Tag-Archive for ◊ Organic Farming ◊

Author:
• Wednesday, June 05th, 2013

Score one for the good guys :)

Source: Equiterre

Quebec adopted a food sovereignty policy this May. This is good news for all Quebecers. Here are some of the highlights that got us really excited here at Equiterre:

  • government agencies encouraged to buy local (to this end, a local food procurement strategy is slated to come out by year’s end)
  • a mention of the need to reduce pesticide use
  • the intention to increase the protection of farmland in or around our cities 
  • recognition of the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet reduction targets

Lots to be happy about!

Equiterre, which has helped such institutions as day cares, schools and hospitals access more local food for ten years, has also offered its full cooperation to the government as it applies this policy.

Some recommendations?

  • We’d like to see more about the need to support and develop the organic food sector.
  • We’d also like to see some clearly defined local food procurement targets.

Stay tuned for future developments.

Author:
• Tuesday, September 04th, 2012

Organic farming guideSource: Equiterre

Family farmer Jean-Martin Fortier, whose Eastern Townships microfarm, Les jardins de la Grelinette à St-Armand, owned with partner Maude-Hélène, has been hailed, at home and abroad, as a model of its form, has written a guide, based on his decade of experience, for aspiring organic farmers, both amateur and professional alike. The book, Le jardinier-maraîcher, Manuel d’agriculture biologique sur petite surface, an Ecosociété publication, hit bookstore shelves on August 28.

This how-to guide, which features a foreword by Equiterre cofounder Laure Waridel, is destined to become a reference in organic agriculture. It looks at the technical aspects of small scale farming, with a focus on community supported agriculture, but also shows how this type of agriculture imbues the lives of those who choose it with special meaning.

Now available in all good bookshops. (In French only.)

Author:
• Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Source: Caia Hagel

My friend has been farming for several years now and is starting her very own Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) this year. Her produce is BEYOND organic…they refuse to even use heavy machinery on the farm, instead opting to do everything by hand. She is taking 20 subscriptions for summer baskets this year and I thought some of you might be interested.

Trente Arpents Community Supported Agriculture – 2012 Season

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership wherein members and growers share the risks and benefits of a human-scaled and sustainable form of agriculture. Members commit to paying a portion of the price up front, which allows the growers to cover the costs incurred in the spring. In return, the growers commit to providing their members with a weekly share of fresh, high quality, local, healthy and ecological vegetables.

Although we are not certified organic, we practice farming in this way:

  • All of our vegetables are grown, from seed to harvest, using only hand tools. This style of cultivation ensures minimal tillage, which otherwise damages soil structure. Using hand tools also helps to both reduce the amount of time the vegetables are exposed to noxious substances from machinery, and minimizes our dependence on fossil fuels.
  • We use unheated cold-frames (built primarily from reclaimed windows) to start our vegetable seedlings and extend the season.
  • We do not use pesticides or herbicides of any kind, even varieties sanctioned for organic production.
  • We reclaim a variety of organic refuse (potential landfill) for use in our composting systems.

You might say we are primarily in the business of growing soil, and it is our belief that healthy plants grow from both healthy soil and ecosystems; building these are our main focus.

Trente Arpents Shares

We are offering 3 share sizes:

  1. Single at 20$ (for one person); or $425 for the season
  2. Double at 30$ (for a couple) ; or $625 for the season
  3. Family at 40$ (for a family of two adults and 2 children); or $825
    for the season

There is a one-time, annual transportation charge of $25.00

Members receive a share of a variety of vegetables every week for a period of 20 weeks, beginning mid-June and going until the end of October. The contents of the share will change each week according to seasonal availability, but will always include a fresh herb, salad greens, and a bunch of cooking greens, amongst other things.

The vegetables are delivered right to your home. The day and time of the delivery remains the same throughout the season (to be determined, most likely Wednesday evenings).

The vegetables will be minimally packaged and minimally washed in order to preserve freshness.

There is also the possibility of obtaining other local and sustainable products, such as meat, cheese, honey, oil, and fruits, at an additional cost.

Please inquire if you are interested.

Registration form Trente Arpents- 2012

If you would like to register, please email the following information to: info@trentearpents.ca

Name

Address

Telephone Number

Email

Share Option

A 10% deposit + transportation fee is required to complete registration and ensure your share (non-refundable). Deposits are due on or before February 28, 2012.

The remaining balance can either be paid in full (before the first delivery), in monthly installments (due at the beginning of the month), or weekly at the time of delivery.

It is important that you let us know in advance if you will be away and will not be needing your share for that week.

Thank you for supporting Trente Arpents!

Author:
• Friday, June 10th, 2011

Source: Farmageddon

Author:
• Thursday, April 07th, 2011

In order to help you out with your gardening, The Coop Maison Verte has organised a series of workshops related to gardening techniques, local food and food conservation for April and May. They are all free, bilingual, and will all take place at the coop, 5785 Sherbrooke street West.

  • Seed saving April 13th with Nel Ewanè, agr. Msc. from Action Comuniterre 7 to 9 pm
  • Beekeeping workshop April 14th with Alain Péricard from Rucher Apis 7 to 9 pm
  • Community Farming information session April 15th with Dave Merson from Ferme Mange-tout 7 to 9pm
  • Compost 101 May 2nd with Julieta from Eco-Quartier NDG 7 to 9pm
  • Green Smoothie workshop May 3rd with Ildiko Brunner from Raw in Montreal 7 to 9:30pm
  • Vermi composting workshop May 10th with Philippe Robillard from Pousse-menu 7 to 9pm
  • Sprouting and fermentation workshop May 12th with Philippe Robillard from Pousse-menu 7 to 9pm

For more info contact:

Stéphanie Guico
Coordinatrice du marketing | Marketing coordinator
stephanie@cooplamaisonverte.com
514 489 8000

Author:
• Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Honey bee workshopBees are our collective “canary in the coalmine”. When they start to falter and die off, the global food system is under threat.

Date: Tuesday February 22
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Coop Maison Vert, 5785 Sherbrooke West

Now and then, it’s in the news : chemicals, varroa, other diseases until recently unknown (as well as the sometimes violent methods of industrial beekeeping) are threatening the bees’ very survival. But bees play a key role in ensuring the (re)production of many plants essential to our own existence. The apiary offers delicious and healthy products and apiotherapy teaches us that they can also cure many illnesses.

Alain Péricard has been a beekeeper for 30 years. A pioneer of organic farming in Quebec, he now splits his time between his Rucher Apis (in the Eastern Townships’ Canton de Cleveland), and NDG. On Tuesday February 22nd, at 7pm, he will be at la Maison Verte for a workshop on bees and beekeeping.

Depending on participants’ interests, the workshop will touch upon the hive’s lifecycle, bee products and apiotherapy. Are the current organic certification norms sufficient to protect the bees and the environment? Why not introduce beekeeping in the city? There will be a presentation and sampling of apiary products.

Author:
• Friday, December 03rd, 2010

We need a new counting systemA major problem with our economic system is that future environmental and health liabilities are not counted in any transaction. This is dishonest because these costs are hidden from us.

If markets could see the real, long-term costs during the buying decision process, all food would be organic, our transportation system would look nothing like it does and consumer products would be built to last nearly forever.

Until we learn to “count” differently, we’ll continue the same unsustainable practice of environmental degradation.

I dream of living in an honest, sustainable world.

Source: Family Eats

The impact on our society is greater when you decide to buy ‘cheap’ foods.  On the shelf, the cost of non-organic food may be less than organic, but when you look at the true cost of production, everything that it took to bring that product to market, it is by far more expensive and non-organic food is the most expensive option we could buy. Whether it is your tax money in form of the $60 billion farm bill each year, or the cost of environmental clean-up of soil, air, and water, the price of non-organic foods is not what you see on the shelf.

Sustainability is really just a definition for honesty. If there is something dishonest in our relationships, then it is not sustainable. If the production of a product has a substantial negative environmental impact, then it is not sustainable.

Author:
• Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

From a survey performed in late 2009, the following list of Top 10 sustainable professions emerged. The responders of the survey had all been motivated to find or develop new skills in response to threats from Peak Oil.

Top 10 Sustainable Professions:

  1. Farming
  2. Activism/Volunteerism
  3. Renewable Energy/Energy Audits
  4. Teaching
  5. Small Business Owner
  6. Permaculture Design/Teaching
  7. Sustainability consulting
  8. Non-profit
  9. Alternative health
  10. Energy-efficient building/Architecture

Source: EcoWatch

Some survey findings that may help those working to accelerate awareness and action among the general public are:

  • People are driven to act in the face of global threats largely by a sense of right and wrong – their conscience – with some encouragement and inspiration from books, movies, media programs and articles.
  • Emphasizing the positive consequences of particular lifestyle changes, and focusing on health and wellness benefits and a simpler, more satisfying life may be more effective ways to encourage change than promoting financial savings.
  • The lack of support from one’s community and family and lack of assistance with overcoming unhelpful personal habits and attitudes are more significant roadblocks to effective response than not having enough information on what actions to take.
  • Growing one’s own food is a popular and transformative way to begin living a more sustainable lifestyle, and may lead to a new career opportunity and the development of more community support.
  • Most people do not feel they need to measure the impact of their lifestyle changes, but some think such feedback would motivate and assist them with doing more. Setting goals, even without measurement, is extremely helpful.
  • Nine out of ten people plan to make additional changes, including starting or expanding a garden, installing a renewable energy system, or working with others in their local community to make broader, more systemic changes.
Author:
• Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Organic Apple TreeApple trees are one of the few fruits that can be grown easily in southern Quebec and have been used for centuries to make cider, jams and sauces. One day, I’d like to have an apple orchard of my own.

What: Theory and Practice of Organic Apple Tree Maintenance

When: Saturday, March 20th, 9AM to 4PM

Where: Lobinière, Quebec

Duration: 6 hours

Description: In collaboration with the Collective regional agricultural training, Team Haunted Farm organizes a course on mastering techniques based on the size and maintenance of organic apples.

There will be further concepts such as the physiological development of apple trees, their major pests, the basic techniques of pruning with distinctions appropriate for different sizes of trees (from training, annual maintenance, fruiting and most importantly, restructuring of old apple trees).

At the end of training, participants will be able to make the right size of Apple tree, the recultivation of abandoned apple trees and to develop a plan to fight against the major integrated pests.

Cost: The cost of this course is about $ 50 (or less, the total fee is divided in proportion to the number of entries). Depending on the interests of participants in a sequence can then be available on the cuttings (in April) and planting (Fall).

Who: The trainer is John Lamontagne, CFP professional arborist of Fierbourg. For more information and to book your spot, place contact (as soon as possible!) Lea, Coordinator for Productions Haunted Farm.

Looking forward to prune in your company for the finest apples this fall!

*** Possible barter tuition cons of 5 hours work size in the orchard the next day (ie Sunday AM March 21) and / or work the size of the orchard in exchange for the equivalent  vegetables (summer 2010); to negotiate with Lea. ***

* Chance of carpooling and lodging on site. *

Contact: Lea Charest, for the Haunted Farm
585 rang St-Eustache, Lobinière,
Quebec
796-3277, leacharet418@hotmail.com

Author:
• Sunday, February 07th, 2010

Weekend Seed Fair in Montreal

10th Annual Seedy Weekend Seed Fair in Montreal at the Montreal Botanical Gardens

This event aims to promote seeds of the open-pollinated variety which have been grown locally and sustainably.

Please note this year’s changes outlined below as there have been quite a few. You can contact Action Communiterre for a more in-depth interview at animation@actioncommuniterre.qc.ca

This year’s seedy weekend will take place over two days, Saturday, February 13th and Sunday, February 14th 2010 in order to accommodate the public’s growing interest in this event. For that same reason, the layout of the room will also be modified to allow for greater circulation. The fair will run from 10 :00am to 4 :30pm. Access is free, but a voluntary donation would be greatly appreciated, as the event is organized as a fundraising opportunity for Action Communiterre (a non-profit, community organization that sponsors collective gardening and works on issues related to urban agriculture and food security) and les Amis du Jardin Botanique de Montréal, who’s mission is to support the Botanical Gardens and it’s cultural, educative and scientific development. There are however fees for parking at the Botanical Gardens.

There will also be a snack kiosk in one of the adjacent rooms catered by Au Pois Chique, a non-profit organization taking care of a local ‘meals on wheels’.

Location :
Montreal Botanical Gardens
Pavillon d’accueil
4101 Sherbrooke Street East, Montreal

To get there: The parking lot entrance of the Botanical Garden is located on Sherbrooke Street, between Pie IX and Viau. The Botanical Gardens is also accessible by metro, Pie IX station
Important notice: The parking lot now has parking meters. The cost is $10, payable by coin, or by credit card