Latest articles

Taking charge of climate

Changing weather is hitting these B.C. farmers hard. Now they’re fighting back

Standing at the window in his kitchen, Fort Fraser, B.C. rancher Wayne Ray watches the heavy grey clouds and he shakes his head. It’s July — haying season — but the rain won’t let him get at it. Ray is lucky. He hasn’t yet cut his hay yet, so at least it isn’t laying in […] Read more

Stepping up the cider game

It’s a great time to lead in the cider business, and this farm group aims to take their Broken Ladder brand international

Back when my grandparents’ generation of Okanagan farmers first formed a fruit growing co-operative to market their fruit, farmers made a good living growing and selling crops on a commodity basis. Sure, some of that fruit ended up in cans, in fruit leather or in other value-added applications, but that all happened after the fruit […] Read more

8 steps to go

Change Makers: Trail-blazers? mavericks? gamblers? Success for Chris and Betty Jentsch is all about winning at change

Harvest was wrapping up when I arrived in wine country. Up and down the valley, grape growers were breathing almost audible sighs of relief as final bins were hauled from the vineyard to crush. Seemingly overnight, the valley had shifted from the vibrant oranges, golds and deep purples of fall to the browns and greys […] Read more

Ultra-consistent canola stands, but with a price attached

Craig Shaw loved the results, and lower seed cost, 
but the pricey equipment is a major barrier

It’s one of those farming Catch 22s. On the one hand, the high cost of canola seed makes it tempting to minimize one’s seeding rate — on the other hand, a strong and consistent canola stand is key to good returns. In the American Corn Belt, producers have found a solution by repurposing their corn […] Read more

two young farmers with baby

The first-generation farmers of Hillside Dreams Goat Dairy

Like other new farmers across Canada, Barrie and Merel Voth may not produce the commodities you’d expect, or farm at the scale you’d like, but they’re committed, brave, and very, very smart

How serious are Barrie and Merel Voth about their start-up goat dairy venture? Serious enough that they wrote exactly two exit options into their farm lease agreement. Bankruptcy. Or death. “Oh, but don’t write that!” says Merel. In April last year, when they signed on the dotted line for their five-year lease agreement at Silver […] Read more

man standing in farmyard

Making the choice to farm

Getting into farming today is different, Kerry Froese believes. It demands whole new sets of skills

On the one hand, farming is what it’s always been, a profession with generous portions of independence, autonomy, and pride. It’s a lifestyle most farmers can’t imagine giving up, (even farmers who say they aren’t in it for the lifestyle). There’s space, freedom, physical exertion, honest value, and let’s not underrate the sense of authenticity. […] Read more

two farmers talking in a field

Networking and the farm

In the first of two parts, networking expert Donna Messer explains why her work should matter to you

If you challenge yourself to describe a farmer in 10 words or less, before you’re halfway through, you’ll find yourself reaching for words like independent, autonomous and self-reliant. And no wonder. With all the risks and stresses of agriculture, farmers have earned the rights to that image of strength, resiliency and self-determination. But, as every […] Read more

hillside view

That’s the spirit

Farm smarts, an incredible dose of dedication, and intense passion for their products are driving these two ventures into consumerism

Maybe these two startup agribusinesses are riding the coattails of B.C.’s wine industry. Or, maybe they’re on to something unique and innovative. Either way, they’re succeeding in farm-based ventures based on the passions of their customers, and they are thriving on the essential passion of their owners. With the summer tourist season barely six weeks […] Read more

Minding the future

Back a year and a half ago, Jeff Braisher attended a beef industry conference in Calgary, hoping to discover what he needed to know to make his business dream a reality. Turns out, it wasn’t so much a question of what he needed to know as a question of who. And as luck would have […] Read more

The apple 
from heaven

Discovering Ambrosia apples was luck. 
Building them into one of the world’s 
favourite apples was anything but

Longtime apple producers in the B.C. interior, Sally and Wilfrid Mennell are becoming world celebrities — at least in the apple world — for discovering a chance seedling in their orchard that they have built into one of the favourite apple varieties on Earth.
 How they did it proves once again that the most successful […] Read more