Thought for Food: Co-op helping Kootenay-Boundary farmers stay working on farm

Web Lead

Derek Doyle is an organic farmer and a director on the Creston Valley Food Action Coalition board.

Hello and welcome to Thought for Food, a column dedicated to exploring the future of farming. I am a small-scale organic farmer in the Creston Valley. My first topic is the Kootenay and Boundary Food Producers’ Co-op (KBFPC).

West Kootenay residents spend $266 million annually on food. We import over 95 per cent of the food consumed. Addressing this local food shortage is the purpose of the KBFPC. The food producers’ co-op is designed to create more farm/market garden start-ups and help existing farms expand. I call it “farmers helping farmers”. The KBFPC has identified the main barriers many beginning/existing farmers face, and offers solutions to marketing, distribution, labour and value-added food processing.

This service is used by several farms with great success in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island and acts like a smartphone for agriculture. Through the service, produce is picked up from the various farms and delivered to the purchaser, which includes restaurants and grocery stores throughout the Kootenays. This saves the grower valuable time and headaches. The farmer can stay on the farm and grow more food. Former Nelson-Creston MLA Corky Evans, who is an organic farmer, is on board; he loves the innovative solution this service provides.

There is also access to an organized qualified labour pool. Farmers can have skilled labour at critical phases in the spring, summer and fall, ideally allowing more diverse and lucrative crops to be grown. This mix of produce also helps meet consumer demand, kale being an obvious example. A shared commercial kitchen for value-added food processing and food storage facilities for winter crops are other major benefits.

I invite readers wanting to hear more about this exciting topic to a public meeting at the Creston Valley Public Library at 7 p.m March 24.

Derek Doyle is an organic farmer and a director on the Creston Valley Food Action Coalition board.

Just Posted

Kootenay fires grow — more evacuation alerts

Syringa fire prompts evacuation alerts plus HWY 3 closure and U.S. fire crosses into B.C.

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Meachen Creek fire changed little overnight

Mayor reaches out to thank community; evacuation alert notices are being delivered door to door so no one is missed

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

Interior Health evacuates Kimberley facilities

Residents at Kimberley Special Care Home and Garden View Village evacuted

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Smoke scraps Nelson’s MS Bike Challenge

The annual fundraising event cancelled its cycling Saturday because of poor air quality

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

Most Read