Climate Adaptation For Small-Scale Farmers

Climate change raises new uncertainties for Metro Vancouver’s small-scale food producers. Through surveys, interviews, and workshops, local farmers are preparing to adapt their practices to changing conditions and strengthen the resilience of our local food systems.

Overview

Grant: 
$20,000
Year: 
2015
Program: 
Environment & Animal Welfare, Test Grant
Organization: 
Canadian Society Promoting Environmental Conservation
Cause: 
Environment
Partners: 

Society Promoting Environmental Conservation, UBC Botanical Garden, UBC Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm, Camp Fircom Society, Young Agrarians

Project Details

Climate change is impacting local agriculture and threatening farm management with new stresses. To better understand current small farm management issues and to assess the local impacts of climate change, the Climate Adaptation for Small-Scale Farmers project is conducting surveys, interviewing local farmers to learn more about their concerns, and reviewing existing literature on climate change adaptation and resilient farming practices.

Addressing soil health and other factors

Visits to a range of small farms in Metro Vancouver is helping to assess information needs for improved site-specific management.

Workshops at participating farms provide advice and hands-on demonstrations including hedgerow demonstrations, integrated pest management, and water management

Soil health is considered a key factor in the resilience of farms to withstand weather extremes and the project has facilitated soil testing and recommendations to help farmers identify areas for immediate improvement. Other key areas needing more attention are disease and insect pest controls, improved water management and the personal sustainability of small scale farmers.

Workshops at participating farms provide advice and hands-on demonstrations, including hedgerow demonstrations, integrated pest management, and water management, while regular visits provide ongoing monitoring of soil health.

Enhanced educational support for farmers

The farmers’ workshops and panel discussions at venues like the Vancouver Urban Farming Forum provide enhanced educational support for farmers, and have begun to build a local network with deep knowledge of local conditions.

By putting small-scale farmers at the heart of the process, the project engages the people most directly affected by this issue to come up with new ideas and solutions. With new skills and resources available, they can prepare better to respond to the challenges ahead.

This sets the stage for the next phase – exploring ways that farmers who share similar site-specific challenges can identify common concerns, access expert help, and share advice to cut costs.

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