The Conference 2017

Farmer 2 Farmer 2017

March 1, 2017:  Farm Bus Tour with lunch ($45)               10:00am – 4:00pm

Experience and learn about innovative ways farms are composting, handling irrigation and designing/using greenhouses. Tour stops:  10 Acres, Northbrook (Saanich Organics), and Sun Trio.  Tour includes shoreline talk at Tsawout First Nation on traditional harvest and cultivation, as well as lunch at Fickle Fig Farm Market.

March 2, 2017:  Farmer2Farmer Conference ($55)           9:00am – 5:00pm

See Full Conference workshop descriptions and presenter bios below.

Conference Program at a Glance 

Keynote Speaker: Seann Dory, Salt & Harrow Farm

Reflections on: urban/rural, for-profit/non-profit business models, scales of production. Success, collaboration, profitability and models for tomorrow.
Seann started Salt & Harrow Farm in 2016. Salt & Harrow is a 37 acre vegetable farm located in French Creek, BC on Vancouver Island. Previously, Seann was the Co-Director and Founder of Sole Food Street Farms, a social enterprise that provides jobs and agricultural training for people in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Seann is a founding member of the Young Agrarians; an initiative to recruit, promote and support young farmers in Canada. Seann speaks regularly at events including the Young Farmers Conference at Stone Barnes and the EAT! Festival. Seann is a member of the National Farmers Union and is part of the steering committee for the National New Farmers Coalition, working on farm policy to reduce barriers for new farmers entering agriculture.


Soil Health Basics for New Farmers. Build a strong foundation of soil knowledge for your farm with an understanding of four key soil health principles. Learn how to assess the health of your soils with a set of year-round soil health tests and indicators.

Soil Health Challenges for Experienced Growers. You’ve been cultivating your soils for 3, 5, 10 years+, with some successes and some challenges. This interactive session is meant to move our collective knowledge and skills with regional soil types and known issues forward, combining relevant field research with shared practical experience.

Presenter: DeLisa Lewis

DeLisa is a practicing farmer, farming systems consultant, field researcher, and university instructor. She has close to twenty years experience as a commercial grower, and operates Green Fire Farm, a certified organic, 40-acre mixed vegetables and livestock farm in the Cowichan Valley. During the winter months, she teaches sustainable agriculture courses in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC, where she completed her PhD in Soils and Agroecology. Her research and consulting areas are soil nutrient management, farm planning, and new farmer training. DeLisa’s community volunteer contributions include membership on the North Cowichan Agriculture Advisory Committee and a board appointment with the Certified Organic Associations of BC Accreditation Board.

Composting: Scaling, Sourcing Inputs, Models.
Learn the mechanics and techniques of creating and maintain a productive compost for farm use.

Presenter: Vadim Junea.

Vadim works as assistant manager at 10 Acres Farm and has been farming for 4 years in the Canadian West coast. He holds a Bachelor of Science with a specialization in microbiology. Combining his love for the outdoors with his passion for biology and nutrition, Vadim has dedicated himself to farming in a holistic and sustainable manner. He spends his free time immersed in the wonders of mycology, working to prefect low-cost cultivation techniques.

Bookkeeping for Farms (Beginner): Bookkeeping basics for farms: business set up, bookkeeping, payroll and your first year-end tax report.

Advanced Bookkeeping for Farms (Advanced): Overview of tricks and short cuts for excel with specific examples detailing bank reconciliation, seed ordering and organic certification reporting.


Presenter: Sasha Kubicek

Sasha Kubicek has been practicing accounting and bookkeeping for the last 17 years. He currently runs his own bookkeeping/accounting practice Sasha’s Bookkeeping with his biggest clients Hoyne Brewing and Saanich Organics. When not doing the books for Hoyne or Saanich Organics, Sasha is helping his wife Robin co-manage Sea Bluff Farm.


Dealing with Supply Gap and Selling to Retail Market – Discussion on reality (or not) of supply gap, model of addressing it, moving forward.

Facilitator: Patricia Reichert.
Contributors: Saanich Organics, Longview Farms
Local Food Retail Experts: Daisy & Adam Orser (Rootcellar), Travis Shaw (Thrifty Foods), Susan Tychie – Institutional Purchasing

Patricia Reichert is a social researcher and local food activist. She is president of the Salt Spring Farmland Trust and is currently working on a research project into building the local food economy based on community sustainability values and needs.



Crop Planning Tools: Excel spreadsheets for crop planning.  Plus info on online (AgSquared) tool – – come learn how to make crop planning easy, streamlined, and effective.
Presenters: Seann Dory, Salt & Harrow Farm, with contribution from David Wicklund, Pattison Farm




“So you wanna get a cow?” Panel discussion of key factors in considering various livestock. : This workshop is aimed at those who are contemplating the leap into the world of animal husbandry, but even those more seasoned are bound to learn something new.

Panel: Anne Macey, Susan Grace, and Mitchell Morse
Anne Macey has been involved in the organic sector for over 30 years in many different roles. She has contributed as a writer and editor for several COG publications including the Organic Livestock Handbook, A Guide to Understanding the Canadian Organic Standards, and Living with Worms in Organic Sheep Production. Anne was also involved in compiling the Animal Welfare on Organic Farms Fact Sheets. She represents Canadian Organic Growers on the Canadian General Standards Board Organic Technical Committee and is the convenor of the Livestock Working Group. Locally Anne is very involved with Salt Spring’s community Abattoir project. In a past life in Ontario she operated a small, mixed, organic farm and more recently has worked as a organic verification officer in BC.

Susan Grace recently retired from raising organic Jersey cows on Saltspring Island. She and her partner Julia owned and operated Moonstruck Organic Cheese. She learned a lot from her cows and they will always have a special place in her heart. Susan is happy to share her knowledge with others who have a passion for their animals.

Mitchell Morse was born on a small dairy farm in upstate New York. Although farming was in his roots, he had to see the world after university. Living in major cities around the world, it took 8 years of living in downtown Vancouver to convince him that he needed to return to agrarian life. In 2013 Mitchell and his partner Chris Margetts started Fickle Fig Farms, transforming a 4.5 acre hay field into a fully functional farm complete with over an acre of vegetable crops, an acre orchard with honey bees, and over 2 acres of pasture for animals. In 2015 the farm was expanded to more than 7 acres across 3 different properties on Alderley Road in Saanich, BC. Mitchell is a full time farmer and spends 7 days a week on the farm.

Water: Saving/Draining Loop “How To”: Theory, systems and technologies that help.
Maybe you’re a farmer who taps into city water, but wonders if (and how!) you can bypass (or minimize) the pipe and source water directly from your land. Or maybe you want to get some concrete ideas on how to deal with ‘problem’ areas of your site. From draining waterlogged areas, to retaining water effectively and directing it where and when you need it, holistic water management cooperates with the natural features of your farmsite to create food systems that are productive, resilient and self-sustaining.

Presenter: Tayler Krawczyk
Tayler grew up on the prairies of Saskatchewan with a keen interest in how ecosystems work. After a degree in International Development Studies and 5 years working in the working in the forestry and silviculture industry (in Canada and Britain) he decided to focus his career on the intersection between ‘human development’ and healthy ecosystems. Since then, he has been working at building his hands-on skills in the fields of organic horticulture, agroforestry and permaculture. In 2010, he moved to Victoria, BC to pursue further education & experience. These days, after having spent 5 years engaging day-to-day with plants and living systems, he is honing his skills as a small business owner and project manager.

Tilling Tools and Techniques: tractors, scaling up, attachments and enhancements to existing systems.

Presenter: Dave Chambers 
David Chamber and his wife Nathalie operate TLC’s Madrona Farm, a 27-acre farm 10 minutes outside Victoria producing a diversity of 105 crops, 12 months a year. David’s grandparents, Lawrence and Ruth, and their three sons bought Madrona Farm in 1952. For thirty years, Lawrence raised animals and produced vegetables and hay. After Lawrence’s death in 1982, the farm was leased out for hay production. When David moved to the farm in 1999 to take care of his grandmother, he decided to dedicate himself to restoring his family’s farmland. Today the farm provides food to over 3,500 Greater Victoria households.

Bees: Value added benefit of incorporating these and other beneficial insects on your farm.
The workshop will highlight the importance of native bees and other beneficial insects to agriculture, the latest research on habitat creation and benefits to farms, Bee Friendly Farming Certification, and Citizen Scientist Monitoring Training. It will explore methods for habitat creation and where general and technical guides (including regionally-specific pollinator plant lists) can be found. There will be an open dialog on impediments to bee habitat creation, and ways forward.

Presenter: Dr. Lora Morandin
Lora Morandin has been doing research on bees and pollination since 1997. She started out working on bee pollination of greenhouse tomatoes at Western University in Ontariowhich grew into an interest in native pollinator conservation and sustainable agriculture. She did a PhD at SFU in British Columbia studying modern agriculture and pollinators, followed by post doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley working on enhancement of native pollinators and natural enemy insects through small-scale farm restoration. One of her main interests is finding ways that production and conservation can co-exist for a healthy and sustainable environment. Lora lives in Victoria, British Columbia and when she’s not working full-time for Pollinator Partnership Canada, spends time working on her urban farm and enjoying BC’s beautiful natural areas.