KFPC workshops only. If a workshop by a network partner, categorize “our network”.

When the FarmFolk CityFolk mobile seed cleaner recently rolled through town, a couple of us from the KFPC were lucky enough to take part in their seed cleaning session at SSOL Gardens. The mobile seed cleaner is currently being toured around the province to promote commercial seed production and support farmers who are already producing seed for sale. This well-equipped trailer can be a game-changer for farmers thinking about growing for seed as the equipment it brings can produce commercial-grade seed in a fraction of the time it would take to clean it manually.

Seed sovereignty is an integral part of food sovereignty. In order to have a resilient local or regional food system, we need to be producing our own seed so that we are less reliant on large commercial seed companies and able to develop plant varieties adapted to changing local and regional climates.

Prepping beans for cleaning

Seed cleaning can be monotonous and labour-intensive work, but it can also be very relaxing and meditative. When you see that bucket of clean seeds – the finished product of your labor, it’s also immensely satisfying. And sharing the work with a friendly crew of helpers makes for a fun day on the farm!

The seed cleaning unit itself is a trailer that houses several interesting gadgets used in the seed-cleaning process including an air-separator, which uses suction to pull the lighter chaff away from the seeds. David Catzel, who built most of the equipment in the trailer, was on hand for our session at SSOL and was able to finely-tune the airflow for each type of seed, producing a very clean finished product.

David and Daniela screening onions

There is quite a bit of manual preparation to be done before the plant material is ready to go through the separator. This is where the teamwork comes in. The more plant material that can be removed from the seed beforehand, the more effective the final cleaning will be. The mobile seed trailer is equipped with a sizeable collection of hand screens, which make the process easier.

On the day we were there, we helped clean two varieties of beans, six of carrots, ten lettuce varieties, and two onions. Daniela from SSOL Gardens figured the session saved her a week to 10 days of work and was way more fun than doing it alone!

David also facilitated a seed saving workshop for us while he was in town, which, unfortunately, we had to restrict to seven people because of social distancing restrictions. For those of us who got to attend, it was very informative and inspiring. One important takeaway was that although seed saving can be very scientific and particular with tons to learn about plant varieties, cross-pollination, and isolation distances, it can also be very simple. Many of our common vegetables, such as tomatoes, lettuce, beans, and peas are mostly self-pollinating and can easily be saved from one year to the next. And sometimes unintended cross-pollination can result in something new and different!

Thanks to David Catzel and Steph Benoit for organizing and facilitating the event and to FarmFolk CityFolk for making it possible!

 

It’s that time again! Seedy Saturday is this Saturday, March 14. Come on down to the OLPH Parish Centre between 10am and 2pm to get into the planting mood! There are lots of vendors and some great workshops planned.

The KFPC will be there with our Seed Library collection, and a seed swap table. Bring any seeds you have to trade, or sign up as a library member and take out seeds for free (returns welcome, but not required) 


AND – We are once again offering our spring fruit-tree pruning workshop, but with the added component of an introduction to espalier. Greg Houghton will guide participants through the basics of when, why, and how to prune, and then focus on how to train trees to grow into specific shapes and forms.

Participants will then have the chance to practice on some espaliers in progress under his expert guidance!

For more information and tickets, go to Eventbrite.

I think it’s fair to say that our latest veggie fermentation workshop was a great success! We had a lot of fun, made a glorious mess, and participants went home with some colourful jars of sauerkraut, kohlrabi sticks, and garlic. Thanks to Paula and Mendel from Silver Springs Organics for the giant kohlrabi and cabbage!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colourful Sauerkraut Mixture

That’s a lot of garlic to peel!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a small or emerging food business? Join our upcoming Market Validation Training workshops.

These workshops are hosted in partnership with Kamloops Innovation, as part of the KFPC’s Food Hub pilot project. Led by an experienced entrepreneur, the sessions will help you define your business, product and customers. Shift your focus to what differentiates your product, and how to build reliable revenue streams.

Dates:

  • Sunday, September 15th            9AM – 1PM
  • Wednesday, September 18th    5PM – 7PM
  • Wednesday, September 24th    5PM – 7PM
  • Sunday, October 20th                9AM – 1PM

Location:

Cost: $100 for 4 workshops*

*Note: business owners are welcome to attend the workshop on Sunday September 15th and evaluate whether the workshops will suit the needs of their business, before committing to the remaining dates.

 

For more information and to register:

Email: foodhub@kamloopsfoodpolicycouncil.com 

Phone: 778-376-2141

Tired of dull knives? Whether you need to get your carving knife ready for a Christmas turkey, or just want to have a sharp blade to reach for, join us for a hands-on session of learning with Lawrence Barichello, our knife-sharpening guru. You’ll learn about types of knives, whetstones and other equipment, sharpening techniques, and get the chance to practice on your own knives under the supervision of an expert.

This class is being offered in partnership with the City of Kamloops and will take place at the Parkview Activity Centre on Saturday, December 8. Details and registration form can be found here.

Fermentation is a great way of preserving the harvest and producing your own nutritious snacks and condiments. Have you been wanting to get in on the fermentation trend, but just haven’t gotten around to it? Or maybe you’ve dabbled at fermenting, but want to try something different? Read more

Ten people braved the smoke last night to hone their pruning skills and help repair some damaged and badly pruned trees and shrubs in the McDonald Park Public Produce Garden. Thanks to Greg Houghton for spending an evening sharing his expertise!

 

 

 

Some of the shrubs in the garden have been randomly hacked-off.

 

 

 

A lovely Saskatoon bush after a good pruning

The social enterprise project had its first Food Literacy Workshop with the Boys and Girls Club on July 23rd, and it was a blast. Nine children from the Club tagged along with us for the day. In the morning, they helped harvest apricots, and afterwards we joined them in the kitchen. The kids pitted and cut the fruit and we used it to make a puree for dried fruit leather. While that was being made, we busted out a pedal-powered bike blender, courtesy of TRU. Everyone had a turn at the pedals making apricot and berry fruit smoothies. Once they were done having fun on the bike, the puree was ready and the kids could fill the dehydrator. I hope they liked their fruit leathers the next morning!

 

The project was a hit, and we’ll be returning this week for another round of fruit leather fun. Yay!

Boys&Girls Club                                     

‘Bee’ a Citizen Scientist

Friday – Sunday July 15, 16, 17

A three-day workshop with Lincoln Best.

Includes 2 days in the lab at TRU, plus 1 field day collecting, identifying and photographing native bees.

Cost $145, + participants should purchase Bumble Bees of North America, by Williams et al (Princeton Press); and The Bees in Your Back yard by Wilson & Carrill (Princeton Press). These are great books for novice bee enthusiasts and exceptional references for experts.

Contact Elaine Sedgman to register. Seats are limited – so register soon!

emsedgman@gmail.com

Lincoln Best has surveyed pollinator diversity in western Canada for almost 15 years and produced new data for more than 600 species while discovering new species in Canada.

Lincoln studied Zoology and Ecology at the University of Guelph and conducted graduate research at York University on the geographical distribution and genetics of the bees of British Columbia. He has also led field teams through Central and South East Asia, observing native bees in more than 10 countries.

Lincoln is passionate about floral/ bee relationships, especially the visitors to rare and unusual flowering plants in the Southern Interior.

Lincoln Best will also be presenting a public lecture at the Big Little Science Centre, Thursday July 14th, 7:00 pm.

Bee a Citizen Scientist

Thispesticide free presentation focuses on the ingredients that create a healthy environment for a backyard orchard – soil management, water use, tree and small fruit nutrition and organic tree fruit management. Tamara will also discuss management of specific pathogens and pests of berry crops and tree fruits.

Check out the post for more details!

pesticide free byo.web