10 episodes

Interviews with BC-based farmers, food processors, academics and others who contribute to food production in BC in one way or another.

Farming in British Columbia Jordan Marr

    • Education

Interviews with BC-based farmers, food processors, academics and others who contribute to food production in BC in one way or another.

    Former ALC Chair Richard Bullock on the ALR & Sixty Years in Farming

    Former ALC Chair Richard Bullock on the ALR & Sixty Years in Farming

    This episode, my conversation with Richard Bullock, a past Chair of the Agricultural Land Commission. Richard joined me to talk about a life in farming and why chairing the ALC was the hardest job he took on in sixty five years as a farmer. 
    The ALC's Annual Report is a good way to learn the fundamentals about the ALC/ALR if you're into that sort of thing.
    Got something to tell me? Are you a farmer or non-profit that wants to post something on the community bulliten board? Send a voice memo (preferred!) or written words to Jordan:
    250 767 6636
    podcast@farminginbc.ca

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Heritage Pig Breeding Around BC

    Heritage Pig Breeding Around BC

    This episode we’re taking a look at small scale pork production in BC, and specifically, a few farrowing operations around the province.
    Got something to tell me? Are you a farmer or non-profit that wants to post something on the community bulliten board? Send a voice memo (preferred!) or written words to Jordan:
    250 767 6636
    podcast@farminginbc.ca

    • 43 min
    West Enderby Farm: Carrots in the North Okanagan

    West Enderby Farm: Carrots in the North Okanagan

    This episode, a conversation with  farmer Paddy Doherty of West Enderby Farm.  Paddy and his partner Elaine retired last year, but for close to fifteen years they grew organic carrots and a couple other crops in the North Okanagan. Paddy and Elaine's reputation as solid farmers would have been enough to fill a whole interview, but there was a lot more I wanted to ask him about. He's a bit of a legend in BC's organic farming community, having played a pivotal role in some key moments of evolution of the organic farming sector. And before he and Elaine bought West Enderby Farm late in their careers, Paddy spent a few decades living and working on a couple of cooperative farms around Quesnel. He's also a wizard with old tractors, which have benefitted some of his colleagues as he's thinned out his fleet in retirement.
    A longer version of this conversation has been published before, over at The Organic BC Podcast. Go browse that catalog! There's lots there.

    • 52 min
    How BC Drought Managers Make Tough Water Allocation Decisions

    How BC Drought Managers Make Tough Water Allocation Decisions

    This episode returns to the subject of drought and how the government manages water scarcity. This time: an interview with Nicole Pyett, a hydrogeologist and Water Resources Section Head, Authorizations for the Thompson Okanagan region with BC's Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship. Scroll down to find a bunch of resources NIcole mentions in our conversation.
    I asked Nicole to join me to talk about some of the science and date behind how she and her colleagues make decisions about how to allocate water during drought.
    Last year, water levels in the Salmon River and some of its tributaries dropped so low that officials from BC's Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship were required by law to take actions to protect spawning fish populations there. What began as a request for voluntary irrigation reductions quickly escalated to outright irrigation curtailment orders for some of the area's forage producers. These farmers were, and are, frustrated by what happened. They've argued that the connection between the deep aquifers they tap and surface water levels is very weak, or non-existent. In other words, if you force them to stop irrigating it's not going help the fish. 
    Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship hydrogeologists disagree. And at a community meeting they hosted in Westwold on February 27th, they told the farmers in attendance that they had the data on hand to demonstrate the curtailments improved the situation for spawning fish. Only they never got to share their data, because the conversation in the room kept going in various directions. That's why I invited NIcole to talk to me: so that I could ask her to explain the connection between surface water and ground water. 
    After our conversation, Nicole sent me a very helpful summary of some of the resources she talked about. Here it is:
    Water Science Series reports released by the Province of British Columbia
     Determining the Likelihood of Hydraulic Connection - Guidance for Determining the Effect of Diversion of Groundwater on Specific Streams
     Screening Tool for Guiding Short-Term Groundwater Curtailment during Water Scarcity
     United States Geological Survey (USGS) report
    Streamflow Depletion by Wells - Understanding and Managing the Effects of Groundwater Pumping on Streamflow
     Links to numerous other materials and documents including the British Columbia Drought and Water Scarcity Response Plan are available through the Provincial drought webpage.
     
    Questions and comments regarding water management in the Thompson Okanagan Region can be sent to local staff through WaterResources@gov.bc.ca.
    Got something to tell me? Are you a farmer or non-profit that wants to post something on the community bulliten board? Send a voice memo (preferred!) or written words to Jordan:
    250 767 6636
    podcast@farminginbc.ca

    • 38 min
    The Current State of Farmers Markets in BC

    The Current State of Farmers Markets in BC

    My guest today is Wylie Bystedt, a farmer based in Quesnel and the current board chair of the British Columbia Association of Farmers Markets. Wylie joined me on the phone to trumpet a recent study conducted at the University of Northern British Columbia that confirms what Wylie already knew: that farmers markets in BC are growing in popularity and economic impact. We'll talk about that study, as well as the current state of farmers markets in BC, and Wylie will tell you what she thinks farmers markets need in order to be even better.
    Wylie's ranch is called Coyote Acres and is based in Quesnel.
    Got something to tell me? Are you a farmer or non-profit that wants to post something on the community bulliten board? Send a voice memo (preferred!) or written words to Jordan:
    250 767 6636
    podcast@farminginbc.ca

    • 41 min
    Bolen Livestock: Farm-to-Table Beef in Jaffray

    Bolen Livestock: Farm-to-Table Beef in Jaffray

    My guest today is Brody Bolen. He's 28 years old and a third generation rancher and butcher based in Jaffrey, in the southeast corner of BC. Brody's grandparents established the ranch in 1957 as a commercial cattle operation. Brody and his wife Kashtyn now live there and operate a farm-to-table business model in which they're directly involved in every step of producing their beef, including delivering it themselves to households around the southern interior.  
    Brody's nothing if not a cowboy and a cattleman. But he has another passion you may not have guessed: goats! Press play to hear about it!

    • 48 min

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