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Summer’s in full swing and for many—probably most—organic farmers and gardeners, this likely means you’re in the middle of figuring out something new: a transplanting technique, how to graze cover crops, how to germinate a seed variety you’ve never used before, or evaluating new equipment or cover cropping (or both!) for spring weed suppression.
So many of you have experimented and explored possibilities to improve your systems, workloads, and yields—and circulated your results. An organic community hallmark is to share what you’re learning, so others don’t have to reinvent the wheel. All the articles in our summer issue have that element in common, even though they come from farms different kinds, small and large, from all over Canada.
Small, Sustainable, Intensive Spelt Production and Small-Scale Dairy And Cheese Production are good examples of smaller being beautiful. The Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming brings us research on High Tunnels, an affordable cross between a row cover and a greenhouse, to extend the growing season and provide benefits of wind and rain protection, soil warming, insect control, and reduce disease and predator damage.
For grains growers, this issue has a range of informative articles, including a 3-part piece on the CombCut technology for weed control that’s causing quite a buzz out in the Prairies. Meanwhile, long-time successful producers Ian Cushon and Brent Harris both shared some of their organic success stories, describing how they rely on crop diversification and rotation.
Turning to a broader perspective, Energy Use and Emissions in Agricultural Production Systems, from the Rodale Institute, compares conventional and organic farming systems’ impact on greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. Carbon Farming and Fibresheds examines the power of local, site-specific initiatives that mitigate emissions through carbon sequestering, while improving our soils and livelihoods. These innovations range from soil management to integration with local processing and marketing, based on local needs and realities.
In the same spirit of integration, From Farm to Folks, is this issue’s inspiring cover story about Montreal’s Santropol Roulant, which supporting the development of local young farmers and generating sustainable returns, while fulfilling its mission of providing access to healthy food to people regardless of income or age.
Table of Contents is below- the issue also contains a book review on Carbon Farming, an update from the COG library, classifieds, and more!