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Category Other-Events

Weeding Day with Ross the Noodle Guy!

Posted on by Patricia Bishop

Sunday June 14th is Weeding Day at TapRoot!

Come out for a fun day at the farm and a hearty lunch by Ross the Noodle Guy!


This Sunday, June 14th, join us as we harvest the greens that do NOT make into your share boxes and enjoy a great day at the farm!

This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the farm, take a little stroll to explore, and meet the farm community. 


We’ll weed, eat, and weed some more  - come for the morning, the afternoon, or just for lunch!

We’ll start weeding at 11,

then take a break and eat together at 12,
and weed some more between 1.30 and 4.

Ross the Noodle guy will be on site to cook us one of his delicious freshly-prepared pasta dishes ($12 pP).
If you prefer bringing your own pick nick lunch, you're welcome to do that too.


It'll be a fun day on the farm - we hope to see you Sunday!

BYOBugspray & hoes.

Other handy things to bring:
refillable water bottles
sun screen & hat
closed-toe shoes (nettles!)


Earth Day at the farm

Posted on

Earth Day at the farm
Tomorrow (Wednesday, April 22nd) is Earth Day and we are marking the occasion with a "How-to build your own compost bin" activity for all ages. Meet at the farm stand at 1736 Church Street at 4:30pm (rain or shine!) for a hands-on tutorial that will demonstrate how you can make your own composting bin from a plastic garbage can.

November Atlantic Canadian Organic News and Events from ACORN

Posted on by Patricia Bishop

ACORN November Organic E-news

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We are SO excited to see ACORN's 2014 Conference Keynote Speaker on November 13th: Dr. Vandana Shiva! This will be a very special gathering and we hope to see you there!


Join us for ACORN's 2014 Conference Kick Off Party on November 12th from 7pm-10:30pm at the Upper Courtyard of the Halifax Brewery Market (1496 Lower Water St.), featuring an all-local-organic beer bar with Big Spruce Brewery, Propeller Brewery, Picaroons and the Tatamagouche Brewing Company. Wine will be provided by L'Acadie Vineyards, as well as other refreshments from Just Us! Coffee and a delicious selection of snacks provided by Local Source Market, Schoolhouse Gluten-Free Gourmet and Fruition. Live music provided by Mermicorn. Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased at the door.

1. Announcements

Almost One Week Away! Join us for the 2014 ACORN Conference and Trade Show!

That's right folks, online registration is now closed - but this doesn't mean you will miss out on the 2014 ACORN Conference! You can still register at the event - join us in Halifax for three days of over 45 workshops on organic food and farming! See our full online at-a-glance program here.

In addition, check out the 45 exhibitors at the ACORN Conference Trade Show on Wednesday (12pm-6:30pm) and Thursday (8:30am-3:30pm), which is free for the public to attend. Our "Seedy Friday" (10am-2pm) will also be open to the public, and lots of local seed companies will be joining us! This event is a conference highlight and a great opportunity to obtain local seeds for growing local food.

We are expecting our largest turn-out yet and hope to see you there!

Help us spread the word! Please join and share our following Facebook events: 
2014 ACORN Conference and Trade Show 
2014 ACORN Conference Kick-Off 
2014 ACORN Community Food Skills Workshop Series 
For those that are Twitter-savvy, the 2014 ACORN Conference Hashtag is #2014ACORN

A reminder that this year's event will be especially exciting as we will overlap with the Food Secure Canada National Assembly (Nov 13-16th, same location), drawing participants in the food movement from all across Canada!

For further information, please contact Mel Jellett, ACORN's Office Manager atacornoffice@acornorganic.org or call the ACORN office at 506-536-2867 or toll-free at 1-866-322-2676.

Special Discount for ACORN Community Food Skills Workshops!

On November 14, as part of the 2014 ACORN Conference & Trade Show at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, ACORN is offering two special community food skills workshops for only $30!!

These two workshops will be a fantastic opportunity to learn new cooking skills that will put seasonal, farm fresh and wholesome foods on the daily menu. With a focus on easy, accessible and nutritious recipes, participants will gain skills that will contribute to a lifetime of better eating from expert chefs and nutritionists.

Those that are interested in attending must register at the door/day-of only. For more details about these sessions, please see here and join the Facebook event here!

Thanks so much to the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition for sponsoring these important workshops!

Send Us Your Favourite Farm Photos from 2014!

As part of the 2014 ACORN Conference Kick Off Party on November 12th, we are compiling a slideshow of highlights from the 2014 growing season and we would love to feature some highlights from your farm! We bet you have some great photos to share! Did you document the success and bounty of a particular crop or CSA basket? Host any gatherings on your farm? Send your top picks to Lucia Stephen at lucia@acornorganic.org along with your name (or photo credit), farm name and location. Please send by Friday November 6th - Thank you!


Farm Interns and Volunteers: The Implications of Unpaid Labour for Farmers, Workers and the Food Movement at the 2014 ACORN Conference - November 12th, 2014, 2:30pm

Are you or have you ever been an intern or volunteer on a farm? Are you a farmer that uses or has ever used intern or volunteer labour? If so, join us for an informal discussion on the benefits and challenges around non-waged labour on farms in Canada. Agricultural volunteers and interns often provide necessary labour to farmers and receive invaluable training and experience. However, there are increasing concerns being raised about the legal and ethical implications of having non-waged employees and what this means for a food movement focused on issues of justice and sustainability. This informal discussion will be led by Charles Z. Levkoe from Wilfrid Laurier University who will share his research from Ontario on this topic and Alison Scott Butler from FarmWorks Investment Cooperative who will speak to the legal implications in Nova Scotia.

Charles Levkoe has been involved in agricultural and food sovereignty efforts for over 15 years. He is a postdoctoral fellow at Wilfrid Laurier University, an Adjunct Professor at Carleton University and a Research Associate at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems. Charles is currently the principal investigator of a research project focusing on the role of non-wage labour (e.g., interns, apprentices and volunteers) on small-scale, family farms. This research seeks to advance debates on the food movement and sustainable agriculture by reflecting on the shifting legal, social and political terrain of non-waged farm work (see www.foodandlabour.ca). Charles is also the academic co-lead on Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE): Community Food Security Hub, a major cross-Canada partnership initiative. CFICE is an action research project aimed at strengthening Canadian communities by asking the question: How can community campus partnerships be designed and implemented to maximize the value created for non-profit, community-based organizations? (see here for more).

Allison Scott Butler is a Director and Founding member of FarmWorks Investment Cooperative, Director of Friends of Agriculture in NS, Member of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. She received her LLB from Dalhousie University in 1974 and has practiced law for 40 years including Nova Scotia Legal Aid, the TAX section Department of Justice in Ottawa, the Halifax Regional Office of Justice concentrating on TAX, and Taylor MacLellan and Cochrane in NS where she was a partner until 1988. Since then she has been a sole practitioner. She has a Masters of law specializing in The Charter and Taxation and in 1999 she received a Queen’s Counsel designation. She volunteered with family services, battered women and served on the NS Human Rights Commission for five years, as well as the Council of the Nova Scotia Barristers Society. In 2000 she returned to Ontario where she became a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and an avid environmentalist, setting up a wind power co-operative and advocating for pesticide bans. She has authored legal publications in fields of Municipal Planning and Taxation. Since her return to Nova Scotia in 2003 she has provided legal services for individuals and small businesses in rural Nova Scotia, many of whom are farmers. She operates a small farm Ross Creek Herb and Flower Gardens.

This discussion will be hosted by Lucia Stephen, ACORN Grow A Farmer Program Coordinator at 2:30pm on November 12th in the Atlantic Room at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel. All attendees must be registered for Day One (November 12th) of the2014 ACORN Conference. If you plan to attend, please R.S.V.P. to Lucia Stephen atlucia@acornorganic.org.


Organic Council of Ontario is pleased to introduce the first in their "Think Before You Eat" video series, "Think Animal Welfare". Learn from organic farmers and advocates about the importance of choosing local organic! Click above to watch the video.

ACORN's Grow A Farmer Learning Series presents Post Harvest Storage and Management with Allison Grant, Southfield Organics - November 4th, 8pm (AST)

This webinar intends to highlight the basics of post-harvest storage and management; primary considerations and small-scale solutions; pros and cons of different methods and infrastructure. All necessary information for any organic grower.

Allison Grant and her partner Chuck operate Southfield Organics, a small-scale organic farm, marketing their products through farmers' market and a 40-shareholder CSA. Allison is an organic inspector, former President of ACORN's Board of Directors, member of the Organic Value Chain Roundtable and also provides brokerage service for organic farmers in Nova Scotia.

This session will be held on Tuesday, November 4th and is free for ACORN members (year-long individual memberships are $30 or $50 for a farm), otherwise it's $10. See here for full details, To register for the session, please email Lucia Stephen at lucia@acornorganic.org.

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We would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Government of Nova Scotia for their generous sponsorship of the 2014 ACORN Conference and Trade Show!

Local Source Logo Website

Many thanks to Local Source Market for their generous support of the 2014 ACORN Conference and Trade Show! Come and sample some of their delicious organic snacks during the Conference and Kick-Off Party!

2. Opportunities/Classifieds

Seeking Donations for the 2014 ACORN Silent Auction! The Silent Auction, held each year as part of the ACORN Conference, is an important fundraiser for ACORN, helping us recover some of the costs associated with hosting the conference, and contributing to our future program delivery needs.

The Silent Auction will take place on Thursday November 13 and correspond with our ACORN Conference Organic Banquet, preceding our keynote address with Dr. Vandana Shiva. Typically our silent auction is our largest fundraiser, showcasing a variety of farm-equipment, seeds, tools, books, resources and much more, to provide an exciting activity for Conference delegates and highlight a vast array of top-quality food and farming products, publications and services. If you think you have something that fits the bill, please contact Steph Hughes at 506-536-2867 orseed@acornorganic.org.

Sponsor the 2014 ACORN Conference! It's never too late to show your support! If you are interested in supporting and participating in the 2014 ACORN Conference and Trade Show, please click here to see (and process) our complete Sponsorship Package online. There are all sorts of different ways you can show your support! For all inquiries, please contactadmin@acornorganic.org.

Donate to the Cost-Share CSA Project! The Cost-Share CSA Project links low-income families with healthy and affordable locally produced food in Cumberland County. It is the only existing model of its kind in Nova Scotia! The Cost-share CSA project is a partnership between the Ecology Action Centre, the YMCA of Cumberland and Goodlake Farm. For more information about this project, see here. The Cost-Share CSA will make seasonal, local food boxes available at half the cost (only $10/wk.!), to individuals and families facing financial barriers.

Want Help Organizing Your Seedy Saturday (or seedy event)? Seeds of Diversity can lend lots of assistance for you! Please send us any information you have now or as soon as you get it. For example, your date, venue, etc. This helps other organizers so they don't have date conflicts. Seeds of Diversity also has a list of regionally-based speakers and a new Seedy Saturday handbook that may serve as a great resource for you! For more information, please contactoffice@seeds.ca.

Apprentice On A Farm! Curious about farm-living? Seeking a first-time experience in agriculture? There are still options available! Consider doing a SOIL apprenticeship this fall! Please pass this info along to your friends and share on Facebook! Find out more at SOILwww.soilapprenticeships.com. If you have any questions, or would like to know what other opportunities exist for new and aspiring farmers please contact Lucia Stephen, ACORN's Grow A Farmer Coordinator at lucia@acornorganic.org.

New Farmer Roundtable Nov14 - FSC Assembly FLYER small

Participate in the New Farmer Roundtable at Food Secure Canada's 8th National Assembly! This day-long gathering will unite stakeholders from across the country in discussing the necessary steps to minimize barriers for new and aspiring farmers in Canada. Click above for more details and RSVP by emailing margaret@farmstart.ca.

3. Upcoming Events

November 4 ACORN/Grow A Farmer Webinar: Post Harvest Storage and Management with Allison Grant, Southfield Organics. Time: 8pm-9pm (AST). Webinar/conference call. $10 or free for ACORN members. Register by calling 1-866-322-2676 or emaillucia@acornorganic.org.

November 5 & 6 Planning For The Future of Agriculture with Elaine Froese. November 5th - Student Session and November 6th - Industry Sessions. Gain expertise in succession planning, communication skills, and problem solving techniques to support our industry. Register today! See full detailshere.

November 6 Activating Change Together for Community Food Security Invites You to a Celebration of Community-University Research (a participatory research report on community food security in Nova Scotia). This report is the result of the dedication and passion of hundreds of individuals to community-based, participatory research to build community food security in Nova Scotia and beyond. Join us for a celebration and report launch on Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 10:30 am. Details are here and we encourage RSVPs to foodsecurity@msvu.ca by November 4th.

November 7 & 8 Extended Learning will be offering the Nova Scotia Tractor Safety Course for Class 8 drivers in partnership with VanOoostrum Farm Equipment, in Port Williams NS on November 7 and 8, 2014. This course is designed to increase awareness and test competency of 14-16 years old tractor operators with regards to safe operation and use of farm tractors and implements. Participants must have a valid Nova Scotia Class 8 driver's license and have driving experience. When the course has been successfully completed participants will receive a wallet card that enables them to operator a tractor with an attached implement on Nova Scotia Roads. Please note that the wallet card is valid for a farm tractor and trailer, if the combined weight of the vehicle combination weighs 14 000 kg or less. For full details, see here.

November 7-9 ECOSGN "Seed Connections” Conference 2014 will be head at MacDonald Campus of McGill University, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec. Building on the incredible success of their 2012 conference, The Eastern Canadian Organic Seed Growers’ Network (ECOSGN) is partnering with The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security and Seeds of Diversity Canada this year to host their second major ecological seed conference for Eastern Canada. This is a fully bilingual event bringing together farmers, seed-savers, seed companies, community gardeners, researchers, and experts on organic seed production to share knowledge, skills, and experience over a packed, 3-day agenda! Whether you are a beginner gardener or an expert seed producer, if you are interested in ecological seed in eastern Canada – this is the conference to attend! See here for more details!

November 9Transition Cocagne and Slow Food Cocagne Acadie are happy to invite you to the following workshop - Canning safely with a pressure cooker (bilingual) with Bernadette Goguen, Verger Marcel Goguen. This workshop will look at how to use a pressure canner safely for canning different food. We’ll talk about the equipment used and considerations for different foods to ensure that the food is safe. We’ll 
demonstrate the techniques by canning some food that participants will be able to bring home. Time & Location: 1-4pm, Centre culturelle Kent Sud, 5 boul Irving, 
Bouctouche, NB. RSVP- the number of participants is limited so first come , first serve. Please register by email: transitioncocagne@gmail.com. The cost is $15 per person and $12 for Slow Food Cocagne Acadie and Transition Cocagne members. This includes recipes that participants will bring home.

November 9 Transition Cocagne et Slow Food Cocagne Acadie organisent l’atelier suivant la mise en bouteille sécuritaire avec une marmitte à pression (pressure cooker ou presto) (atelier bilingue) avec Bernadette Goguen de la ferme Marcel Goguen. Cet atelier va apprendre au participants comment utiliser une marmite à pression en toute sécurité pour la mise en conserve des aliments. Nous parlerons de l'équipement utilisé pour la mise en conserve et les considérations pour différents aliments afin de s'assurer que la nourriture est sécuritaire à consommer. Il y aura une démonstration de mise en conserve et les participants pourront ramener des bouteilles de produits à la maison. Date et lieu : dimanche 9 novembre , 2014, 13h-16h au Centre culturelle Kent Sud, 5 boul Irving, Bouctouche, NB. RSVP- le nombre de participants est limité alors premier venu, premier servi. Il faut s’inscrire par courriel autransitioncocagne@gmail.com. Le coût est de 15$ par participant et 12$ pour les membres de Slow Food Cocagne Acadie et Transition Cocagne. Le paiement sera pris à la porte.

November 12-16 Devour Food Film Festival in Wolfville, NS. For full details, see here.

November 12-14 The 2014 ACORN Conference and Trade Show will be hosted at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel and is sure to be event not-to-be missed! See here for full details!

November 12 Farmers' Markets of Nova Scotia & ACORN have teamed up to provide a Special Workshop Series on Marketing at the 2014 ACORN Conference & Trade Show! See here for more details!

November 12 ACORN's Grow A Farmer Program hosts "Farm Interns and Volunteers: The Implications of Unpaid Farm Internships/Apprenticeships" Discussion with Dr. Charles Levkoe and Alison Scott Butler at the 2014 ACORN Conference. Time: 2:30-3:30pm, Atlantic Room, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel. Please R.S.V.P. to Lucia Stephen at lucia@acornorganic.org.

November 12 ACORN is pleased to host its 15th Conference Kick Off event at the Halifax Brewery Courtyard, home to the Historic Halifax Brewery Market! Celebrate the abundance that Nova Scotia has to offer in quality organic food and drink! This social event will bring together local farmers, gardeners, foodies, and all sorts of organic advocates together for a evening affair, featuring light appetizers provided by Local Source Market and a selection of beverages, featuring Picaroons, Propeller Brewery, Big Spruce Brewery, L'Acadie Vineyards and Just Us! Coffee! Location: 1496 Lower Water St., Halifax, NS. Time: 7pm-10:30pm. Cost: $15 (or free to those with full ACORN Conference passes). Join the Facebook event here. For all inquiries, please contactlucia@acornorganic.org.

November 12 Public Talk with Vandana Shiva - "The Politics of Food" - Ondaatje Hall, Dalhousie University, 6135, University Ave. Suggested donation - $20 (waged); $10 (unwaged). All funds will support Navdanya's Garden of Hope.

November 13 Grow A Farmer Meet & Greet - 4:30-5:30pm at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel @ the 2014 ACORN Conference. This session provides a meeting opportunity for experienced organic farmers, farm-workers, apprentices and aspiring growers to connect, access helpful resources and discuss what agricultural apprenticeships, mentorships and land opportunities are available within the region. If you are new to organic farming, or have farmed for years and have valuable knowledge to pass along, don't miss this gathering, showcasing a dynamic group representing the future generation of Maritime organic agriculture! For further details contact Lucia Stephen at lucia@acornorganic.org.

November 13-16 Food Secure Canada's 8th National Assembly, titled "Waves of Change: Sustainable Food for All! Hosted by Food Action Research Centre (FoodARC); the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN), with support from the NS Food Security Network. Join us for 3 days of plenaries, workshops, meetings and more with food leaders, thinkers and doers from coast to coast to coast. See here for full details and register today!

November 14 10am-2pm Seedy Friday at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel. The food you grow is as local as it gets, so why should your seeds come from away? Pick-up locally-grown heirloom, open-pollinated and traditional seeds from Maritime growers. Dozens of varieties will be available. To book a free table at the “Seedy Friday” (it’s a great promotion opportunity) please contact Steph at 506-536-2867 or seed@acornorganic.org.

November 14 The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition & ACORN have teamed up to provide our Special Community Food Skills Workshop Series at the 2014 ACORN Conference & Trade Show for just $30! See here for more details and join the Facebook event here.

November 19Adapt PEI and the PEI Farm Centre host a Food and Agriculture Entrepreneurship Forum from 12pm-4pm. The intent of the event is to promote collaboration and share information on programs and 
opportunities that encourage business development on Prince Edward Island. A line-up of guest speakers and Island agri-entrepreneurs will aim to provide information to help ensure success for 
new and expanding business ventures. The event is free. However, since space is limited, participants are encouraged to pre-register by contacting ADAPT PEI (902-368-2005) or the Farm Centre (902-892-3419) or email: 

November 19-21 The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) is pleased to be working with Farm Management Canada to host the 2014 Agricultural Excellence Conference, taking place November 19-21, 2014, in Winnipeg, Manitoba at the Fort Garry Hotel. Board members/CAHRC affiliates/members of the LMI and/or NAOF Advisory Group are eligible to attend this Conference at the reduced rate of $450. For those with LMI and/or NAOF meetings on November 18 in Winnipeg, the timing of the conference has been aligned to accommodate your greater travel convenience. To register or for more information click here.


Many thanks to Johnny's Selected Seeds for their generous support of the 2014 ACORN Conference and Trade Show!


Harry Stoddart, Guest speaker at 2014 ACORN Conference. Harry Stoddart, Pam Heath and Elwood Quinn are all guest speakers in our conference who are involved with Rare Breeds Canada!

4. Featured Speakers at the 2014 ACORN Conference

As you well know, the 2014 ACORN Conference and Trade Show is coming up soon (November 12-14th, 2014 - Halifax, NS)! Register at the event, and confirm your participation for three days of workshops, gatherings, and celebration of local organic food and farming! In the meantime, check out some of the many fantastic guest-speakers we will have in attendance:

Harry Stoddart, Rare Breeds Canada

Harry Stoddart is a 6th generation farmer in Ontario. He farms 560 certified organic acres in the Kawartha Lakes region within the shadow of the Greater Toronto Area with his wife Silvia and their 5 children. Harry’s farming career started with buying his parents conventional confinement hog farm. Following the hog market crash in ’98, Harry started the transition to organic production as a desperation strategy to save the family farm. Harry and Silvia have used almost every marketing structure available to organic producers: wholesale grain sales; package grain sales to millers, restaurants; farmer’s markets; vegetable sales to restaurants, meat sales to restaurants and institutions; founded a vegetable co-op; sold to a multi-farm vegetable CSA; sold through their own Meat CSA; and conventional commodity production.

Harry is a popular speaker in the sustainable agriculture community, currently a faculty member in the Sustainable Agriculture program at Fleming College in Lindsay Ontario, and author of Real Dirt: An Ex-Industrial Farmer’s Guide to Sustainable Eating.

Workshop(s) at 2014 ACORN Conference: 
▪ Poultry - Colourful Chickens, Odd Ducks and Flying Turkeys; 
▪ Cattle Breeds for the Grass-Fed Farm; 
▪ Rare breeds: Moving From a Hobby to a Business; 
▪ Organic Sheep: From Lambing to Shearing w/ Lorna McMaster & Harry Stoddart; 
See here for more details.

Lauren Marshall 1

Chef Lauren Marshall, Guest speaker at 2014 ACORN Conference

Chef Lauren Marshall, enVie Halifax

Chef Lauren Marshall has cooked all over the world with executive roles in Nantucket, Belize and Australia. Lauren recently finished competing on Food Network’s most popular television series Top Chef Canada Season 4. She earned her degree from the Culinary Institute of Canada. She recently finished a diploma program at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and is extremely passionate about teaching people how to cook nutritious foods and live the healthiest version of themselves. Lauren was inspired to be a nutritional chef by her grandfather who was a chief cook in the Royal Canadian Navy and her mother who suffered from Diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She now enjoys her employment as Chef de Cuisine at enVie a Vegan kitchen. Lauren cannot wait to show you how to make food tasty, healthy and fun to prepare!

Many thanks to Canadian School of Natural Nutrition for their sponsorship of our Community Food Skills Sessions at the 2014 ACORN Conference!

Workshop(s) at 2014 ACORN Conference: 
-Easy Raw At Home 
See here for full details.

Anke   Roberto

Roberto Gueli and Anke Kungl, Guest speakers at the 2014 ACORN Conference and Trade Show

Roberto Gueli and Anke Kungl, Conscious Catering

Roberto Gueli is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist passionately teaching about quality food and farming practices at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Together with his partner Anke Kungl they run Conscious Catering, a company on a mission to serve a diversity of whole foods with a strong emphasis on local and organic ingredients. This dynamic duo also host workshops and cooking classes with an aim to make healthy meal preparation accessible, affordable and delicious. Both Anke and Roberto have a tremendous appreciation for seasonal foods as medicine and especially enjoy experimenting with ferments and wild edibles.

Workshop(s) at 2014 ACORN Conference: 
Fall Foods for Winter Well-Being: Preserves as Medicine; 
Holistic Health on the Farm (for Farmers!) 
See here for full details.

Many thanks to Canadian School of Natural Nutrition for their sponsorship of our Community Food Skills Sessions at the 2014 ACORN Conference!


Dr. Bob Bors is an excellent speaker and professor at the U. of Sask., focusing his research on hardy fruits for our northern climate!

Dr. Bob Bors, University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Bob Bors has been a Professor in the Plant Sci. Dept. at the University of Saskatchewan since 1999. He teaches classes on Fruit Science, Plant Propagation, Greenhouse Management and Introduction to Horticulture. His research involves breeding hardy fruits for northern areas with emphasis on crops that can be mechanically harvested and need little or no pesticides. His program has 40 acres of fruit and a 93 year history of developing varieties for Northern Canada and is the coldest location in North America for a major fruit breeding program. He runs a Prairie Fruit Genebank and regular writes articles for his website www.fruit.usask.ca. Dr. Bob Bors' participation in our conference has been generously sponsored by PEI Phytocultures!

Workshop(s) at 2014 ACORN Conference: 
Part 1: Fruits with Organic Potential for the Maritimes * Part 2 Fruits with Organic potential for the Maritimes: Haskap Part 3 Fruits with Organic potential for the Maritimes: Sour Cherry w/ 
* Part 4 Fruits with Organic potential for the Maritimes: Saskatoon Berry w/ Dr. Bob Bors 
See here for full details.


Crops genetically engineered to be resistant to applications of 2,4-D have been approved in both Canada and the USA. This will undoubtedly lead to an increased use of this pesticide. Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) has created an online action letter to be sent to the Minister of Health. It can be found by clicking the above image.

5. Organic News 

Why Canada May Be Heading Into A Food Security Crisis 
Source: The Toronto Star

When Ed Burt and his family sit down to Thanksgiving dinner this weekend, they will eat turkey raised and slaughtered on the family farm, along with butternut squash, sweet potatoes, a salad of cauliflower and broccoli, and Yukon gold potatoes that Burt grew organically in his garden.

For dessert, there will be Burt’s famous apple crisp, made from apples he grows on his Manitoulin Island property with a topping made from flour he mills himself.

It’s a scenario that will be repeated in only a tiny percentage of homes in Canada, though it might have been much more common in the 1950s and 1960s.

Still, most Canadians will indulge in reasonably healthy, domestically produced food, and crash into bed under the weight of turkey overindulgence.

For the millions of Canadians who experience some form of food deprivation, however, Thanksgiving dinner may come from a food bank, or from a can or package of imported food laden with additives. In the case of especially hard-hit families, there may be no feast at all.

To read the full article, see here.

New CBAN Report "Will GM Crops Feed the World? 
Source: CBAN

Proponents of genetically modified (GM) crops tell us that we need genetic modification to feed a growing population and reduce global hunger. The new report from the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) examines experiences with GM crops from around the world to answer this question.

The report exposes the many ways in which GM crops threaten the environment and farmers' livelihoods, and overlook the real causes of hunger. Using case studies from around the world, the report shows that there is no place for GM crops in an ecologically sustainable and socially just food system.

Click here to review the two-page report and here for the report summary.

For more information about CBAN, see here.


Click above to read this great profile on ACORN members Sarah Fisher and Jamie Tingley, owners and operators of Off Beet Farm in Cow Bay, NS!

We Got the Beet 
Source: The Coast

Four years ago Jamie Tingley moved to Cow Bay. "I moved here for the surfing," says Tingley. "And then I kind of fell in love."

The object of his affection: farming. With his partner, Sarah Fisher, he started Off Beet Farm, a small-scale vegetable farm overlooking the bay. "We'd always had little garden plots," he says. "And we kept kind of getting more involved with it, and realized the potential of it and how much you can grow in a small space."

While Cow Bay is definitely known for its surf, when it comes to farming it's not exactly Nova Scotia's most prestigious turf. "It's not awesome farmland at all," Tingley says, but there is history there. "At one point Cow Bay used to supply a lot of Halifax with vegetables and meat. I hear stories of it from some of the old-timers out here."

Tingley and Fisher are living and farming on just under an acre of land. They are also using borrowed plots from neighbours—"incredibly generous and supportive neighbours," he says—who live on old farmland. "It was land that I guess past generations had farmed on out here, which is great," he continues, "because there's not a lot of that to be found out here anymore."

Not having grown up on or around farms, this is a whole new world to Tingley, a mental health nurse, and Fisher, a graphic designer. One of the biggest challenges, says, Tingley was "just learning how to farm."

"If you didn't grow up in it, it's difficult," he says. "A lot of people really recommend that you do internships and spend a couple of years working on a farm before you undertake going to your own. We didn't. So there's been a whole lot of trial and error."

It was an ACORN Conference in Dartmouth that helped bring farming into focus for Tingley and Fisher. ACORN—the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network—holds an annual weekend-long conference and tradeshow where farmers and sector businesses share in discussions about topics like food security, season extension, specialty crops, financing, and markets. This year the ACORN Conference is taking place in Halifax from November 12-14 at the Marriott Harbourfront Hotel.

See full article here.

GMOs Found in Packaged Food Labelled "Natural" 
Source: CTV news

All the more reason to show that buying certified organic products is the easiest way to buy GMO-free!!

The controversy is growing over whether food should be labeled if it contains genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs. Currently, there is no mandatory labeling of GMOs in foods in Canada or most of the U.S. Yet, around 90 per cent of corn and soybeans produced in North America are genetically modified.

Consumer Reports tested a variety of foods to see just how widespread GMOs are and whether you can trust food labels. Since labeling is not required, you can’t tell by looking at the package, even though some may say “no GMO,” “Non GMO” or Non-GMO Project Verified.”

Testers analyzed more than 80 processed foods containing soy or corn to see if they contained GMOs. The food was bought between April and July of 2014 and at least two samples were tested from different lots.

Unless they were labeled organic, the vast majority of products without a specific claim regarding GMOs contained a substantial amount. Those included cereals, corn chips, snack bars and soy-based infant formulas.

To read the full article, see here.


Cherry Orchard or Jungle Safari?

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This past Sunday Josh and I met up with members at the Squash Barn before a short walk to the cherry orchard. Along the way we admired the tomatoes under the hoop houses, failed to spot any pigs hiding in the shade, waved to neighbours, and noted that the tide was out. 

Josh continued the tour at the orchard with a bit of a safety lesson. I was surprised to discover that the cherry orchard was more of a fortification. Low level electric fences, live capture traps, simulated owl and crow screeching, and my favourite, the cannon! I felt like we were entering a game preserve. Some of the younger children were a bit reluctant. Josh explained that he is basically trying everything he can (including some Nova Scotian innovations) to keep critters out. He said, "Everything wants to eat cherries." I understand why.

The orchard has a bunch of varieties. I walked the entire length of rows reading all the signs, but can't recall a single variety. I was distracted by the canopy. Branches drooping with huge bunches and clusters. And incredibly shaded. It would have felt like a scene from a pastoral art film if it weren't for the screeching monkeys and bird deterring fireworks. 

After some chit chat we all got down to business, filling pints to take home. I filled three pints standing in one place, from one branch, and I didn't even lift my arm above my shoulder. I believe that's what's called, "Good pickin'" on the farm. 

The cherry orchard tour and u-pick was the highlight of my week. We always hope people can find a chance to visit the farm, to see, participate, and get a feel for the place. Thanks to those of you for coming this past Sunday, and to all CSA members who continue to support the farm. If you haven't made it to the farm yet, we will create an excuse to get you here.  See you all soon. Maybe at next month's corn boil, or Open Farm Day in September.




Dionne's Handcrafted Laundry Products

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Just found out that one of our members makes laundry powder, picked some up for myself, and wanted to let you know about it, too!


Handcrafted Laundry Products


Whether you’re trying to reduce your exposure to unnecessary chemicals, lessen your footprint on the earth or just save money these laundry products may be for you. Dionne Warr creates handcrafted laundry products that are both environmentally and people friendly.

Laundry Powder is available in your choice of three scents -- tea tree & lavender, citrus or unscented. The base of each batch of laundry powder is Dionne's own soap, handcrafted from coconut oil, RSPO palm oil, lye and essential oils (the unscented soap is free of essential oils). Each loaf of soap is grated and mixed with baking soda, washing soda, borax and Oxyclean. For a regular load, one tablespoon is all you need to keep your clothes looking and smelling clean!









Stain Removal Bars are also available. Simply wet the bar and your soiled article of clothing and rub them together until you create suds. Once you've soaped up your soiled clothing it can be laundered right away or saved until you're ready to do a load. After all, there are no harsh chemicals that require your immediate attention.


At present there are two lightly scented options for Linen & Room Spray, citrus and lavender. Many people like to spray their pillows for a fresh scent, but it can be used for so much more than that! Use it as a chemical-free version of Febreeze. Use it as a room spray to eliminate those not so fresh scents. Keep it in your fridge and spritz yourself when you need a refreshing pick me up!


Dionne’s dryer balls are handcrafted from 100% wool. According to the David Suzuki Foundation, if you toss three to five balls in your dryer with your wet laundry, you'll reduce your drying time by 30-50% as well as reduce the amount of static created in the dryer! And what's even better? If you have an essential oil that you like, you can add a few drops to your dryer balls. Then when you toss your dryer balls into the dryer, it will add a lovely scent to your whole load of laundry without the chemicals of dryer sheets!


Dionne can be found at the Alderney Landing Farmer's Market each Saturday from 8:00-1:00. You can also get in touch with her at dionnewarr@gmail.com or https://www.facebook.com/HandcraftedLaundry.