BioregionNEWS Poplar Bluff Organics

Poplar Bluffs Organic farms is a long time certified organic operator. They have an established regional distribution system with smaller retailers and through YYC Growers and Distributors. They have also evolved organic practices which support the crop growth. (All excerpts and images are taken from their web site.) Their main crop is nutrient dense potatoes in an array of varieties.

new potatoes just harvested from the ground
 orange carrot roots with stems of green tops

There is a short video of the farmer talking about how she fertilizes using molasses to support fungal growth. The beneficial mycorrhizae fungus form networks that can supply crop plants with nutrients and water. It is very hard to develop these living fungal thread networks when the growing areas are roto-tilled several times a season. Tillage is the challenge the organic sector has not been able to overcome but conventional farmers have adopted No-Till for significant ecological benefits.

Innovator class (Roger’s Adoption theory) farmers, like Rosemary Wotske and Cam Beard help anchor the alternative food supply and distribution network, developing across Alberta. Both farmers produce great food that builds a foundation for food security in this region. They help keep the market alive for the young farmers to get established. There seems to be a good network of these established certified organic operations in Alberta.

Many practices developed by early adopters of organic technology do not get transferred to other growers. Experienced farmers would be willing to share what they have learned with young farmers if there was an organized way to do that. This would be a benefit for all if the innovative farmers could share their knowledge with younger farmers in Alberta and elsewhere.