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of renewal and regeneration that comes with the changing of the year and the slow emergence from winter’s cold into the first hints of spring, this issue of the BC Organ- ic Grower brings you stories that will have you thinking and plan- ning for the coming year.


appy New Year, and wel- come to 2014. In the spirit

months bring, take a few moments to read over the winning entries to the first annual BC Farmer’s Mar- ket Association’s poetry contest. Hopefully, you’ll find inspiration in those lines, words to remember and savour as the days get longer and the to-do lists get longer still.

Marilee Peters, editor

Happy reading. And as ever, if you have comments or feedback about anything you read in these pages, please drop me a line at I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

First and foremost, of course, we are pleased to bring you the de- tails of workshops and activities planned for the annual COABC Conference, whose theme this year will be Work Life Balance. It’s a topic that is sure to resonate with all of us who occasionally feel overwhelmed by the many conflicting demands on our time, particu- larly those of us who daily balance family life with the seasonal ebb and flow of growing businesses. Those kinds of challenges are picked up as well in a thought-provoking article by Vancouver Island’s Ar- zeena Hamir, who reflects on how she’s learning as a new farmer to negotiate the gaps between agricultural theory and hands-on practicality, and her gradual ac- ceptance and even embrace of permaculture as a way to bring balance into her life and enhanced productiv- ity to her fields.

Moss Dance, layout

New beginnings are the theme at the Kootenay Farm School as well, which this coming spring will be in- troducing its beginner farmer training program in economically, ecologically, and socially sustainable agriculture. It’s an ambitious “crash course” that the program coordinators hope will build new connections between growers and the local community, and lead to more sources of sustainably grown local food for the region.

And in Farmer Focus, writer Hannah Roessler brings us the story of the two dedicated young people behind Vancouver Island’s Wind Whipped Farm, who cheer- fully admit they never intended to be farmers, but who eventually realized that their paths were leading them towards the unique rewards and challenges of farming. Their “new beginning” was that moment of realization that farming was in fact the right choice.

Finally, as we all wait for spring and enjoy the op- portunities for planning and reflection that the colder

BC Organic Grower, Volume 17, Number 1, Winter 2014 Page 5

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