On-Farm Seed Production Workshop (ACORN)

2018_PEI_Seed_Workshop

Date

Tuesday,  May 8 from 9 AM – 3:30 PM

Location

PEI Farm Centre, Charlottetown, PEI

With farm planning nearly complete for many growers, this intermediate-level workshop will focus on the practices you can implement during your growing season to pull off your best possible seed crops, including:
— isolation – distance, time and barrier
— plant populations and why they matter for quality seed
— strategies for observing, selecting, and roguing your seed crop
— quality assurance after the growing season: germination tests, storage tips, and how to ensure you’ve saved what you think you’ve saved!

Presenter Bio: Chris Sanford and her partner, Garrett, grow and maintain over 150 varieties of vegetables, grains, and flowers at their small diversified farm on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.  They have been farming and gardening ecologically for over 15 years, and 2018 is their 10th season growing seeds commercially.  In addition to consumer direct seed sales, Chris sells seed through Annapolis Seeds. Chris can speak knowledgeably about on-farm seed production from her experience with dozens of crops including squash and other curcurbits, most brassicas, beans, peas, corn, small grains, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, alliums, herbs, lettuce, and some biennials. Chris works part-time as the Community Gardens Coordinator for the Town of Bridgewater, and has taught workshops in the Maritimes and Northeastern US.

Cost: ACORN Members: $20, Non-members: $30, vegetarian lunch included.

Registration Deadline: April 30, 2018. To register: please email Steph Hughes at seed@acornorganic.org, with your full name, contact phone number, and dietary restrictions. Upon registration, participants will be asked about what crop varieties they are saving seed from so that content can be tailored to their needs.

District Convention 2018

The NFU District 1, Region 1 Convention was held on April 3, 2018 at the Milton Community Hall. A large number of farmers and supporters heard reports on the past year’s NFU activities.

A panel consisting of Agriculture Canada scientist, Dr. Judith Nyiraneza along with Barry Thompson and Kyra Stiles from the Provincial Agriculture & Fisheries Department made a presentation which highlighted the alarming decline in organic matter in PEI soils over the past number of years. It was pointed out that organic matter levels can be reduced much more quickly than they can be increased. Members suggested that an increased livestock industry and a move away from the industrial model of farming would go a long way to improving the organic matter content of Island soils.

Hon. Robert Henderson, Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries brought greetings from his Department and fielded questions from the delegates. Most of the concerns were with regard to the land issue in this Province. Mr. Henderson suggested that if there was enough public outcry, the land situation could become an issue in the next election campaign.

Hon. Richard Brown, Minister of Communities, Land and Environment addressed the gathering as well. Again, most of the questions to Mr. Brown concerned the serious situation with foreign interests buying up large tracts of PEI farmland. The letter of the law may be followed but certainly the spirit and intent of the Lands Protection Act is not being upheld.

Mr. Brown looked to the NFU for solutions and was reminded that the NFU has long advocated a land banking system for this Province. In this way, retiring farmers could sell their land and new and expanding producers could lease land from the banking system until such time as they were in a position to purchase it.

Resolutions were considered by the Convention, many of which concerned the strengthening of the Lands Protection Act. Another resolution asked that the Corporate Business Registry of PEI continue to display the names of shareholders and directors of Island companies and that the information regarding the inter-connections between corporations be made much more transparent.

With regard to the Municipal Governance Act, a resolution was passed to request the Minister of Communities, Land and Environment to respect and uphold the decision of residents in non-incorporated areas and incorporated areas with regard to amalgamation and annexation. All resolutions passed with be followed up with the various departments, etc. District Director, Doug Campbell along with Women’s District Director Edith Ling, and the Youth District Director, Byron Petrie were elected by acclamation.

PEI Lands Protection Act: The Spirit and the Letter

The report of the 2018 Cooper Institute Social Justice Symposium features presentations by NFU members Reg Phelan, Edith Ling and Doug Campbell, as well as Gary Schneider. The full report follows, or you can download it as a pdf: Lands Symposium Report 2018.

x9Pbh4Y8TG+VTZ+xhzcmmg_thumb_3b8e

The objectives of the symposium were to:

  • examine the meaning and significance of the spirit and letter of a legislation,
  • review the history of the “Voices for the Land”,
  • identify why and how the Lands Protection Act has been (and is being) misinterpreted to serve a few interests,
  • discover some of the loopholes in the Lands Protection Act, and
  • identify practical and doable community action to strengthen the Lands Protection Act.

Continue reading

Ministers of Agriculture, Environment to Speak at District Convention

NATIONAL FARMERS UNION DISTRICT 1, REGION 1 DISTRICT CONVENTION Tuesday, April 3, 2018 – Milton Community Hall

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Robert Henderson and Minister of Communities, Land and the Environment, Richard Brown will address NFU members on April 3rd at the District Convention in Milton. Two important pieces of legislation, the PEI Lands Protection Act and the new Water Act, will most certainly be on the agenda.

There will also be a presentation by researchersDr. Judith Nyiraneza, Barry Thompson, Kyra Stiles who recently released a report detailing a 20-year study of PEI soil organic levels. There has been an overall decline in organic matter, which is also related to water retention capacity. The researchers identified 3 main reasons for the downward trend: increased erosion in heavy rain events, declining number of livestock operations, providing less manure for the soil, and frequent tillage.

17555149_1058196674324673_1123740491_n (1)

The convention is open to the public. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the meeting will be called to order at 10:00 a.m. The registration fee is $20 per person and this includes a meal at noon. Adjournment is planned for 4:00 p.m. (The storm date is Thursday, April 5).

Loopholes in the Lands Protection Act

Debbie Theurekauf (Cooper Institute), with Edith Ling, Reg Phelan and Doug Campbell of the NFU

Editorial by Douglas Campbell, published in the Charlottetown Guardian,

March 17, 2018

It is a matter of days since the National Farmers Union (NFU) participated with over 65 Islanders in a symposium on the Lands Protection Act: The Spirit and the Letter. Loopholes in the Act were high on the list of participants’ concerns about the implementation of the Act. This week, veteran, volunteer land-acquisition researchers advised the National Farmers Union of a specific case in Kings County which should shock any Islander. Continue reading