Bioregion NEWS

Lund’s Organic Farm has been certified organic since 1988. Their web site says they grow cool season crops, like Carrots and Potatoes in dark rich soil with 18 – 24 depth to compaction (topsoil depth). That is phenomenal soil health!

They grow excellent carrots that we have been eating for months. Their supply of good tasting carrots lasted well into April. In BC, in the Kelowna area; the California organic carrots were all that was left around the end of March. The growers I bought from direct, ran out end of January (the young growers take time off in the winter, good for them!).

Since they have been certified organic for many years, they fall into the Innovator adoption category, in Roger’s adoption theory. In Alberta the organic supply chain at the farm end is still developing but what is here seems very robust and productive. The above picture from their web site Gallery of pictures, shows the bounty this established farm can produce.

There were over 40,000 farms in Alberta as of the 2016 census. At that time their were about 430 certified organic and transition organic farms That is around 1% of total farms. All these operators fall within the Innovator range in Roger’s Adoption Theory. BC, at 3.2% of total farms organic; is in the Early Adopter phase. It took over 20 years to get to that level.

A lot of young growers, who sell directly to the public, do not believe they need certification. Small farmers see organic certification as too expensive and not very helpful. OK, but what replaces it on small farms for risk management?

We need a community based verification system for low risk operators who sell directly to consumers. This will go along side the current high risk system for retail sales outside the province. It should be less expensive and also more useful for answering production questions. We might discuss this more in a future blog post.

I have seen soil tests and walked across fields and looked at crops on hundreds and hundreds of farms of all types. Lund’s Farm says on their we site that their soils are 18 – 24 inches deep. That is our gold standard for soil health – 24 inches of topsoil is like saying 24″ depth to compaction.

Does their great tasting Carrots, late into the season, show the link between healthy soil and good storage quality of food crops?

It would be great to go out to the farm and use some of our soil health indicators to assess their soils. If there is a chance to go out to the farm in the future, I will take it.