For this very special French-language episode of the Rural Routes to Climate Solutions podcast, recorded in the late summer of 2023 during the Stories of Regeneration tour, Sara Maranda-Gauvin of Regeneration Canada talked with brothers Vincent and Simon-Pierre Bolduc of La Station: an organic farm and cheese factory in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.
You never know what Mother Nature is going to dish out, whether it is going to be the good, the bad or the ugly, so being able to observe, learn and adapt can be just as handy as mechanical skills.
And now we have educational programs that blend Blackfoot ways of knowing and agriculture.
In this episode of Rural Routes to Climate Solutions, we are taking a look at the Red Crow Community College’s Niitsitapi Agriculture Certificate Program with JR Weasel Fat of Kainai, Alberta.
During the growing season of 2023 as summer turned into fall, the Rural Routes to Climate Solutions podcast and Regeneration Canada were on the final leg of the Stories of Regeneration tour. After covering most of the Prairies and most of central and eastern Canada in the summer, our months-long journey came to an end in Canada’s two most western provinces around harvest time.
This next phase of our journey brought us to Cawston, British Columbia, acclaimed as the Organic Farming Capital of Canada. At Snowy Mountain Farms, managed by Aaron Goddard and his family, you will find a 12-acre farm that boasts over 70 varieties of fruits such as cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, pears, apples, and quince. Aaron employs regenerative agriculture practices to cultivate and sustain living soils, which are essential for producing fruit that is not only delicious but also rich in nutrients.
2023 was a challenging year for Canadian farmers and ranchers and for humanity in general. We had droughts, wildfires, floods, an affordability crisis and a number of armed conflicts. According to scientists working with the European Union, 2023 smashed temperature records globally.
And yet, someone like Nova Scotia agricultural producer Rachel Lightfoot still finds ways of being optimistic even after her farm got hit by a polar vortex, a dry spring and a very rainy summer all in the same year.
Fifth generation farmer, Rébeka Frazer-Chiasson believes strongly in the practices of regenerative agriculture. Located in Rogersville, New Brunswick, her farm Ferme Terre Partagee currently operates as a coop based on common values and objectives including peasant agroecology and food sovereignty.
Soil is very much alive. And hungry too. Some estimates go as far as saying that there is more life in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on the planet. You just need a microscope to see the vast majority of it. Or you do what grain farmer Blake Vince did, and bury a pair of “tighty whities” (underwear) in the soil to produce proof of the existence of this vast and diverse soil microbial community.
In the soil, you’ve got well-known critters like earthworms, bacteria and fungi and lesser-known ones like protozoa and nematodes, who have this tendency to eat the bacteria and fungi.
In this bustling environment where a lot of things are eating each other, there is an exchange between soil organisms and plants so both sides of the equation get what they need to survive and thrive and produce food for the rest of us living above ground. This interaction between the soil and plants is something that fascinated Blake Vince, who farms mainly soya and corn in southwestern Ontario, it fascinated him at a young age.
During the growing season of 2023, Rural Routes to Climate Solutions teamed up with Regeneration Canada to connect with agricultural producers across Canada who are tackling the pressing social and environmental crises through the adoption of regenerative agriculture.
One such farm is Axten Farms, situated in Minton, Saskatchewan. With a steadfast commitment to growing healthy grains, Axten Farms takes a regenerative approach focused on enhancing their land’s soil biodiversity, creating a thriving environment for food production. Their unwavering dedication is captured in their motto, “Loyal to the Soil.”
If you’re still wondering how best to incorporate regenerative technologies into your daily operations then you might need a crash course, or at least a motivating podcast episode, that speaks to the business of bacteria. In this kick-off episode of the Siksikaitsitapi Agriculture Project podcast series, we sit down with Joshua Day Chief to discuss how growing good bacteria can recharge your soil, plant and water health to make way for producing a better product.
In the summer of 2023, a diverse group of storytellers, organizers, and strategists visited 10 farms and ranches in Canada. These farms and ranches were carefully chosen to represent different aspects of Canadian agriculture, including fruit, grains, beef, veggies, and even a vineyard. The purpose of this project, which included videos, articles, and a podcast series, was not solely focused on what these farms produced, but rather how they produced it. These farmers and ranchers were passionate about not only producing high-quality, nutrient-rich food, but also about fostering community connections, caring for the land, contributing to ecosystem stewardship, and addressing global issues like climate change. And to top it off, some of these farmers were even enjoying the process.
The Stories of Regeneration podcast series is a 10-episode, in-depth look into the practices, motivations and lives of a dozen agricultural producers who are determined to remain profitable and regenerate the land, communities and ecosystems through their agricultural and agribusiness practices.