Mike Kozlowski and Mackenzie Bouteiller, foreground, work on weed control in the garden. The weekly work schedule once harvest begins in late June andearly July is weeding on Mondays and Fridays and harvesting on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. | Maria Johnson photo

Organic gardener cuts out the middleman

On the Farm Alberta producer’s journey to the field began with a simple question: ‘where do you get your food?’

RED DEER — An innocent question from a subsistence farmer in Kenya in the mid 2000s affected Mike Kozlowski in ways he never imagined. He spent months in the east African country through a Canada Millennium Foundation Scholarship project where he helped identify agricultural-related community needs. The question and the conversation that followed initiated serious […] Read more

Jacob Marfo, manager and research co-ordinator with the Mackenzie Applied Research Association, looks at how his organic oat trials are doing in Fort Vermilion, Alta.  |  Jeremy Simes photo

Northern organic farmers get help

Fort Vermilion, Alta. — A new organic program in northern Alberta hopes to help solve farmers’ woes when it comes to growing in the region. The recently launched Mackenize County Organic Success Program will see the hiring of an agronomist to help with issues relating to weeds, soil fertility, crop rotations, finances and marketing. As […] Read more

The number of organic crop producers on the Prairies hit 1,442 in 2016, up from a recent low of 1,151 in 2013.
 | Screencap via www.scribd.com

Organic farms getting bigger on the Prairies

The number of organic crop producers on the Prairies hit 1,442 in 2016, up from a recent low of 1,151 in 2013. That’s positive news for the organic sector, which lost producers on the Prairies from 2010-13, when prices for conventional grains and oilseeds were particularly strong. The number of organic acres also increased, going […] Read more


New Alberta organic dairy entrants will be loaned extra quota to get them started in the system.  |  File photo

Organic dairy product demand sparks Alberta program

The marketing board that oversees Alberta dairy production has launched a new program to grow the organic sector, as demand for such products continues to increase. The program, spurred by Alberta Milk, aims to see two new organic dairy farmers join the supply managed system. Organic milk sales have increased by about 2.4 per cent […] Read more

“Whenever there is that differential (in price between organic and conventional) there is that potential for fraud,” said Byron Hamm, certification manager with Pro-Cert Organic in Saskatoon. | WP photo illustration

Organic industry cracks down on fraud

The United States imported about 300,000 tonnes of organic corn from Turkey last year. The figure is surprising because farmers in Turkey grow a tiny amount of organic corn. “There’s only, reportedly, 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) of organic corn grown in Turkey,” said Eric Jackson, chief executive officer of Pipeline Foods, a Minneapolis company that […] Read more


In April, Sunrise Foods challenged the rejection of the cracked corn shipment. The company filed a lawsuit against the USDA and U.S. Customs, asking a U.S. district court for a temporary restraining order. | Screencap via sunrisefoods.ca

Organic company wrestles with U.S. customs over cracked corn

A Saskatoon company is dealing with a 25,000 tonne headache. Sunrise Foods, one of the largest wholesalers of organic feed and food ingredients in the world, has a shipment of 25,000 tonnes of organic corn currently at sea. That’s because United States Customs and Border Protection rejected the shipment at a California port in March. […] Read more

Organic products made and sold within Alberta currently don’t need certification, while goods sold outside the province do. The proposed changes would ensure products made and sold in Alberta get such certification. Many other provinces have similar requirements. | File photo

Local food bill meets resistance in Alberta

Alberta’s proposed local food legislation faces opposition from the United Conservative Party, which says the bill needs a further look. The governing NDP insists the legislation is good as is. The bill, which calls for changes to organic certification, a local food week and a local food council, went up for debate in the legislature […] Read more

The number of organic farmers in Saskatchewan could soon eclipse 1,000, according to the president of SaskOrganics.
 | Screencap via SaskOrganics.org

Organic production continues to grow in Sask.

SaskOrganics has attracted a cross-section of organic and conventional producers to its various workshops

The number of organic farmers in Saskatchewan could soon eclipse 1,000, according to the president of SaskOrganics. Garry Johnson said interest in organic production is increasing, along with consumer demand for organically produced food. “There’s a great amount of interest right now,” Johnson said following the SaskOrganics annual general meeting in Saskatoon in late March. […] Read more


Part of Travis Heide’s motivation for converting a large farm to organics is the fact that many people don’t believe it can be done.  |  Robert Arnason photo

40,000-acre farm goes organic

WALDRON, Sask. — There are 25 grain bins in Travis Heide’s farmyard, including six massive ones with a capacity of 70,000 bushels each. In total, the bins can store around 550,000 bu. of grain. That’s enough for 10,000 acres of spring wheat, assuming an average yield of 55 bu. per acre. For most prairie farmers, […] Read more

Lentils were one of the most lucrative organic products that Canada exported to the European Union last year, second only to maple syrup.  |  File photo

Organic sales ‘booming’ in Europe

There is a growing appetite for organic food in the world’s second biggest market for the products. Organic food demand increased by 15 percent in the European Union to US$35 billion in 2016, according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture. “The organic food market in the European Union is booming,” stated […] Read more