Allies, Inspiration & Education
There are a lot of organizations who are critical to who we are and how we think. If you're interested, here are some of the ones we think everyone should be aware of.
The Ram's Horn is a vital source for information on who's doing what to the food we eat. It is a celebration of thoughtful action, and is always provoking and insightful. While the Ram's Horn newsletter is now dormant, there's lots of useful information in the back catalogue for those who want to know more about the food system. Written and published by Rebecca's parents, Cathleen (deceased) and Brewster Kneen. While the website is now stale, there's a lot of very interesting and useful analysis of the food system and corporate control. Great background and educational material.
At Left Fields, we grow out several varieties of tomatoes, beans and other vegetables and flowers for seed. This is part of both keeping our seed diversity intact and creating a resource for future farmers. Multinational companies are mining heritage seeds for patentable traits, while traditional seed breeders, farmers and gardeners are continuing generations of work to breed seeds adapted for current conditions within the ecosystem. We are blessed to be surrounded by a large number of committed seed growers who provide us with educational resources as well as the seeds themselves. Our seeds are available through Wise Woman Seeds.
For more information on BC seeds, the www.bcseeds.org website contains a database of BC grown seeds and articles on seed growing. It is a great resource for farmers looking for bioregional seeds. Sunshine Farm has been propagating for many years in the Okanagan as well as teaching.
Certified Organic Associations of BC is the body which oversees certification in BC, and which creates the guidelines under which we all operate. Their website has info on certification, links to farms, and the quarterly newsletter. Lots of information, a great source if you are trying to find organic foods, farmers, supplies or general information.
This is one of the best beer festivals in Canada! Run by CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale), it is held every fall in Victoria, BC, and features cask-conditioned beers from 30-odd BC and Pacific Northwest microbreweries and brewpubs. It is by invitation only, and is the best place to check out new releases, unusual beers, and brewers' favorites, as well as all the familiar brands. There are educational seminars as well, on everything from beer tasting to hops. This festival has been going for ten years! Check in to their website early, because tickets go on sale in very limited locations and sell out in about 30 minutes for the two day festival.
This festival is held in Penticton, BC, and is a wonderful celebration of the brewer's art. It, too, is a two day festival, and it holds down the spring end of the festival season. About 30 brewers from the region bring out their favorites - the festival includes local cider as well.
Simply the best site on the web for the professional brewer. Useful tools, a great database for finding suppliers of everything from stainless steel to irish moss, and a great database on breweries all over North America. If you're travelling, use this site to find breweries and brewpubs wherever you're going.
COG is a national information network for organic farmers, gardeners and consumers. COG is a leading organic information and networking resource for Canada, promoting the methods and techniques of organic growing along with the associated environmental, health and social benefits. Plus they have one of the best lists of links out there.
This is a critical resource for people looking for organic ag research, updates on the Canada Organic Standards and analysis of our current certification system. If you're an organic farmer or processor, go here for all the base information you need!
For several generations, Sinn Fein has been seeking independence for Ireland. We support Irish unity and secession from the British Empire. Gaelic language and culture are an important part of who we are, expressed daily all around the farm and brewery. Sinn Fein addressed gender and racial discrimination early on, while many other social justice organizations in North America were still practising segregation. Find out what's happening now!
Our farm and brewery are located in Secwepemc Territory, which is unceded land. This means that it was never given away or sold to the Canadian government, which makes all non-Indigenous land holdings tenuous indeed. It is then incumbent upon us to steward our lands according to strong ecological principles and to support justice for Indigenous people. We therefore support the Unist'ot'en Camp, the Wet'suwet'en land protectors, language and cultural learning centres, and work for recompense and genuine reconciliation. We plant native species for food and medicine for those who need it.
The NFU is Canada's progressive agricultural organization. For years, the NFU has stood up for farmers, pushed their members to be more sustainable and more engaged in widespread social justice. They have active members all over the country, and their policy papers are signposts of thoughtful analysis for all kinds of organizations.