Bio-region News

The Thompson-Okanagan is well on it’s way to becoming a certified organic bio-region. *

We want to celebrate this long term trend with posts from everywhere in this area. Share your organic activities and events and projects with the rest of the people in this part of BC. Can you tell us what is happening in your part of the bio-region?

If it takes a village to raise a child then it takes a bio-region to feed them. The Okanagan basin is full of organic farmers and consumers and businesses and groups. They are all striving to make every week organic week. We are going to introduce you to these good folks in this part of our blog.

Why should people in Kelowna be concerned about other communities and regions in the Okanagan and beyond?

Good question. Look at the ebb and flow of food that goes through the Kelowna Farmer’s Market, every week in the Planting – Growing time of the year. Cherries come up from Oliver while Garlic and Cabbage comes down from Grinrod. Kelowna households stream in to buy this food by the thousands.

People in Kelowna should care about what happens to farmers in Grinrod because it affects the food supply that feeds their families. In this age of climate-change uncertainty, it makes sense to rely on farmers in Grinrod and Oliver for certified organic vegetables and fruits instead of farmers in drought ravaged California.

I hope and believe that by knowing more and more about what organic activities and projects and events, are going on throughout the bio-region; people will expand their idea of where they live to include the whole Okanagan Basin and the Thompson region as well. Together, these areas form an effective bioregion.

Increasing organic local food self-reliance is good for public health, good for the area ecology and really good for the regional economy.

Why can’t the Okanagan become the shinning jewel of an organic oasis that Stephen Cipes, founder of Summerhill winery and certified organic vineyards, has envisaged?

OKANAGAN BASIN: PART  OF AN ORGANIC BIOREGION ?

* Almost 4.0% of total farms in the Thompson – Okanagan region are certified organic. That is double the national average of 1.8% and far from the USA at only 0.7% of total farms being certified organic (2011 Census).
In BC, 2.9% of total farms were certified organic