202-3002 32nd Ave, Vernon BC Canada V1T 2L7 info@certifiedorganic.bc.ca

This episode: a conversation with Anna Helmer of Helmer’s Organic Farm. This conversation is meant to be a companion to a video that Organic BC produced about Helmer’s Organic Farm for its upcoming Organic Innovation Series. The video will take you on a virtual tour of the Helmer farm and showcase their dedication to low inputs, long rotations, and heavy cover cropping. That video will be released on the world wide web in early March, and a public screening of the video will take place in Pemberton in the third week of March, and Anna and Doug plan to be there to participate in a Q & A about their farm. To learn more about the screening, head to organicbc.org/events.

Using organic and biodynamic practices, the Helmers produce 15 varieties of beautiful potatoes that they have sold at farmers markets in BC’s lower mainland for decades, and Anna joined me on the phone to tell me all about the farm. And she had a lot of interesting things to say, so I’ve divided our conversation into two parts. In this episode, we’ll hear about the history of the farm, how the Helmers market their potatoes, and Anna will take us through a season of production on the farm.

In the next episode, we’ll go into more detail about the five year rotation  that the Helmers use to produce their potatoes, and how this rotation allows them to farm more or less without any off-farm soil inputs. We’ll also cover a number of other topics that burn on the mind of a modern organic potato whisperer like Anna.