ACORN Conference Program

All Workshops

Expanding Organics in the Region - What’s the Plan?

Wednesday, November 28, 2:30 PM - 3:30PM   

ACORN members and stakeholders started 2018 by discussing the vision for and future of Organics in Atlantic Canada. This session is your chance to learn what has been identified as priorities, reflect on the initial insights captured, refine the priorities, and introduce new questions that need to be considered before finalising a regional plan. This session will include lively and active conversation - come ready to listen and contribute.

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Farmer to Farmer Breakfast - Danny Bruce

Wednesday, November 28, 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM   

Looking for some company over breakfast? Join Danny Bruce, of Bruce Family Farm (NS) and others for morning conversation. Bring your questions and ideas about farming. Livestock farmer with questions about waterers?  Veggie grower with pest and insect questions? The conversation is up to you! Space is limited so please arrive early to ensure you get a seat. Held at the Private Dining Room in the Hotel Restaurant.

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  • TBA

Overview of the Canadian Organic Industry: What the Latest Data is Telling Us

Wednesday, November 28, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM   

The presentation will provide an overview of the latest organic data on production and trade and highlight projects and initiatives throughout the country.

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Seed to Seed; Closing the Gap in Sustainable Farming

Wednesday, November 28, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM   

Saving seeds is an essential practice for maintaining a sustainable 'closed circuit' farm operation. Local food is only as local as the seed supply. Seeds are just as vital as healthy soil, clean water and market access. Regionally adapted and locally grown seeds are paramount to a secure food system. This presentation explores the benefits and challenges of incorporating seed saving into a small organic farm operation.

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Agriculture in a Changing Climate: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Wednesday, November 28, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM   

Atlantic Canada’s climate is changing, getting appreciably warmer throughout the year. This is leading to longer growing seasons and more available heat, impacting crop choices. Using climate change indicators and global climate models, Adam and Stephanie will present climate projections for the next 100 years. In addition, they’ll lead discussions around an overview of the UPEI Climate Lab’s recent assessment of vulnerabilities of the agricultural sector. Impacts include changes in yield, access to markets, water stress, nutritional composition of crops, and outbreaks of pests and diseases. Appropriate short-term and medium-term adaptation approaches to address some of the risks will be discussed.

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The Role of soil biodiversity in agriculture production

Wednesday, November 28, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM   

Do you know what’s living in your soil? Soils are home to an extraordinary number of organisms and healthy soils depend on soil biodiversity. This session will give an overview of soil biology and its role in productive and sustainable agriculture. We will discuss the impact of management decisions on soil biodiversity, with a focus on soil food webs and mycorrhizal fungi.

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Climate Change - What Does It Mean For Maritime Farms

Wednesday, November 28, 11:15 AM - 12:15 AM   

What would happen if agriculture held the keys to turning back the clock on our changing climate? Are farmers well positioned and prepared to reduce GHG emissions and sequester carbon? Prince Edward Island has been encouraging Island farmers/landowners to provide ecosystem services for the “public good” through a program called Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS). Farmers/landowners are incentivized for stewardship practices, many of which relate to reducing the impacts of climate change.  Participants will learn about the challenging balance of regulations vs. incentive and how, going forward, the ALUS program could be a useful tool for farmers wanting to adapt to climate change friendly practices that reduce GHG emissions and sequester carbon.

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Growing Your Farm by Saving Your Seeds; Basic Breeding for Success

Wednesday, November 28, 11:15 AM - 12:15 AM   

This workshop will focus on how the simple act of saving your seeds can increase yields, enhance product offerings and add value to any small farm operation. Through selection and basic breeding techniques, participants will also learn to help their crops adapt to changes in climate, pest pressures and disease. As the demand for local food increases, the need for locally adapted seed is more prevalent now than ever before. Learn to incorporate the ancient art of seed saving into your daily routine and help your small farm grow to meet this need head-on.

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Simplify Your Records and Multiply Your Business Knowledge

Wednesday, November 28, 11:15 AM - 12:15 AM   

Now that you know what you don’t know, let’s talk about your records. Ronda will talk about the kind of records you need to keep to get the information you need to make decisions that will improve profitability on your farm.

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The Top 10 Flowers You NEED to Grow

Wednesday, November 28, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM   

Ten (or more, I love them all) of the best flowers to grow for cutting for use in the farmers market, florist, and wedding sales. The best varieties, how to grow them, and what to do post-harvest. Whipping up a bouquet recipe and how to make bouquets fast! Janis will include examples of annual, perennial, bulb, and woody choices.

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Expanding Organics in the Region - What’s the Plan? ::: Accroître l’industrie biologique dans la ...

Wednesday, November 28, 1:30PM - 2:30 PM   

Expanding Organics in the Region - What’s the Plan? ::: Accroître l’industrie biologique dans la région- Le plan? 

ACORN members and stakeholders started 2018 by discussing the vision for and future of Organics in Atlantic Canada. This session is your chance to learn what has been identified as priorities, reflect on the initial insights captured, refine the priorities, and introduce new questions that need to be considered before finalising a regional plan. This session will include lively and active conversation - come ready to listen and Contribute.

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Les membres et partenaires de ACORN ont commencé l’année 2018 en abordant la vision et le futur de l’industrie biologique au Canada Atlantique. Cette session a pour but de vous présenter les priorités identifiées et les idées initiales recueillies. Ensemble, nous pourrons préciser les priorités et amener de nouvelles questions qui doivent être considérées avant que le plan régional soit finalisé. La session sera dynamique avec des échanges, venez prêt à écouter et à contribuer à la conversation.

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Adapting to Climate Change on Diversified Farms Part 1

Wednesday, November 28, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM   

Farmers are on the front lines of dealing with the impacts of changing climatic trends and extreme weather. This session will explore results from a regional survey conducted last year which highlights how vegetable and berry growers across the Northeastern US and Eastern Canada are adapting to the impacts of increasingly extreme weather. Join us to look at how site characteristics influence the strategies that farmers are using to manage for drought and heavy precipitation. The workshop will close with discussions about the most innovative and promising ideas from growers across the region. Stick around for Part 2, a farmer-to-farmer session to dive deeper, share your own experiences, and learn from your peers.

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Mob Grazing for Soil Health

Wednesday, November 28, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM   

John Duynisveld will be discussing what mob grazing is, and how it can affect animal production, plant growth, and soil fertility.  The talk will include material from published research trials in other parts of the world as well as on-going work at AAFC Nappan and experience using mob-grazing on my own farm.

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Adapting to Climate Change on Diversified Farms, Part 2

Wednesday, November 28, 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM   

Building on the previous session, Alissa will lead a discussion on strategies for farms to adapt to the impacts of climate change and increasingly extreme weather. Come ready to discuss your experiences and share your ideas.

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How to sell your beautiful blooms

Wednesday, November 28, 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM   

This workshop will explore different sales avenues for cut flowers, innovative locations, and how to build excitement that turns into sales. Direct to customers, florist, wholesale, and/or being a farmer florist, which is best for you?

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Soil Biodiversity, Weed Ecology & High Density Grazing: the Honest Practicalities

Wednesday, November 28, 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM   

Farmer-researcher, John Duynisveld will lead an open discussion sharing individual challenges while guiding questions and responses around promoting soil health and biodiversity. He will share personal experience about intensive grazing and help others examine practical approaches to incorporating livestock into their production systems.

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  • TBA

Safe Food For Canadians Act

Wednesday, November 28, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM   

This plenary will begin with an overview of the intent of the new Safe Food for Canadians Act, and will explore the current regulations under the Act.  Find out how you may be impacted and what you may be required to do. There will be a brief, facilitated question and answer period following the presentation.

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  • TBA

What we can learn from weeds for the development of ecological weed management

Wednesday, November 28, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM   

Weeds can tell you a lot about your environment, soil and farming practices. Many of our farming practices create niches for which troublesome agricultural weeds are perfectly adapted. Ecological weed management seeks to minimize weed problems through an understanding of biological and ecological processes taking place in our agroecosystems. The first step to any integrated weed management program is accurate identification. Once identified, an integrated weed management program can be developed which addresses the current weed issues as well as the ecological conditions promoting it. Utilizing “many little hammers”, ecological and integrated weed management programs rely on multiple and diverse tactics such as critical periods, crop rotations and cover crops to manage weeds in the short- and long-term. Through well-organized planning steps, preventative measures, in-season control efforts and continuous adaptation, weeds can be managed in an ecological way that prevents current weed issues from becoming major weed problems.

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Program at a Glance