Farming as though the Earth Matters – Brenlea Farms – Camrose, AB

Brenda Bohmer, a grain farmer at Brenlea Farm in central Alberta, realized she’d been draining sloughs for years in an attempt to farm more acres. She would seed around duck nests, but in order to deal with weeds, she’d farm right up to the edges of the wetland. “It’s a mindset you get locked into,” she admits. Bohmer’s goal? Create a year-round wetland and invite nature to help rehabilitate the natural wetland ecosystem and water cycle.

Several years ago, Bohmer partnered with Cows and Fish – Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society. Within a year, nature took over the wetland and Bohmer was amazed to see the transformation of the riparian habitat. “I can still grow crops between the wetlands,” explains Bohmer. “But now I have a buffer which provides a separation between farming operations and the natural habitat. Bohmer points out that 80 percent of all types of wildlife in Alberta spend all, or part of their lives in a riparian area. “We can co-exist,” she says. “I like to think of this as farming as though the earth really matters.”

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EP53 Dugouts

If you live in Alberta and raise cattle, odds are you’re going to try every possible way to keep that spring melt, or heavy rain, on your land. A tried and true method of ensuring that water doesn’t go wandering off is the dugout.

In this episode, Norine Ambrose, Executive Director of Cows and Fish, helps us understand the importance of protecting riparian areas (including dugouts) and how it can help with drought management.

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EP52 Drought Plans

There are very few things that can mess up your grazing plans like a drought. Join us as we chat with Sean McGrath, of Round Rock Ranching, about creating a plan to help minimize the impact that a drought can have on your operation.

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EP51 Cover Crops

With fertilizer prices hitting $1,000 a ton, it’s no surprise that cover crops are a hot topic. It makes sense that non-synthetic inputs like cover crops are becoming more and more appealing to producers. There’s many benefits to cover crops – including feeding livestock and pollinators, improving water filtration, suppressing weeds, building soil carbon and improving soil biology. In this episode, we’re joined by Kevin Elmy, of Cover Crops Canada, to discuss the ins and outs of cover crops.

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EP50 50 More

This episode is all about reflecting on the past and anticipating the future. We’ve covered so many great topics and had the most amazing speakers join us. While we can’t highlight or cover it all in our “podcast tour”, we picked ones that impacted the podcast’s trajectory.

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Planting the ‘Prairie Berry’ — Solstice Berry Farm, Crossfield, Alberta

The Gelowitz’s kept a garden on their farm where they grew several saskatoon bushes. Rick, who grew up in Calgary, but spent quite a few summer vacations on his uncle’s farms in Saskatchewan, has had a lifelong love for the native prairie berry. “It was my wife’s suggestion that we try to grow Saskatoon berries,” he recalls. “And that’s how it started.”

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Organic Gardening & Beekeeping for Better Community Health

Norma Wolfchild, a member of the Blood Tribe, has spent nearly 20 years helping her community develop small business ventures, working with the Blood Tribe Economic Development as a small business development officer. After her husband was diagnosed with diabetes, she was determined to establish a healthier lifestyle with organic, nutrient-rich foods. She now has a thriving garden, a small horde of livestock and honey-producing bees.

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EP49 Bringing Back Iinnii

In this episode, knowledge holder Dr. Leroy Little Bear shares his work to restore the Iinnii. Little Bear sheds light on why this work is important, not only for the land but for the people and their connection with songs, ceremonies and stories centred around the Iinnii. He also highlights the importance of working together with the air, land, and water to foster the ideal environmental conditions we need to survive and thrive.

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