantings at different depths of soil to test the effect of the addition of organic matter Carbon emissions from the soil are also being measured to gauge the difference ground cover makes in terms of carbon sequestration The results will help KPU understand whether farm practices are having the intended effect Is this doing what we think it might be doing says Harbut Any time you can put answers to questions it really is valuable Structures at the farm are designed to show how producers can develop smallscale production systems at very little cost both in terms of materials and operating expense See SOLAR on next page o You re invvested in your business So are we Locate A De ealer Online 1 866 820 7603 BAUMALIGHT COM Partne tn r with the only lender 100 invested in Canadian agriculture and food Dale Howe 403 462 197 75 dale baumalight com MFG A VARIETY OF O ATT TA ACHMENTS BRUSH MULCHER RS B O O M M O W E R S STUMP GRINDERS TREE T SAWS SHEARS T R E E S PA D E S ROT TA A Y BRUSH CUTTERS AR TRENCHERS DRAINAGE PLOWS PTO GENERATORS EXCAVATOR ADAPTER RS FELLER BUNCHERS TREE PULLERS SCREW SPLITTERS S AUGER DRIVES 1 800 387 3232 fcc ca

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28 AUGUST 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC SOLAR greenhouse reduces costs nfrom page 27 You re simply optimizing the A geodesic dome is a case value of land you re using at in point something that any given season Harbut described as a The one challenge with the passive solar greenhouse tunnels was that Richmond used to generate starts and deemed the tunnels buildings plugs for the gardens A water because they can be closed tank acts as a heat sink and required them to meet providing water but also the building code To help storing solar energy during other producers navigate the day then releasing it municipal approval processes when the sun disappears KPU plans to develop a Solar energy also powers the standard set of drawings pump that draws water from growers can hand to planning the tank as well as cooling staff fans The total power Despite the pushback from requirement is very light at the city regarding the tunnels little more than 100 kilowatts The dome was assembled the farm is shaping up to be a in five days from a kit success KPU s lease requires it purchased from Colorado at a to account for the benefits cost of just 60 000 the community receives as a Polycarbonate panels sealed result of the farm s presence with aircraft tape form the Harbut says the farm dome It sits on a gravel pad delivers community benefits with a layer of insulation worth 10 000 a year or underneath While the dome approximately 500 an acre is a resilient structure it can There s a real also be deconstructed easily accountability to that she We want to make sure the says footprint we leave on the The farm itself was land is very light Harbut says Kwantlen Polytechnic University instructor Rebecca Harbut discusses the evolution of KPU s research farm during supported by the community the COABC annual conference in Richmond in February PHOTO PETER MITHAM The farm also has three 30 during an ideas fair held in by 70 foot high tunnels from 2013 The property was not Lock Blocks as anchors The tunnels are reinforced Four Season Tools in Kansas City Missouri The previously farmed leading to efforts to exclude it tunnels slide along rails into two different positions to handle snow wind and to allow for the weight of from the Agricultural Land Reserve in 2006 and allowing them to be used to start crops and provide trellised plants The sides roll up via solar power again in 2008 Both bids failed and the city Costing about 25 000 each the tunnels are an ambient growing environment There are plans acquired the property in 2010 for 59 2 million highly affordable given the crop protection they to extend the rails to allow for three positions for The deal settled competing federal and First provide Harbut estimates the payback window at each tunnel Nation interests but the property remained subject five years Similar to the geodesic dome they re intended to the Agricultural Land Commission which I m really excited about these tunnels when you to be resilient but light on the land There s rebar mandated tangible improvements in its think about the cost of land here says Harbut every three to four feet along the rails with cement agricultural use Ma rket i n g Bri t i s h C o lu m b ia to th e Wo r ld www landquest com KETTLE RIVER WILDLIFE SANCTUARY NEAR ROCK CREEK BC EXCEPTIONAL ATTRACTIVE 7 4 ACRE WATERFRONT SHERIDAN LAKE BC SALMON RIVER ACREAGE VANCOUVER ISLAND BC AFFORDABLE MID SIZE RECREATIONAL ACREAGE EDGEWATER BC AFFORDABLE RANCH WITH VIEWS NEAR FRANCOIS LAKE BURNS LAKE BC Very private parcel 3 minutes off the Highway 185 acres in one title with 2 parcels divided by piece of Crown land and 2 5 km of river frontage Wildlife corridor with elk deer style cabin RV parking with washroom shower building 1 200 000 7 4 acres 700 ft of prime west facing waterfront Commanding views on popular Sheridan Lake with trophy sized rainbow trout 3 newly built cottages right on the water s edge 19 RV sites 2 log cabins manager s residence office Great lifestyle offering fantastic commercial opportunity 1 425 000 Spectacular Riverfront Country Estate in the Sayward Valley 65 acres on 3 titles with nearly a mile of river frontage on the pristine Salmon River 4 485 ft2 4 bdrm 5 bath West Coast home updated throughout ideal for entertaining large gatherings Numerous trails leading to private beaches 1 495 000 Mostly forested piece of land on the edge of Edgewater 62 36 acres Land is full of established trails Set up a simple camp build a cabin or get more established with a year round home Great price for 60 acres of land 265 000 640 acres in 5 titles Fenced and cross fenced Supports 100 cow calf pairs and 100 goats Grazing Licence for 40 cow calf pairs 2 992 ft2 main house Many outbuildings Fully serviced Picturesque views 519 000 RICH OSBORNE 604 664 7633 Personal Real Estate Corporation rich landquest com MARTIN SCHERRER 250 706 9462 martin landquest com LandQuest Realty Corp Cariboo KEVIN KITTMER 250 951 8631 kevin landquest com MATT CAMERON 250 200 1199 matt landquest com JOHN ARMSTRONG 250 307 2100 john landquest com OFF GRID ESTABLISHED ORGANIC FARM MCBRIDE BC CLASSIC OKANAGAN COUNTRY ESTATE 35 ACRE FARM PARCEL WITH 1 700 FT OF FRONTAGE ON THE FRASER RIVER OCEANFRONT ACREAGES SOUTHERN GULF ISLANDS OCEANFRONT HOME DOCK BOULDER POINT CORTES ISLAND 347 acre well established off grid organic horticulture business with 2 homes numerous outbuildings Private riverfront property just 35 minutes from McBride offers everything you would need to live a self 1 300 000 Peaceful 53 5 acre creekfront Okanagan estate Show stealing Modern Country Style Barn with one bedroom suite Renovated 2 runs through 15 minutes to Summerland High volume wells and underground sprinklers 1 595 000 Agassiz BC This marvelous farmstead offers and sits nestled against the mighty Fraser River Known locally as the Ruby Creek lands this is a historic piece of land with 3 titles and a fully renovated 1 324 ft2 home 25 acres in agricultural production 1 490 000 One of a kind private island with airstrip easy boat access from Vancouver Island to a sheltered dock Sidney Island features miles of sandy beaches 400 acres of precious conservancy lands managed forest freshwater ponds orchard a fulltime caretaker Ultimate privacy spectacular views FROM ONLY 249 900 Stunning 9 88 acre oceanfront with 1 500 ft of frontage overlooking Squirrel Cove Protection Island Includes 30 ft licensed dock with yearround protected moorage a newly built west coast contemporary home Only a few minutes boat ride from government wharf general store and Desolation Sound 749 000 FAWN GUNDERSON 250 982 2314 Personal Real Estate Corporation fawn landquest com SAM HODSON 604 694 7623 Personal Real Estate Corporation sam landquest com CHASE WESTERSUND 778 927 6634 COLE WESTERSUND 604 360 0793 DAVE COCHLAN 604 319 1500 dave landquest com JAMIE ZROBACK 1 604 483 1605 JASON ZROBACK 1 604 414 5577 The Source for Oceanfront Lakefront Islands Ranches Resorts Land in BC Toll Free 1 866 558 LAND 5263

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AUGUST 2020 29 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC New crops could join greenhouse association Decline in regulated crops leads to a more inclusive vision by PETER MITHAM draina g e our sp is ecialty SURREY The BC Greenhouse Growers Association plans to introduce a membership structure that would give all greenhousegrown food producers in the province the option of membership To date association membership has been limited to growers of crops regulated by the BC Vegetable Marketing Commission The new vision would give it a stronger voice for all greenhouse crops as well as boost association revenues Currently we represent the regulated growers but there s also increasing numbers of members and non members producing products that aren t under the regulated structure explained association chair Armand Vander Meulen at the association s annual general meeting held via videoconference on June 24 We d love to have them included as full members Crops that haven t traditionally been grown in BC greenhouses include eggplants strawberries and basil They re being added as a way of diversifying away from traditional greenhouse crops and responding to consumer demand for locally grown produce throughout the year Research at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Ontario is supporting the diversification which also responds to demand for eggplant and other culturally unique crops Growers are realizing this and they re trying to produce it in their greenhouses and some very successfully says Vander Meulen We have to realize that as more and more growers are going to transition to other nontraditional crops we still want to be their representatives to government The BC Greenhouse Growers Association provides leadership at both the provincial and national levels in terms of government advocacy pesticide registrations market access marketing and education for its 62 members who farm just under 3 million square metres That s down more than 186 000 square metres from last year representing a loss of 27 000 in revenue from levies We re not talking or even suggesting that these are moving towards a regulated food crop emphasized Vander Meulen We believe strongly that the work that we do that helps growers of the regulated crops will also help growers of unregulated crops so we feel it makes a lot of sense for that levy to be equal and equal for all Vander Meulen says plans for including non regulated acreage would be hammered out and presented to growers over the coming months Garlic time Garlic crops are growing in popularity in the Okanagan and harvest started in earnest in July This garlic once dried will be sold at the farm s market stand along with other fruit and vegetables from the farm PHOTO MYRNA STARK LEADER However feedback from association members who pay levies on regulated crops but also have non regulated crops was favourable It s a good idea says Ravi Cheema co owner of Creekside Hot House Ltd in Surrey Eggplant strawberries and other future veggies should be paying their part Eric Schlacht president of Delta View Farms Ltd in Ladner agreed There s a lot of benefits we get from the BCGGA and Delta View Farms supports that he says BCGGA activities will be pared back under the budget approved at its AGM however While grants for projects will increase versus last year association treasurer Ray Van Marrewyk says a decline in levies will contribute to a budget deficit of more than 74 450 The budget calls for project expenses to rise nearly 52 this year versus 2019 Planned research includes energy projects with smaller cogeneration units being a key area of interest We seem as an industry to be facing continual crises and we d really love to just be able to focus on things that we started years ago notes Vander Meulen That s one area that I hope to see us focus a bit on because now with the very stable price of gas it should become very doable While staffing expenses are set to rise 21 thanks in part to the hiring of Heather Little to manage research and industry development programs Van Marrewyk says staffing levels are in line with association needs Grrre Gre ee enhous nhou use Gro round Co Cov ove ver Gre re eenhou use Film ms Prote rot otect ction Ne Net ets ts LASER EQUIPPED GPS CONTROLLED TRENCHED AND TRENCHLESS APPLICATIONS SUPPLIERS OF CANADIAN MADE BIG O DRAINAGE Proudly supporting Canadian industry using Canadian product VALLEY FARM DRAINAGE 31205 DEWDNEY TRUNK RD MISSION Fax 604 462 7215 604 462 7213 www valleyfarmdrainage com Serrv Ser ving ing all of BC agrow com g m Visit V sit Sila SALMON ARM M 5121 46 Ave S E SURREY 112 18860 0 24 Ave PU Delivery Only 1 800 663 6022 of ce silagrow com

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30 AUGUST 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Summertime road trips Time to explore how the other half grows The early potatoes are in flower and almost ready to dig I suppose this might have happened earlier had there Farm Story by ANNA HELMER Flowering potatoes signal it won t be long before there s less time for tootling as harvest gets underway PHOTO ANNA HELMER been a little more sustained warmth this summer They are coming along nicely now though and as I have been swanning about looking at other people s farms this past week I think the timing is working out rather well I just love looking at farms and the farmland in this province had me in a state of high distraction during a recent road trip Usually my farm snooping is restricted to the winter and early spring months when I do things like offer free delivery of seed potatoes the price is me arriving in your yard with my eyes peeled or work at the neighbours when they need a holiday or extra help These activities have always yielded very satisfying and may I say useful observations Catching glimpses of actual farm work during the growing season however is special This is go time This is farms at full throttle These are the professionals at work Stand back Observe Do not engage There was so much growing that looked so lush organized and productive Tractors were all over the place doing interesting things frustratingly far from the road but so gratifying to see the fields being farmed British Columbia Cleanfarms 2020 Unwanted Pesticides Old Livestock Equine Medications Collection Farmers Got unwanted pesticides or livestock equine medications Safely dispose of unwanted or obsolete agricultural pesticides and livestock equine medications no charge Take them to the following locations on the dates noted between 9 a m and 4 p m Check for Event Locations Dates here Vancouver Island CUMBERLAND October 5 Comox Valley Waste Management Centre 250 336 8083 x 226 Fraser Valley VICTORIA October 7 Capital Regional District Hartland Land ll 250 360 3318 DUNCAN October 6 Bings Creek Recycling Centre 250 746 2540 ABBOTSFORD October 16 Terralink 604 864 9044 DELTA October 13 Nutrien Solutions 604 940 0290 LANGLEY October 15 Professional Ag Distribution Inc 604 768 5602 Partner Next Cleanfarms collection in these areas in fall 2023 COVID social distancing measures may be in place For collection dates in other BC regions go to cleanfarms ca materials unwanted pesticides animal meds Cleanfarms ca info cleanfarms ca cleanfarms Given the current situation please call ahead to collection sites for instructions on delivering unwanted and old materials There were literally hundreds of acres of potatoes looking extremely highyielding dairy barns looking expensive and chicken barns looming mysteriously Were they actually mushroom barns Or turkey perhaps No way to know Thousands of acres of very official and confident corn dominated the landscape which served as a nice backdrop against which the alternative crops really stood out I think I spied a random field of fava beans Perhaps another of barley And yet another of vetch peas clover and grasses Cover crops hay fields could there have been too much rain lately in places commercial vegetables and immaculate riding arenas all caught my eye There were greenhouses hoop houses rows upon row of vegetables and flowers grapes fruit trees intriguing glimpses of wash pack loading areas around barns that surely contained coolers sizers and packaging equipment And speaking of equipment I can t catalogue it but not for lack of trying For me the height of luxury is waltzing on to a mixed vegetable farm that is not my own with people working everywhere and where I do not work given a box and a sincere invitation to fill it with the bounty the fruits as it were of other people s hard work and investment When this happened for me I began slow with just a few shelling peas furtively eaten at the vine I soon got the hang of it So I am really just a nosyparker ideas freeloader and it suits me just fine Many of our best farming practices have been lifted straight from other farm operations and flatteringly I have noticed that it works the other way too Nothing to be ashamed of I tell myself All in the name of advancing farming I insist And it s not like I poke my nose into the computer or cash box or something Oh my no But I will admit to piecing together a thousand little data points to get an idea of what you make at market But here I am back at my own family farm with the flowering potatoes signalling the end of my wandering eyes and person My focus must narrow The neighbors will remain under habitual scrutiny of course but it will be a distracted observation Until November Then I will be able to pay better attention and follow up on a few things Anna Helmer farms with her family and friends in Pemberton where there are fascinating farms galore

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AUGUST 2020 31 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC 4 H auctions steer toward online formula Okanagan event first of many associated with that event this fall More sales go online Other fairs across BC are also working on COVID 19 compliant by JACKIE PEARASE 4 H events The BC Ag Expo held each fall ARMSTRONG The 39th will be a virtual fair and online annual Okanagan 4 H Stock 4 H auction this September 25 28 Show kicked off the 4 H auction in Barriere season with an online sale July BC Ag Expo president Evelyn 4 11 Pilatzke says 4 H members across Prices were comparable to the BC can participate in the fair but past few years but the number of the Open Division is restricted to animals on the block and 4 H those nine and under this year kids holding the reins was down who have previously competed We only had 12 steers go at the fair or those affiliated with through the sale this year says clubs attending the fair Okanagan 4 H Stock Show beef The younger kids the ones division board president Ted under the age of nine are our Steiger Because we didn t have future 4 H members so we want the show some of the kids to make sure we re encouraging decided to sell privately rather them she notes than keeping it through the Participants can enter the beef online sale sheep carcass photography Armstrong Beef 4 H Club rabbit and cavy divisions and 4 H member Marshall Luttmerding educational displays The horse 11 took home the highest price It will be everything but business as usual as 4 H market projects move to online sales platforms this year dog clothing and small engines at 3 70 per kilogram His 1 316in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic FILE PHOTO divisions were cancelled this year pound Angus Gelbvieh cross As with the Okanagan event earned him 4 869 20 4 H members will use photos and Steiger says overall 4 H registrations saw an That price narrowly beat out Riley Bapty s short videos to show their animals for the judges uptick this year earnings of 4 811 40 for her 1 458 pound and market in advance of the September 28 sale Before we cancelled Stock Show our numbers Hereford Angus cross at 3 30 per pound The 17 At the end of the day they re proud of their were actually up of kids that were going to year old plans to use the funds for university where projects and they want to show them off This is a actually come to the show with different projects she hopes to get a nursing degree to support her way of making sure they have a way to do that he says That was a good sign So hopefully next future in agriculture adds Pilatzke year we can get those numbers up again The Okanagan sale typically has 20 25 steers to The 82nd annual Provincial Winter Fair in As Interior Provincial Exhibition 4 H director auction off in early July but just 16 registered this Steiger is now exploring options for the 4 H sale year See 4 H on next page o 3030 SERIES PIVOT SPRIINKLERS IRRIGATION AUTOM MATION HELPS AID NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT Wirelessly automate your valves to turn your sprinklers on and o as needed and reduce potential for runo BIG GUN SPRINKLER TWIG WIRELESS CONTROLS High uniformity Rotator sprinklers help manage water nutrients uniformly in the soil 1 2 3 4 IMPACT C REPLA ACEMENTS Nelson valves are designed for tough agricultural applications ontact us to learn more el 1 509 525 7660 elsonirrigation com 1000 SERIES

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32 AUGUST 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Kenneth takes social distancing up a level When we left off last time Susan Henderson had just accepted Newt Pullman s offer to have her and the children bunk at his place while Kenneth and Deborah self isolate after their vacation Rural Redemption part 125 continues Woodshed Chronicles by BOB COLLINS For the most part Deborah and Kenneth avoided one another for the last week of their vacation Deborah stayed in Birdie and Bernie Wissel s suite and Kenneth stayed in the Henderson s room They agreed to meet every day for lunch so they d be on the same page about the trip home Four days before their flight Susan sent the news about Newt s offer in an email to Deborah Deborah broke it to Kenneth at the restaurant Your mother emailed this morning Apparently Newt Pullman has offered to have her and the kids stay with him while we are in isolation Kenneth gave a derisive snort I ll bet that made Mother s day I guess maybe it did She s taking him up on it You re joking There s no way she d fall for one of Pullman s hare brained schemes It s no joke Her and the kids have already picked out rooms and it s not hare brained at all It makes perfect sense the kids will be next door Christopher will be able to pop over to do chores and they can visit us from the front porch said Deborah It s very generous of Newt Believe me Pullman s up to something I m not comfortable with any of this I agree Kenneth He is up to something It s called being a good neighbour and I m not surprised you re uncomfortable with it said Deborah You don t like anything about the very idea of neighbours You don t want to have them and you certainly don t want to be one Has it not occurred to you that might be the reason you don t fit in Fine Deborah Have it your way but sooner or later my mother is going to see St Newton theNeighbourly for what he really is I think she can see that already From what Ashley tells me she s become quite fond of him Oh give me a break said Kenneth My mother was married for 40 years to a man who ended up becoming a senator What could she possibly see in a hayseed like Newt Pullman We ll be home in a few days Why don t you ask her said Deborah After lunch Kenneth retreated to his favourite bar for an afternoon glass of Glenfiddich He stayed for two hours contemplating what might be going on with his mother and Newton bloody Pullman then what might be going on with Janice Newberry who wasn t answering his emails then the plan he would spring on Deborah tomorrow Kenneth got right to the point the next day Deborah I ve been thinking Deborah looked over at him wondering where he might be headed And she said And I ve been away from work for quite a while and I really should get started doing the review and writing a report so maybe I should isolate at the condo in Victoria and you should go home without me Couldn t you do that just as easily from home as from the condo she asked You know how hard it is to work from home All the comings and goings The kids are staying at Newt s and we re isolating There aren t going to be any comings and goings There s the dog and all the rest of the uproar and distraction I just think it would be a lot easier if I was at the condo I don t see it but if you think it would be best we ll stay at the condo We The thought that Deborah would even consider spending two weeks isolating with him in the condo hadn t crossed Kenneth s mind He had convinced himself he would be able to reach Janice and convince her somehow to meet him so he could talk to her face to face I don t see what sense it would make for you to be there he said Perfect sense said Deborah If we don t go home you won t have to worry about your mother staying with Newt I could look after meals and I m sure you won t find me distracting in any way Why is everything an argument with you asked Kenneth Why can t you say what you mean asked Deborah After three weeks together here the last thing you want to do is be locked up with me for another two weeks You said it not me said Kenneth It was time someone said it said Deborah I ll go home and you go write your report at the condo vvv They flew home four days later The journey was long and complicated Deborah dropped Kenneth off at the condo then drove home It was late when she arrived The porch light was on and there was a note on the kitchen counter Dinner is in the oven and the dog is fed Call when you get in Susan Deborah left a message for Susan when she got home and phoned first thing in the morning Susan said the kids were excited to see them and they had arranged patio tables at opposite ends of the front porch so they could sit 20 feet apart and talk to one another Deborah said to come on over Deborah was on the front porch waving when they came through the truck garden gate 10 minutes later After five minutes of greetings Christopher asked the obvious question Where s Dad He s staying in Victoria at his condo He has some work he needs to do said Deborah Is he coming back Deborah looked at the young man her little boy had become I don t know she said He ll be there for at least two weeks maybe longer I need to talk to him about what he wants to do with the bull calves pretty soon Mr Pullman says its time to sell them if they re going for veal Maybe you should give him a day or two to settle in first Christopher nodded Yeah I m going up to the barn to feed them See you in a few minutes Mom said Ashley the lady from Dad s office phoned here a couple of days ago She said she knew he was away but when he came home would I tell him the office was closing down until further notice and they would send him an email if they needed to talk to him What was her name It was that Janice lady who used to be his secretary to be continued 4 H sales CONSISTENT MORE THOROUGH MIX BOTEC 4 AUGER MIXERS Fast mixing with complete cleanout Ef fectively handlees hay grain and wet distillers Lower horsepower e requirement for economical fuel usage Large discharge results in quick even unloading 3 6 0 9 0 0 cu f t mixxing capacities truck trailer models Visit your local British Columbia KUHN Dealer todaay Matsqui Ag Repair Abbotsfford Countr y Tractor Ar msstrong IN V E S T IN Q UA LI T Y w w w k uhn h c o m Coun ntr y Tractor Kaamloops nfrom pg 7 Kamloops on September 2528 will be live streamed It will include a series of livestock shows culminating with an on site and online 4 H auction September 28 as well as a local agriculture industry exhibition Nechako Valley Exhibition organizers are using their large sale barn to accommodate up to 50 people including invited buyers an auctioneer and a limited number of 4 H leaders acting as clerks Beef sheep and photography projects are being displayed in the yards on sale day with no members present Market swine projects are being represented with a brief video on a screen during the auction No animals will go through the sales ring to minimize the number of people required to run the event adds Alex Kulchar director of 4 H at the event This is our attempt to hold an auction during these unprecedented times

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AUGUST 2020 33 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Consumers are responding to transparency Speaking up helps farmers win public trust BCAC says Rain be gone A farmworker pulls a wind machine through a cherry orchard Coral Beach Farms manages in East Kelowna after one of the summer s many downpours A high pressure system moved into the Okanagan in mid July bringing more typical summer weather to the region to the relief of growers PHOTO TOM WALKER Wrap up your savings with low rate nancing BALEWRAPPERS Visit us online for program details BALE PROCESSORS opponents One of the key consumer concerns the survey revealed is the rising cost of food which remained at 83 down from 89 last year Additionally all but two other food system concerns either stayed the same or dropped when compared to 2018 responses Knowing how and where food is produced is important to nine of 10 BC residents who responded Registration for the workshop is free at https bcac ca what wedo pt workshops FOR ALL THOSE WHO WANT TO GO UP SPREADERS ABBOTSFORD Farmers aren t naturally inclined to stand up and talk about agriculture but they can learn to tell their stories more comfortably in ways that support the industry Indeed it s already happening A survey of BC consumers in late May revealed that 82 of BC consumers think farmers are transparent in how they grow or raise their product a 14 point increase from the findings of a similar survey in 2018 We were very pleased with the data says Becky Parker manager of community trust with the BC Agriculture Council The online survey gathered responses from 883 participants with the aim of uncovering consumer concerns about BC s food system and to measure attitudes towards farmers and ranchers Questions about how COVID 19 may have impacted consumer confidence in the food system were added for this year s survey The survey also found a general improvement on all points regarding BC farmers For example respondents who feel that farmers are hard working held steady at 97 Respondents who agree that farmers treat their workers fairly rose to 78 from 71 a year ago However there s more work to do to improve public perceptions of farmers says Parker This is why BCAC is hosting the Sharing your story how to have effective conversations with the public webinar on August 19 It will provide farmers and ranchers with communication tools and consumer data to help them share the realities of agriculture through social media and in other public settings The webinar builds on the CHAT workshops the council launched in March 2019 The acronym reflects a simple formula aimed at helping farmers connect with consumers Check your reaction Hear what the consumer is saying Acknowledge and ask questions and Tell your story This year s workshops have shifted from in person sessions to an online format The special August 19 session will feature Andrew Campbell of Bellson Farms in Ontario We in agriculture do have to do a better job of just talking about what we re doing says Campbell We ve seen more and more interest in how food is grown and where it s grown He s been part of workshops like the upcoming webinar for about a decade He knows that farmers don t always know what to talk about or how to engage in conversations However there s a need for them to represent the sector because others don t always present a perspective that s fair or accurate Building that comfort is one thing he says The other side is what do you talk about Even sharing basic things can go a long way In addition to Campbell providing tips on how to connect with consumers Parker will share the 2020 survey data to help farmers better understand BC consumer perceptions and how these may influence the direction of a conversation Knowing what consumers are thinking will help farmers and consumers to connect around shared values This requires making a connection and being personable with consumers relating to them as partners in agriculture rather than 5080T TELESCOPIC WHEEL LOADER 2070LPT TELESCOPIC VAN DER WAL EQUIPMENT 1989 LTD 23390 RIVER ROAD MAPLE RIDGE BC V2W 1B6 604 463 3681 vanderwaleq com SILAGE BLADES by RONDA PAYNE www tubeline ca 1 888 856 6613 Find us on TubelineMFG

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34 AUGUST 2020 COUNTRY LIFE IN BC Outdoor appies while keeping your distance Summertime barbecues perfect for small family gatherings In today s new world we re beginning to be a bit more social with family and very close friends but we re focussing on outdoor see so many newcomers to gardening and people raising their own vegetables not to mention people finding other ways of being more selfsufficient Doing without because the store shelves have gaps in them quickly turns to innovation due to need However one convenience I m enjoying from the local market is the variety of flatbreads available to dress up however you please We made one with some pesto made from the basil in the garden topped with bits of pepperoni thinlysliced local mushrooms and greens fresh from the garden Any favourite cheese goes well with it Thinly sliced smoked salmon is also lovely served on toasted flatbread spread lightly with cream cheese and garnished with sweet red onions and capers or dill However my friend s recipe for blueberries herbs and ginger tops the list for a scrumptious appetizer to share at an impromptu driveway get together with the neighbours or to start off a barbecue on the deck There s no sharing or dipping Everyone can just grab a slice of flatbread and nibble it off their napkin with a favourite beverage Jude s Kitchen JUDIE STEEVES occasions like barbecues and patio picnics where we can keep a bit of distance between the small groups we invite over from other households Luckily summer is the ideal season to enjoy such outdoor get togethers with lots of local BC grown or raised produce meat and fish available to titillate the appetite and help push away the negative feelings it s so easy to let get you down More and more people have rediscovered their kitchens in the past few months and more are focussing on using local ingredients instead of insisting on importing them from distant corners of the globe If there s just one good outcome from this global pandemic we find ourselves in that s a significant one Mind you some of us have been doing that for years It s also quite wonderful to A fresh new way to enjoy this summer s blueberry crop PHOTO JUDIE STEEVES BLUEBERRY GOAT CHEESE FLATBREAD This is a pretty appetizer with an unusual flavour that makes me want more Try a different twist on it by substituting different berries or swapping out rosemary for thyme or adding bits of fresh pear or other fruit to the top Check the baking instructions on the flatbread you buy 1 tbsp 15 ml green onion 1 5 c 375 ml blueberries 1 2 tsp 2 ml dried thyme or rosemary 6 or so small thin flatbreads 1 tbsp 15 ml minced fresh ginger 3 tbsp 45 ml maple syrup 1 4 tsp 1 ml salt fresh goat cheese or feta Pre heat oven to 375 F Mince the white part of green onions and fresh ginger and toss into a medium sized pot Set it over medium heat adding berries and other ingredients except flatbreads and cheese and letting it bubble for a few minutes Stir until the mixture thickens and the berries are soft Slightly crisp flatbreads in a 375 F oven for five minutes or so Spread berry mixture over flatbreads leaving a rim around the edge of each flatbread and top with crumbled goat cheese Leave a bit of edge on each piece to facilitate gripping without dipping fingers into the berry spread Bake a few minutes more then cut into squares to serve EGGS GREENS BITES Don t miss a single issue of Country Life in BC Name 20 oz 560 g spinach 4 tsp 20 ml fresh tarragon 8 green onions 9 eggs 1 2 c 125 ml Parmesan cheese 1 2 tsp 2 ml pepper Address City Postal Code Phone These make use of all those fresh herbs and greens in the garden right now and are a nutritionally dense meal in a few bites Oh and they re very good They can be served warm or cold large or small Email oNEW oRENEWAL oONE YEAR 18 90 oTWO YEARS 33 60 oTHREE YEARS 37 80 CREDIT CARD _____________________________________ EXP _______CVV________ MAIL TO 36 Dale Road Enderby BC V0E 1V4 subscriptions countrylifeinbc com SUBSCRIBE NOW 3 tbsp 45 ml fresh parsley 2 tsp 10 ml fresh thyme 10 mushrooms 1 4 c 60 ml milk 1 2 tsp 2 ml salt 1 2 c 125 ml Swiss cheese Pre heat oven to 375 F If using frozen spinach thaw and squeeze it dry If fresh rinse drain and chop Mince fresh herbs and set aside If using dried herbs substitute about half the amount Mince green onions and set aside along with sliced mushrooms Heat a frypan over medium heat and melt a dab of butter in it Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a few minutes then add the green onions and soften them Add chopped fresh spinach and turn about until it s wilted If using thawed add and mix in with the mushrooms and green onions Beat eggs with milk fresh minced herbs finely grated Parmesan cheese salt and pepper Add the mushroom and spinach mixture and combine well Lightly grease or spray a 9x13 inch pan with olive oil Pour mixture into the pan and sprinkle with Swiss cheese Bake for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned Cool slightly and cut into small squares to serve as appetizers or larger pieces for a light lunch

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