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

Your 2022 BC Organic Conference ticket includes immediate access to 11 all-new podcasts, featuring practical tips, regulatory insights, farmer reflections and more. This series has something for everyone!


BC Meat Slaughter Regulation Updates

In this episode, BC Organic Rancher Tristan Banwell describes changes to BC’s meat slaughter regulations that took effect on October 1st, 2020. We begin our conversation with a brief review of how slaughter regulations have evolved in BC over the last two decades, leading up to these newest changes, which Tristan believes will create new opportunities for small-scale meat producers in the province without compromising food safety. A must-listen for meat producers in BC!


Transitioning a Vineyard to Certified Organic Management

In this episode: a conversation with Kurt Simcic, an organic viticulturist who works for the Mark Anthony Group. The company, which owns numerous wineries in the Okanagan including Mission Hill Estate Winery, Cedar Creek Estate Winery, and Liquidity Wines, tasked Kurt with overseeing the transition of 1200 acres of its vineyards to certified organic production. Those acres are now fully certified. In this conversation, Kurt talks about his early career in New Zealand, where he originally learned about and mastered organic principles. He also describes the process of transitioning forty separate vineyards to organic practices in BC’s Okanagan Valley, and provides advice to viticulturalists who are considering a transition on their own vineyards.


Coddling Moth Management with Matthew Grieshop

One of our orcharding-focused Q&A sessions at last year’s conference brought a lot of questions about Coddling Moth Management from participants, so BC orchardist & podcast guest host Molly Thurston sought out someone who could enlighten us on the subject! Molly’s guest is Matthew Grieshop, formerly Michigan State University’s Organic Pest Management Specialist, and just announced as the Director of Cal Poly’s new Organic Production Research and Education Center. Coddling Moth is a persistent pest in Matt’s corner of the world, and he brings lots of insights for apple growers to this conversation.


Sarah Mock on her book ‘F is For Farm’

This episode: our conference coordinator, Michelle Tsutsumi, interviews Sarah Mock, author of Farm (and Other F Words): The Rise and Fall of the Small Family Farm, a book that challenges many of our ingrained beliefs about farms and farming. Is the small, family-owned farm the ‘ideal’ farm? Are most forms of farming inherently exploitative? How might some of our ingrained values about farming be contributing to an unjust food system? Sarah and Michelle discuss these topics, and explore how a ‘big team’ approach to managing a farm might make for a healthier food system overall.


Integrated Pest Management in a Changing Climate

In this episode, guest interviewer (and our sector’s Industry Specialist at the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Fisheries!) Emma Holmes interviews Dru Yates, a pest & soil specialist with E.S. Cropconsult, based in the lower mainland. Emma & Dru discuss a number of topics, including Dru’s experience of the impacts of climate change on pest cycles, mass trapping techniques, robotic beets, and Integrated Pest Management advice for new farmers.


The BC Certified Organic Program

How it started, how it’s going.


Farmer Reflections on a Tough Farming Year

In this episode, farmers from around the province describe their experiences with various weather-related extremes in 2021.


Winter Grazing Strategies with Steve Kenyon

In this episode, guest interviewer and rancher Tristan Banwell speaks with rancher Steve Kenyon about winter grazing strategies for the herd. Tristan is co-owner of Spray Creek Ranch in Lillooet, BC. Steve is a grazing expert and co-owner of Greener Pastures Ranching, in Busby, Alberta. In addition to managing a custom livestock-grazing operation, Steve is an author and speaker focused on sound farm business management and regenerative ranching practices.

Plant-growers take note: this is clearly one for the animal-farmers, but Steve’s ideas on building what he calls “good soil armour” will be of interest to any farmer interested in improving their soil health!


Food Safety, Good Agricultural Practices, and Preserving Small Farmers’ Access to Wholesale Markets

This episode was inspired by concerns raised by Organic BC board member Brody Irvine. Brody is a part-owner of Discovery Organics, a BC-based organic food distributor that has traditionally purchased from farms of all sizes. Brody fears that the most recent updates to Canada’s food safety regulations have made it difficult for smaller-sized operations to continue selling into certain wholesale markets, despite those same farms having good food safety practices. Brody is our first guest for this episode.

Then, we’re joined by food safety expert Elsie Friesen, who will help us better understand the regulatory landscape around food safety in BC, and explore options for operators who want to maintain access to wholesale markets.


Colleague Spotlight: Laughing Crow Organics

This episode: a wide-ranging conversation with Kerry McCann and Andrew “Budgie” Budgell, co-owners of Laughing Crow Organics in Pemberton, BC. Laughing Crow is a diverse operation. Kerry & Budgie grow produce & cut-flowers for farmers markets and a CSA and in recent years have established a successful agritourism enterprise featuring a u-pick pumpkin patch and a sunflower maze. All of this production takes place on a lease at Across The Creek Organics, whose on-farm brewery dovetails rather nicely with the sunflower patch to bring tourists in droves to the picturesque property.

We’ve broken the conversation in two. In this episode, you’ll learn about the origins of the business and the cultivation tools that have transformed their operation.

In the next episode Kerry & Budgie discuss their agritourism operation, maintaining a good relationship with landlords, how they avoid tension in their business relationship and friendship, and the division of labour on the farm.


Navigating the Permitted Substances List

This episode: farmer and verification officer (and BC Organic Conference planning committee member) Jolene Swain talks to host Jordan Marr about the Permitted Substances List for organic operators in Canada (CAN/CGSB-32.311-2020, officially). This conversation is primarily for people who are new to certified organic production, but aims to be helpful for anyone who has struggled to interpret the list or understand how to avoid using restricted inputs in their operation.