Small Farm Sessions

Small Farm Sessions

These workshops are designed to support small farmers, especially in the Metro Vancouver area. 

You can submit your question(s) ahead of time and we will investigate for you. The workshops will feature a teaching portion and a live Q&A. See you there!

Workshop Description

Will cover:

– accessing cost-share funding through the Environmental Farm Plan program

– water-use efficiency

– assessing water needs

Workshop Description
Looking to refine your pest management practices?
Wondering how to attract beneficial insects to your farm?
Join our session with Bonnie to discuss integrated pest management, strategies for supporting beneficial insects, and how to use iNaturalist as an ID tool.
We’ll save ample time for a live Q & A at the end. See you there!

Bonnie Zand is the owner of Bonnie’s Bugs IPM, a private insect consulting company. She has been helping Vancouver Island growers with their integrated pest management for 10+ years. Bonnie is currently running the Vancouver Island Pests, Pollinators and Beneficials Project, is a board member of the Native Bee Society of BC and is an instructor with the Master Melittologist program. In her spare time she likes to look for cool insects, create habitat for native bees, instill a love of insects in her six year old daughter, and hang out with goats, chickens and honeybees on her hobby farm.

Workshop Description
Join our session with Raelani for a discussion of different types of overwinter cover and their impacts on soil and farm management.
Results from a BC study examining the influence of plastic mulch and cover crops on spring soil moisture and nitrogen dynamics will be shared. We will also discuss cover crop selection with your management goals in mind! Several tools and resources will be presented to help you prepare for next year’s cover plan.
Questions about cover crop management are welcomed!

Raelani Kesler is from Whidbey Island in Washington State, the traditional and ancestral territory of the Clallum, Skagit, and Snohomish peoples. She has seven years’ experience working on organic vegetable farms in the Pacific Northwest, and holds a B.Sc. of Environmental Science from the University of Washington and a M.Sc. in Soil Science from the University of British Columbia (UBC). She currently works as a Sessional Instructor at UBC in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and as a Research Assistant with the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Lab. Her focus is climate change adaptation for growers in British Columbia (BC), working on projects such as overwinter soil cover management for soil health, the Vancouver Island winter vegetable variety trial, and the BC cover crop database.

Workshop Description

Join our session with Jennie to discuss all things low-till flower farming!
Jennie will share her expertise and experience using low-till methods, and touch on related questions including weed management in low-till systems and perennializing dahlias.
Questions are encouraged, be prepared for a lively session!
NOTE: this session is designed primarily for farmers growing flowers, but all are welcome.

Jennie Love hosts the popular regenerative farming podcast, No-Till Flowers. A pioneer in the farmer-florist movement under the banner Love ‘n Fresh Flowers, she has been flower farming for 15 seasons on the east coast of the U.S. Jennie has served in several leadership roles in the industry, including being president of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers from 2019-2022. A dynamic and passionate educator and writer, Jennie has coached thousands of flower farmers and florists around the globe through in-person and virtual events.
To learn more about Jennie and her farm, visit love n’ fresh flowers

Workshop Description
In today’s world, we may not have rain when we need it. An efficient irrigation system can help growers maintain crops throughout periods of drought.
This session will supply a hands-on view of key components necessary to maximize an irrigation system’s efficiency. Learn what these components are, where they should be installed, and how to select the appropriate component to do the job!
Join Bruce to learn how to plan and install an updated, efficient irrigation system!

Bruce has been involved in irrigation design and implementation for over 30 years. His experience covers all facets of irrigation systems from sports fields and golf courses to large scale agricultural systems. Bruce is certified by the Irrigation Industry Association of BC (IIABC) in Commercial Turf Sprinkler and Agriculture Sprinkler & Drip Irrigation, and is a certified Irrigation Scheduler. Bruce has also assisted well owners in their application for ground water licensing. Bruce has served on the North Okanagan Drought Response Committee, the North Okanagan Agricultural Advisory Board, the Okanagan Water Stewardship council, and as President of the IIABC (2017-2018). In 2015, Bruce established an irrigation consulting company focused on efficiency in irrigation design and system planning.