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Islands Agricultural Show, Beekeeping, Winter Garden, Horse Health, Vancouver Island Farms for Sale

Transcript of Island Farm & Garden Winter 2013/14




    FEBRUARY 7-8

    Advancing the business of agriculture



    specialholiday issue!



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    Vancouver Island is vibrant with agricultural activity, and no-one exemplifies resourceful living more than island farmers and gardeners. Our magazine is poised and ready to share (as is the farming tradition) ideas to increase productivity, decrease costs and improve flexibility the key to market survival.

    Circulation & Distribution

    Island Farm & Garden Magazine is locally owned and operated from a 5 acre farm in Ladysmith, BC. We distribute bi-monthly to hundreds of locations, including garden centres, farm supply stores, tack shops, all Vancouver Island Regional Libraries, coffee shops, medical and veterinary centres as well as direct mailing over 1000 copies to island farms and businesses. We cover Vancouver Island from Victoria to Campbell River, including Port Alberni and Salt Spring Island. The magazine is also available in a digital version on our mobile device friendly website check us out on your iPad or tablet. Current visitors to our website account for another 2000 readers per issue, and growing fast!


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    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 3

  • Table of ContentsHome is Where the Hearth is .....................................................5

    2014 International Year of Family Farming:

    Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth ..................................6

    Celebrate the Family Farm at the

    Islands Agriculture Show 2014 ...................................................7

    Structuring the Family Farm Proprietorships ....................9

    Family Farming in the Cowichan Region ..............................11

    4-H... 4-FUN! ......................................................................12-13

    Marks Tips for Taking your Tractor on the Road ................14

    Family Farm Tractor Safety......................................................15

    Winter Feed Guidelines for Horses ................................ 16-17

    Holistic Winter Horse Keeping:

    Tree of Life Veterinary Care ............................................18-19

    Holidays with Hounds .................................................... 20-21

    Gift Suggestions for Under the Tree ........................................23

    Why Shopping Local Really Matters .............................24-25

    Lesleys Holiday Ham ...................................................... 26-27

    Stone Soup .........................................................................28-29

    Winter Gardening ............................................................ 30-31

    Bee Keeping ...................................................................... 32-33

    Innovations in Agroforestry ...........................................34-35

    Purchasing a Farm Off-Season ......................................36-37

    Featured Farm for Sale: Terra Nossa .............................38-39

    Calendar of Events ...........................................................40-41

    Gotta Getta Gutter Guy? .................................................42-43

    Cleaning Your Own Gutters ...................................................44

    Advertisers Directory ............................................................... 45

    The Last Laugh .......................................................................... 46

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    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 20144

  • In every culture, in every age since it was first conceived, fire has drawn us closer together. The hearth is where we cook our food, warm our homes and gather to tell stories, share our triumphs, commiser-ate in our troubles, and simply clear our minds while we gaze transfixed into the dancing flames and glowing embers. The pace required to find wood and stack it neatly then allow it to season cultivates patience. The warmth of your fire is so much more rewarding after a day spent

    in the frosty air chopping logs and bun-dling kindling. It slows the soul down for contemplation.

    We have a traditional fireplace in our living room that is lit for ambiance more than heat or food preparation, although the odd marshmallow has ballooned, crisped and fallen into its blackened grate. Daily, we use our wood stove. I am the first up, and the opening task of my day is to start the fire. The first crackle of the cedar kindling is such an optimistic sound! Later, as we head out to feed the goats and collect eggs, the air is fragrant from the wisp of smoke that curls up from the chimney.

    The stove is stoked all day, and a kettle is left on top to heat water for free. Appar-ently the bit of steam generated is quite good for our wood floors. Recently, I bought an old fashioned iron that sits on the stove top too, patiently waiting for me to feel the need to press out wrinkles. I have yet to find a situation in which my clothing is wrinkled enough to warrant that amount of work. I have perked

    coffee, warmed buns and prepared stew and soup on that stove, but the most unfortunate meal I cooked was a handful of dry cat food that got spilled on top mistakenly. Trust me you dont want to experience that smell. A clean grill is a good thing! A cast iron pot with a brew of cinnamon and vanilla left to bubble will fill your kitchen with a holiday fragrance. Smell is so closely tied to memory; you may be surprised what pleasant thoughts of Christmas past surface in your mind.

    The fire burns now while I write, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Youngs voices float through the room, singing you are what you are. Winter is a good time to take stock of your personal fortitude, what good fortune you have, and share it out. Share it out loud!

    Home is Where the Hearth is

    The simple hearth of the small farm is the true center of our universe. ~ Masanobu Fukuoka, Japanese Farmer and Philosopher

    I say to myself that I shall try to make my life like an open fireplace, so that people may be warmed and cheered by it and so go out themselves and warm and cheer.

    ~ George Matthew Adams, Newspaper Comic Syndicator

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    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 5

    F r o M o u r FA r M t o Yo u r S

  • the International Year of Family Farming 2014 is an United Nations initiative promoted by the World Rural Forum and supported by over 360 civil society and farmers organizations.

    This worldwide celebration aims to achieve a world, regional and nation-al communications network which would strengthen bonds of solidarity

    and reciprocity between the urban and rural society.

    They recognize that 40% of world households depend on family farm-ing, and that family farming helps to preserve historical and cultural values and practices.

    Family farming offers greater potential for biodiversity protection. Histori-cally, humans have used about 7000

    plants to meet their basic needs. Nowadays there

    are 150 species grown commercially, of which 30 constitute 90% of the calories in the human diet and only 4 (corn, wheat, potato, rice) account for more than half the caloric contribution.

    The Islands Agricultural Show is proud to help celebrate the International Year of Family Farming, and is supportive of their goal to foster the development of family farms and food security in all countries.

    2014 International Year of Family Farming

    Pictured here and on the cover: Members of the Springford Family Farm in Nanoose have been active in the farm community for over 30 years. Their main products are beef and poultry.

    Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth



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    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 20146

  • Mark your calendars and start making plans to be at the Islands Agriculture Show at the Cowichan Exhibi-tion Park in the District of North Co-wichan, February 7-8, 2014. The show will bring together speakers, exhibitors and equipment to celebrate the United Nations International Year of Family Farming.

    Its going to be an exciting show, says Kathy Lachman, president of the Islands Agriculture Show Society. We are thrilled to be able to celebrate the Inter-national Year of Family Farming and the rich history of family farms on Vancou-ver Island.

    The Islands Agriculture Show is the largest agricultural event on Vancouver Island, drawing audiences and exhibitors from agricultural communities through-out Vancouver Island and the Gulf Is-lands. Last years show drew an audience of over 1500 farmers, aspiring farmers

    and farm enthusiasts for the tradeshow and conference.

    The Islands Agriculture Show has some-thing for everyone, says event organizer, Shari Paterson. It provides a unique opportunity to showcase, celebrate and grow the agriculture industry on Vancou-ver Island, Coast and the Gulf Islands, and a regional forum for education, infor-mation sharing and networking between farmers, rural landowners, farm organi-zations, industry suppliers, government agencies and the general public.

    Families and farm enthusiasts will enjoy an expanded vintage equipment display, event stage activities on both days, and learning opportunities for kids. An all-new conference program will provide opportunities for learning and discussion for new and established farmers, as well as anyone preparing to launch their own farm enterprise.

    Building on the theme of family farm-ing, farm tax and financial management specialist, Merle Good will present the conference keynote address, Creating Unique Family Business Structure for Family Farms. Good will share the insights and information from his career as an agriculture economist and tax specialist to help farm families develop business structures and tax strategies that will make family succession planning a success.

    Last years conference sold out, with over 250 delegates taking in 16 conference sessions on topics ranging from farm business management and farm produc-tion practices to small farm development and government sponsored programs and initiatives.

    To find out more about the Islands Agriculture Show, or to register for the conference visit

    Celebrate the Family Farm at the Islands Agriculture Show 2014by Tamara Leigh


    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 7

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    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 20148

  • A typical family farm operation generally takes the shape of three main forms: a farm proprietorship, farm partnership or farm corporation. Each business structure comes with advantag-es and disadvantages, so it pays to have a clear understanding of your options.

    When choosing the best structure for your farm, key considerations include your tax situation, level of management control, costs associated with the particu-lar business structure and your farm suc-cession plan. Some of the specific factors to discuss with your accountant include:

    Ease and flexibility of changing own-ership

    Your childrens involvement in manag-ing the farm

    Protecting your personal assets from liabilities

    How to deal with non-farm income in the succession plan

    The ability for new members to buy into the business

    How the structure you choose affects the AgriStability program

    The goal is to determine which of the three major options proprietorship, partnership or corporation is best for your specific situation. The remainder of this article focuses on farm proprietor-ships. Well discuss farm partnerships and corporations in subsequent articles.

    A sole proprietorship is a business owned and operated by one individual. Many farms are owned as sole proprietorships because they are easily formed and administered. As the business owner you are responsible for the businesss legal and tax liabilities and you report all the income associated with the farming operations.

    Advantages of operating as a farm proprietorship include: A proprietorship is easy to establish

    with minimal costs for legal and ac-counting fees.

    This structure allows you to use the cash basis of accounting for taxation purposes.

    You may be able to manipulate taxable income through the deferral of sales and the pre-purchase of crop inputs.

    Wages can be paid to family members for their contribution to the farm operations.

    Disadvantages of operating as a farm proprietorship include: Income earned in the proprietorship

    is taxed in the return of the proprietor and subject to the marginal personal tax rates. If the farm is profitable, in 2014 the marginal personal tax rate might be as much as 32% higher than the corporate tax rate.

    The purchase of land and the repay-ment of loans uses after tax dollars.

    For example, in 2014, for every dollar earned, an individual at the top mar-ginal personal rate will have $0.54 after tax to pay off debt. If that dollar was earned in a corporation, there may be as much as $0.875 after tax to pay off debt.

    Purchasing decisions are often tax mo-tivated when they should be business motivated.

    The individual only has access to one lifetime capital gains exemption. In 2014 this exemption will increase to $800,000 per person. Other structures allow this exemption to be multiplied among family members.

    Most farms begin operating as a propri-etorship. However, as the farm grows more profitable and more complex, it is often necessary to restructure the opera-tions and the ownership. A farm partner-ship is one of the structures often used to manage the increasing complexity. Well look at partnerships in the next issue.

    Marsha Stanley, CPA, CA, CBV, CGA is the Regional Agriculture Leader and Mike Hughes, CPA, CA is a Taxation Specialist with MNPs Vancouver Island Agriculture Team. For more information, contact Marsha at 250.748.3761 or [email protected], or Mike at 250.753.8251 or [email protected]

    Structuring the Family Farm Proprietorshipsby Mike Hughes and Marsha Stanley, MNP LLP

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 9

  • Our industry needs more agvocatesTo reach its full potential, agriculture needs everyone in theindustry to speak up and speak positively.

    Agriculture More Than Ever is an industry-driven cause toimprove perceptions and create positive dialogue aboutCanadian ag. Together we can share the facts and storiesabout this vibrant and modern industry, and tell the worldwhy we love what we do.

    Its up to all of us to be agvocates and its easier than youthink visit and find out how you canget involved.

    Be anAGvocate

    Help tell the real story of Canadian agriculture

    Our industry needs more agvocatesTo reach its full potential, agriculture needs everyone in theindustry to speak up and speak positively.

    Agriculture More Than Ever is an industry-driven cause toimprove perceptions and create positive dialogue aboutCanadian ag. Together we can share the facts and storiesabout this vibrant and modern industry, and tell the worldwhy we love what we do.

    Its up to all of us to be agvocates and its easier than youthink visit and find out how you canget involved.

    Be anAGvocate

    Help tell the real story of Canadian agriculture

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 201410

  • the Islands Agriculture Show is scheduled to be held Feb-ruary 7-8, 2014 at the Cowichan Exhibition Grounds in Duncan, BC. The theme for the 2014 show is Celebrating the International Year of Family Farming, which was declared for 2014 by the United Nations General Assembly at its 66th session.

    As the Islands Agriculture Show organizers develop activities around the theme, the question arises as to what is family farm-ing. Most people that have been involved in the local food move-ment and food sustainability will state that industrial or factory

    farms, while feeding the mass-es, have caused environmental impacts, poor nutritional val-ued products and cheap imports that threaten the livelihood of fam-ily farming.

    So what is family farming? There are over 36 definitions of family farming and they vary according to whether they are defining the developing world or western/ developed countries. According to the web site, 98% of all the 2.2 million farms in the US meet the US Department of Agricultures definition of a family farm which is any farm where the majority of the business is owned by the operator and his/ her relatives. The definition does not define farm size, farming methods or crops grown. According to author Eve Crowley, writing for the International Journal for Rural Develop-ment, family farming is defined as a means of organizing produc-tion which is managed and operated by a family. She notes that family farmers produce most of the food consumed in developing countries and use over 80 percent of the land in Asia and Africa.

    In the Vancouver Island/Coast region, there are close to 3000 farms and the agriculture sector contributes about $112 million in direct annual revenue to the regional economy. Ten percent of those farms generate more than $100,000 per year in farm rev-enue and are well established commodity farms. About 28% of the farms generate between $10,000-$100,000 in revenue per year and many of them are owned by early retirees with capital and post-secondary education. The majority of farms (62%) generate less than $10,000 per year and provide secondary income and tax benefits. The agriculture sector is also very diverse, producing more than 200 different agriculture products.

    Family farming is a career and a lifestyle that is attracting people from all walks of life and there is room to grow. In 2006, the average household in British Columbia consumed $8,000 in food

    per year. Only 24% of land in the Agricultural Land Reserve on Vancouver Island is being actively farmed and only supplies between 16-18% of food consumed.

    The Cowichan Region has around 700 farms and according to the generally accepted definitions, the majority are all family farms. In fact, many of the farms, particularly in the dairy sector, are generational farms, meaning those that have been passed down from generation to generation. Family farms also add to the rural beauty of our region as tourists come to enjoy the roll-ing pastures and majestic mountains and savour the local food and wine. Agri-tourism is also supported by 16 wineries that call the Cowichan Region home.

    Family farming is alive and well in the Vancouver Island/Coast region and local food movements such as the 100 mile diet and food security initiatives are ensuring that people understand the importance of supporting our family farms and making local purchasing decisions that allow them to grow and thrive.

    Our agricultural roots on Vancouver Island go deep and it is for that reason that the Islands Agriculture Show is proud to cele-brate family farming. For more information, check out their web site at

    Family Farming in the Cowichan Regionby Kathy Lachman, Cowichan Economic Development

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 11

  • B.C. 4-H will celebrate 100 years in 2014, marking a huge milestone for the youth development pro-gram. The 4-H movement first began in 1914 in British Columbia, with over 200 members involved in the program. The very first 4-H project introduced in British Columbia was a potato project, with a poultry project offered later on to interest more youth and to widen the influence of progressive farming practices on the BC farming community. 4-H clubs were originally known as Boys and Girls Clubs and were later renamed 4-H clubs in 1952 to better represent the four Hs head, heart, hands and health.

    The object (of these competitions) is to train the heads and

    4-H... 4-FUN!hands of the boys and girls; to give them broad and big hearts; to improve their health by giving them an interest in outdoor life; and to encourage on the part of all British Columbia citizens, a stronger and more intelligent interest in agriculture.

    During the early years of 4-H in British Colum-bia, the most popular projects were swine, beef, dairy, corn, potato and poultry. All these projects are still as relevant and popular today as they were 100 years ago. Today, members have over 30 different projects to choose from. Projects range from traditional based animal projects to mechanics to crafts to cooking and every-thing in between.

    While 4-H has changed and evolved a great deal since its start in 1914, the program continues to teach young people to success-fully meet the challenges not only of their own futures but also the future of their communities. From the 6 year old Cloverbud member to the 21 year old 4-H Ambassador, the 4-H program has been a fantastic training ground for life. Celebration plan-ning is already underway!

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    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 201412

  • This is just a sampling of the many events 4-H members have the opportunity to participate in. Current projects running in the Parksville/Qualicum district are poultry, sheep, beef, dairy, swine, goat, horse, rabbit, cavy, photography and Cloverbuds.

    The Parksville/Qualicum 4-H Clubs attended Family Day in Qual-icum Beach and entered a float in the Parade. We had many mem-bers attend from all of the clubs. The members helped decorate the float and most of them brought a 4-H project to show off in the parade. Our float won awards for the biggest youth participation and the best costumes. I photographed this event, which was quite difficult because all of the members wouldnt stop horsing around but all in all it was a really fun day.

    by Jacinto Bevilacqua, Parksville/Qualicum 4-H Oddstock and Community Club

    The Horse Club in the Parksville/Qualicum 4-H District has been performing a Musical Ride Drill Team for the past few years. This year, for the second time, they were invited to perform at the presti-gious RCMP Musical Ride. The members work very hard, beginning in May, to put together a routine that will be ready for the perfor-mance at the beginning of August. Drill Team members make a seri-ous commitment, practicing every Wednesday with the help of their coaches, Jody Bater and Shawna Anderson. The riders ages range from 10 to 16 years, and their riding skill levels encompass novice to experienced. Most members own their horses and work countless hours practicing, conditioning and grooming. Each year has been a fantastic experience for the riders, with the help of many sponsors and supportive spectators. The members of the Drill Team especially appreciate the support of their parents for driving them to practices and performances. Being a member of the Drill Team is a rewarding experience that gives a great feeling of accomplishment.

    by Sarah Hildebrandt, Coombs Country 4-H Horse Club

    Youre Invited!Vancouver Island 4-H 100th CelebrationCome check out the fair during the day and then join us after the fair closes for a light dinner and social. This event is open to all Members, Leaders and Alumni. Registration forms are available at

    Date Saturday, August 9, 2014 from 5:30pm 10:00pm

    Place Coombs Fairgrounds, 1014 Ford Road, Coombs, BC

    We are still looking for volunteers to help with entertainment and promotional items. For more information or to volunteer, contact Donna Jack at 250.652.1315 or [email protected] join our facebook page (B.C. 4-H 100th Anniversary - Vancouver Island Region (2014)) and help spread the word by inviting your friends.


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    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 13

  • Youre sitting on top of your idling tractor in your best work overalls, wearing your safety earmuffs and ready to bale the 7 acres of timothy grass you

    planted in the far field. Now that theres a new bull installed in with your cows, you want to avoid the forage pasture, so youve got to go round by the lane. Heres what to know before you set off.

    1. Your farm tractor needs to be insured if you travel on a public highway or road.

    2. Your farm tractor can be driven on the road without a license plate if your farm tractor is: a) only traveling unloaded to another part of the same farm, or b) only carrying your farm produce, supplies, stock, fertilizer, tools or seeds to another part of the same farm, or c) towing a trailer that is carrying your farm produce, supplies, stock, fertilizer, tools or seeds to another part of the same farm.

    3. Your farm tractor needs a license plate AND a slow moving vehicle warning

    device (orange triangle) if you are taking your tractor on a road trip (for instance to the repair shop or to market.)

    4. Your baler (and all farm machinery) should also be insured. You can get all risk or named perils in your policy, which will have a separate schedule list-ing make, model, year and serial number for each piece of equipment. Your baler does not need a license plate.

    5. Shoulder check often, make sure you are allowing faster vehicles to pass when possible, and that you are aware of any emergency vehicles. (You may not hear them with your ear muffs on.)

    Marks Tips for Taking your Tractor on the RoadMillie Stirling of the Ladysmith Vancouver Island Insurance Centre reminds you to contact your insurance broker to discuss your farming equip-ment and receive clarification with respect to the questions and terminology used above. Your broker is there to assist in providing you with the coverage you need that will protect you and your equipment under your specific circumstances.



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    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 201414

  • According to the most recent Canadian Agriculture Injury Reporting (CAIR) summary, published in January 2013, there were 1,975 agricultural fatalities in Canada between 1990 and 2008. Sadly, 47% of those killed were farmer/owner opera-tors and 14% were their children.

    CAIR further reported that a staggering 70% of all agricultural deaths were machinery-related, caused primarily by tractor roll-overs, runovers and machinery-related and tractor-attachment entanglements. Of the tractor rollovers, sideways (into ditches and from slopes) and backwards rollovers (from sudden accelera-tion or incorrect towing practices) were the leading types.

    Most rollover-related fatalities could be prevented if rollover protective structures (ROPS) were retrofitted on all tractors, and operators wore seat belts at all times. To achieve this degree of protection, ROPS must meet specific design and testing criteria. This information must be clearly displayed on the name plate permanently attached to the ROPS. In jurisdictions where the retro-fitting of ROPS has been made compulsory, rollover fatali-ties have been virtually eliminated.

    The following guidelines should be kept in mind to reduce ma-chinery-related fatalities:

    Reducing tractor rollovers When towing with a tractor, never hitch to the axle or higher

    point. Always hitch to the drawbar and use a slow steady take-up of slack.

    Reduce speed before turning. Centrifugal force acts to keep the tractor in a straight line and can cause the tractor to roll over when cornering at high speeds.

    Always apply both brakes evenly when driving at high speeds (lock them together). Application of uneven brake pressure can literally cause the tractor to rollover.

    Reduce speed when using a loader. A loader in the raised posi-tion can increase the possibility of overturns. Keep the loader as close to the ground as possible.

    Be extremely careful when driving up an incline. A tractor can upset if the center of gravity moves behind where the rear wheels are in contact with the ground. Backing up an incline is a better option. If you get caught on a steep incline, back down very slowly and apply the brakes lightly. Weight on the front of the tractor will help.

    Avoid crossing steep slopes. Always turn downhill if stability becomes uncertain on a slope.

    Stay at least as far away from ditches and streams as the bank is deep. Any closer and the tractors weight could cause the bank to shear or give way.

    Keep wheels spread wide whenever possible. When wheels must be moved for narrow row farming, use caution and reduce speed.

    Reducing tractor runovers Turn off the tractor and apply the brake prior to getting off. Always look around the tractor before driving off.

    Do not allow passengers on the tractor while it is in motion. Reducing machinery-related and tractor-attachment entanglements. Keep all shields and guards in place. Do not operate equip-

    ment with missing shields or guards. If you do not have a power take-off (PTO) guard, make one and put it in place.

    Disengage PTO, shut off engine, and be sure implement motion has stopped before performing adjustments or maintenance.

    For some attachments, use counterweight for stability. Lift rear-mounted attachments and drive slowly when making

    sharp turns. Raise and lower attachments slowly and smoothly. Do not wear loose-fitting clothing, jewellery, or gloves while

    working around equipment. If possible, never work alone. However, if you must, ensure

    that a system is in place for checking on the well-being of that person, and insist that a communication device is always kept with that person (e.g. two-way radio or cell phone).

    Farming-related deaths, injuries and illnesses cause human suffering and cost money. Dont allow your family or workers to become a statistic. The vast majority of tractor related-injuries are both predictable and preventable. Farm and tractor safety is everyones business! To arrange a no cost tractor safety training opportunity with the Farm and Ranch Safety and Health Asso-ciation contact the Vancouver Island Representative Ken Lacroix at 250.758.9807. To view the full report, visit CAIRs website at

    Family Farm Tractor Safety

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 15

  • the cool winter weather combined with short day length has reduced the growth of pasture grass. This means horses should be given hay to supplement or replace pasture. How much hay will you need this winter? Should you feed grain, salt and miner-als as well?

    The amount of hay and grain a horse will eat can be estimated from their body weight and level of activity. Use the table on the next page to calculate expected hay and grain consumption.

    For example:A mature horse ridden once a week, weighing 1,000 lbs should eat 1020 lbs of forage dry matter per day. If hay tests 90% dry matter, the horse would need 1122 lbs of hay per day. This works out to between 77 and 154 lbs of hay or 1 14 to 2 12 sixty pound bales per week.

    It is important to remember that these are only estimates. The body condition of your horse should be monitored over the winter. If it starts to lose condition, increase the amount of grain fed. Salt requirements are lower in the cooler weather, but continue to give loose salt free choice. Continue to feed a good quality mineral at the recommended level.

    Remember:1. Weigh your horse. This can be done at a weigh scale if necessary take your trailer to the scale with and without your passenger.

    2. Weigh your hay bales and scoops or cans of grain. Feed your horse by weight, not volume.

    3. Test your hay, especially if your horse has a metabolic disorder such as insulin resistance. A sample of your hay can be sent off for testing, at a cost of $40. A hay probe can be purchased on-line.

    4. Feed the minimal amount of grain, give only enough to maintain body condition.

    5. If changes in feeds are needed, such as supplementing hay cubes, make them slowly.

    *Salt used on icy roads can attract horses and other animals. Be aware of any haz-ards this may cause your livestock.

    Winter Feed Guidelines for Horsesby Everett Dixon, Nutritionist, Top Shelf Feeds

    Healing . Harmony . Heart

    Professional Products Expert Health Advice Consultations & Services

    Products Available at Top Shelf Feeds

    Info: Heidi Chartrand250-391-7511

    Marijke van de Water, B.Sc., DHMS Healing Horses Th eir Way


    [email protected]

    4485 Trans Canada Hwy Open 10-5 Daily 250.746.8122


    Everything for you and your horse under the

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 201416

  • HAy(lbs/100 lbs body weight)

    GRAiN(lbs/100 lbs body weight)

    ToTAl(lbs/100 lbs body weight)

    MATuRe HoRSeS


    Mares, early gestation

    Mares, early lactation

    Mares, late lactation

    1.0 2.0

    1.0 2.0

    1.0 2.5

    1.0 - 2.0

    0 1.0

    0.3 1.0

    0.5 2.0

    0.5 1.5

    1.5 2.0

    1.5 2.0

    2.0 2.75

    2.0 2.5

    WoRkiNG HoRSeS

    Light work

    Moderate work

    Intense work

    1.0 2.0

    1.0 2.0

    1.0 2.0

    0.5 1.0

    0.75 1.5

    0.5 2.0

    1.5 2.5

    1.75 2.5

    2.0 3.0

    youNG HoRSeS

    Nursing foal, 3 months

    Weanling foal, 6 months

    Yearling foal, 12 months

    Long yearling, 18 months

    two year old, 24 months


    0.5 1.8

    1.0 1.5

    1.0 1.5

    1.0 1.5

    1.0 2.0

    1.0 2.5

    1.0 2.0

    1.0 1.5

    1.0 1.5

    2.5 3.5

    2.0 3.0

    1.8 3.0

    2.0 2.5

    1.75 2.5

    Made on the Island For the Island

    visit our booth at the Agricultural Show

    Top Shelf FeedsTop Shelf Feeds DUNCAN 2800 Roberts Road


    Willow Wind LANGFORD

    2714 Sooke Road250.478.8012

    Top Shelf Feeds BLACK CREEK

    7648 North Isl. Hwy.778.428.4444

    From everyone at Top Shelf Feeds to all our customers, thank you for your continued support and patronage in 2013 and wishing you all a happy holiday season, and healthly, prosperous 2014.

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 17

  • thrush, arthritis flare ups, colic, and rainrot. How are these problems similar? They can all stem from syndromes relating to Damp and Cold. Horsekeeping through Vancouver Island winters can involve several layers of care. The basic layer involves keeping horses out of the rain as well as keeping legs and feet mud-free to avoid various kinds of infection from rainrot to thrush. Many horses will need extra feed through the winter to help them stay warm and not lose weight.

    One thing that we are not taught about in most places are the energetic effects of the all pervading Damp and Cold here on the Island. This is an especially important consideration for the older horse and the hard keeper, (horses that are hard to keep weight on). In traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM) we consider Damp and Cold to be pathogens that can cause disease or other problems. While sometimes this Damp and Cold comes from an internal source, excess Damp or Cold in the environment can cause associated problems in an individual who would otherwise not be likely to have these problems.

    What kinds of problems can we expect from Damp and Cold, and how should we treat them?Anything moist or oozing is a Damp problem. Effusion, or swelling inside joints from excess joint fluid, rainrot, and thrush are all examples of Dampness affecting the body. Think of the over-moist, spongy frog of a thrush affected horse and you have a perfect mental image of Damp invasion. Arthritic horses can also be affected by dampness, though this might be less obvious. The best way to tell if this is the case is to watch your stiff horse on a day of warm rain or fog. If their sore joints seem worse simply because of the damp, then their arthritis may be more Damp than Cold.

    The best way to treat Dampness is to dry it out. in some cases this is obvious: Doing the best you can to reduce or eliminate mud and stand-

    ing water from your property can go a long way to preventing thrush.

    Providing run in shelters or stalls can help avoid rain rot. Daily hoof picking and mud removal can help the skin and

    feet stay as dry as possible.

    Cold causes the body to stiffen and bodily functions, such as digestion, to slow. One of the most common problems associated with Cold is pain or stiff joints. This can be in an old horse who is

    Holistic Winter Horse Keepingby Dr. Erika raines

    1670 Vowels Road, Cassidy250.245.3763



    sunDAY 10-1


    de li very avai lable on trai ler loads and smaller loads




    wire . rail . boards . bayco . deer . dog . privacypost pounding . custom fi eld work

    serving the community for over 20 yearsSHAUN & ROBERT CROCKETT

    2166 Hardy Rd. Courtenay | fi [email protected]

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 201418

  • not being worked through the winter or in a young horse who is being worked, but not being warmed up or cooled down properly.

    Older horses who stiffen with cold or damp conditions should be lightly worked through the winter if at all possible. This will help keep tissues moving and maintain fitness.

    Any horses being worked on particularly cold days should be thoroughly warmed up and cooled down, perhaps using a quarter sheet to keep their back and hindquarters warm while they are not vigorously exercising.

    It is also important to use towels and/or a cooler to thoroughly dry sweaty horses after work so that their damp coat does not make them more vulnerable to the cold.

    Digestive problems from Cold can be the most sudden and potentially life threatening of all the conditions discussed here. Sudden changes in weather can cause colic. From a conventional perspective there is no clear reason for this, and not much can be done to prevent it. In most cases this occurs after a sudden swing to cold temperatures. From a TCVM perspective this suddenly chills the warm energy of the Spleen (the TCVM digestive organ) and does not allow the food in the Stomach to be processed prop-erly. Similarly, a gradual and prolonged cooling of the Spleen can make digestion less effective and weight gain or maintenance more challenging for any horse.

    The care for both of these Spleen problems is a management change. For a simple case, I recommend feeding slices of fresh ginger root free choice: 1/4 inch slices of the fresh root can be offered to horses, many of whom will eat it in this form. Dried ground ginger can also be added into the feed ration in small amounts. Care should be taken when herbs are mixed into the feed as they can be very powerful in an herbivore like the horse. Ginger can also be very effective for pain caused by Cold, and has been found to be an effective anti-inflammatory. If you plan to try more than a small amount of ginger, please consult a veter-inarian with knowledge of herbal medicine.

    Moxibustion, the burning of compressed Chinese mugwort and charcoal over various points of the body, is a very effective treat-ment for all conditions Damp or Cold related. This treatment is easily taught for home application by any veterinarian who practices acupuncture. With proper management, most winter problems can be avoided or minimized; in other cases a little bit of preventative veterinary care can help your horse get through the Cold, Damp Island winter unscathed.

    Any horses being worked on particularly cold days should be thoroughly warmed up and cooled down, perhaps using a quarter sheet to keep their back and hindquarters warm while they are not vigorously exercising.

    ~ Dr. Erika raines

    Western & Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine | Acupunture | Herbal

    Homeopathy | Chiropractic Care

    dedicated to creative holistic, integrative

    solutions for pet health

    1777 Riverside Lane Courtenay 250.338.2316 www.treeofl

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 19

  • Christmas is exciting, but it can be stressful for your dog; even dangerous.Regular RoutineTry to maintain your dogs regular routine. Feed and walk him at his usual time. Make an effort to spend quality time together, away from the hustle and bustle. Itll be good for both of you!

    Fatal FoodsWatch for tummy upsets. If your dog is not accustomed to human food, resist the tempta-tion to treat him to table scraps.

    Be particularly careful with turkey leftovers. A sudden rush of all those fatty bits might cause pancreatitis or diarrhea. Cooked turkey bones could puncture the intestines. Chocolate and onions are toxic to dogs, and some can develop sudden, toxic reactions to grapes and raisins. Be sure to keep garbage out of reach. String, cheesecloth and tinfoil covered in food or grease pose great temptations but can cause life-threatening intestinal blockages. See your veterinarian if anything out of the ordinary occurs.

    Ask visitors to keep their purses and bags out of your dogs reach, to avoid any accidental ingestion of sweets, chocolates or even personal medications! Then check and make sure that your guests do so. People easily forget if they do not routinely live with dogs or young children.

    Dangerous DecorationsTo avoid a toppled Christmas tree, keep the dog out of the room unless youre in there to supervise. Anchor it to the wall or ceiling, or even better, put the tree behind a barrier. To make it look less utilitarian, an ex-pen barrier can be decorated with Christmas cards, Christmas fabrics, or similar non-dangerous decorations. Tinsel, garlands, gift wrapping ribbons, string and elastics can cause serious internal damage if ingested.

    Make sure your dog always has fresh water in his bowl and that he cannot get at the Christmas tree water.

    Secure electrical cords at least as well as you would for an 18-month old baby! Some dogs cannot resist that chew toy cord!

    Snow globes may be made from glass or plastic. Shards can be life-threatening if ingested. Some globes also have anti-freeze-like liquids inside to make the snow inside fall slower.

    Scented candles may attract because of their sweet smell, taste or texture, so put them up high and out of reach. Never leave a lit candle unsupervised!

    Dangers out of DoorsRock salt can burn your dogs paws. Keep your dog off rock salt where possible, and be sure to rinse and dry his paws after each walk.

    *Watch out for spilled antifreeze. It tastes sweet. Three tablespoons may be enough to kill a medium sized dog. The dog may act drunk. Take him to the vet immediately! After several hours your dog may seem better, but the substance may have made its way to the liver and kidneys and is now doing irreparable damage. It may not look like it, but THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!

    Holidays with Hounds

    Lisbeth Plant KPACTP and Cowichan Canine offer classes and in-home training throughout the Cowichan Valley since 2009.

    by Lisbeth Plant KPACtP

    More advice on potential poisonous substances can be obtained from the APCC website at

    For All Your Pet and Garden Needs

    DUNCAN 5410 Trans Canada Hwy 250.748.8171NANAIMO 1-1277 Island Hwy S 250.753.4221PARKSVILLE 587 Alberni Hwy 250.248.3243SAANICH 1970 Keating Cross Rd 250.652.9188

    My pet parents shop at Buckerfi eldsIsland Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 201420

  • Companys ComingIf your dog has not learned to go to his mat when the doorbell rings, make a habit of putting him away in his kennel or in a separate room while you open the door, to keep him safe. If you are expecting visitors, take the opportuni-ty to train door bell manners! Before your dog comes out to greet the guests, teach them how to turn away from the jumping dog, then bring him out on leash and heavily reinforce sitting. Make sure to stop yourself from jerking on the leash. The leash is there to limit your dogs range of movement, not for jerking on! Then promise yourself to finish his Sit-and his Door Manners-training immediately after the holidays.

    Unless your dog is already firm and close friends with any potential visiting pets, you might want to suggest to your guests that they leave their pets at home. Because of all the excitement at this time of year, your dog is likely to be more

    aroused than normally, and so will the visiting pooch be, too. You have enough distractions already as a host, without also having to manage a volatile dog-dog relationship!

    Instill into your guests that your dog is In Training, and what the house rules are, including to not feed your dog from the table. Lots of fatty tidbits can make your dog very ill. If they cant stop themselves from giving him treats, give them a selection of his regular treats to hand out.

    Supervise, Supervise, Supervise!Always supervise the interac-

    tions between dogs and children under the age of 12. Both parties will be over-stimu-lated. Children are unlikely to remember to follow the rules. Make sure your dog has a safe place to go to, to get away from the children. If youre too busy to super-vise, either appoint a dog-savvy, respon-sible and reliable guest who can tell when the dog needs a break, or even better put your dog away with a stuffed Kong in his kennel.

    your VeterinarianYour vet may have reduced hours over the holidays. Find out ahead of time, and then know where your animal emergen-cy clinic is. If your vet is not imme-diately available,

    you can also call the Animal Poison Control Center 1.888.426.4435.

    A consultation fee may be applied to your credit card, but it may save your pets life. So put that phone number on the fridge door, next to your own and the emergen-cy vet clinics details.

    Presents for PoochesWhat should you get for dog for Christ-mas? A food-stuffed toy, like a Kong or puzzle game, is always a great idea. Food stuffed toys keep the dog busy while everybody else is opening their presents. However, keep any gifts with food in them in the fridge or the pantry until its time to open them, so that the dog doesnt go rummaging through the pres-ents under the tree!

    For the dog owner, a gift card for your local dog training centre is always a good idea. Puzzle toys and gift cards are avail-able from Cowichan Canine.

    Happy Holidays!

    Cowichan Canine - First, Do No Harm -

    Classes Private Lessons Day Training Behaviour Consultations FREE Community Education events

    778-455-1985 #106-5301 Chaster Road, Duncan

    4508 Wellington Road Nanaimo 250.758.3985

    At the Nanaimo Veterinary Hospital we are dedicated to providing quality veterinary

    care to pets who are family members.

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 21

  • GOGOS CHRISTMAS TREE FARMPart of the holidays since 1929Open 7 days per week, 8-52625 South Fork Road250-754-2276


    For the protection of the children, NO DOGS PLEASE


    50,000 trees to choose from

    GOGOSsaw mill2625 South Fork Road, Nanaimo

    1000 acre wood lot sustainable forest

    Custom sawn high-grade cedar and r lumber

    Sun-deck material Fencing Custom cut posts and beams

    BalsamNoble Fir

    Douglas Fir Norway Spruce

    [email protected]


    tax included

    Nanaimo Tree Lot55 Pryde St


    Middle Miss Farms3560 Glenora RdDuncan BC250-715-0029www.middlemissfarms.com9 to 430 daily till Christmas eve.Free hot chocolate & candy canes to enjoy by the bonfi re.

    Kirkpatrick Christmas Trees 250-724-4678Gerry and Connie KirkpatrickEmail: [email protected] google Kirkpatrick christmas trees for directions pleaseLocated at the Alberni Valley air-port. Open from Nov 30 to Dec 23 10:30 A.M. till dusk. Saws and wagons provided. Santa visits Dec 14 & 15

    Lakes Road Tree Farm6673 Lakes Rd Duncan250.746-4364Home of the famous Nordmann Fir. Open 9-5 daily until Christmas.

    u cut christmas


    freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin inhale deeply and fi ll your soul with wintry night

    John Geddes, A Familiar Rain

    Gogos Christmas Tree FarmPart of the holidays since 1929Open 7 days per week, 8-52625 South Fork Road

    an island tradition

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 201422

  • Painted Ponies Collectable horses by many

    different artists prices ranging from 59.95-79.95 A great gift for

    any age. Available at Equine Emporium

    4485 Trans-Canada Hwy,Cowichan Valley. 250.746.8122

    2014 Wall CalendarsVariety of Fun Farm, Garden, Horse & Pet Calendars. Full-color, large formatReg. 16.99 Sale 14.97selection may vary.At your local Bucker elds.

    Healing Horses Their WayBy BC Author $34.95 Available from your

    local feed/tack store. For Information: Heidi Chartrand: 250-391-7511

    Marijke van de Water

    Healing HorsesTheir Way!

    2nd Ed


    Winter Fix Spectacular10% Discount on Parts & LabourIn-Shop Repairs & Service

    Island Tractor Dec 1-Feb 28Duncan Location Only 2928 Sprott Rd. 250.746.1755

    Step 7 Pro Equine Supplement Balance your horses diet with vitamins, minerals, botanicals and ingre-dients for healthy hooves! 8 kg $29.99 20 kg bag $59.99Available from your local feed/tack store.

    Meat BoxesGift certi cates for meat boxes. Specialty sausages/various cutsbeef, pork and lamb.Plecas Meats2063 Evans Rd Nanaimo250.754.2238

    Austrailian Outback Oilskin Jackets and Hats1/2 price while quantities last.

    The Trading Post Feed & Tack

    3345 Island Highway Cassidy

    (Across form the Nanaimo Airport)(250) 245-2115

    Give a goat. Goats nourish hungry children and families

    Gift Suggestions For Under the Tree

    My Favourite Farmer

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 23

  • Many of us are used to the idea that local food is fresher, tastier, requires less energy to transport and supports Island agriculture. At this time of year, when shopping can reach a frantic level, its the perfect opportunity to use your holiday dollars to make a real difference in your community. When you choose to shop in your own small town or neighbourhood, you give family businesses a chance to stay afloat or even grow.

    Wish that the small community you live in didnt have so many empty storefronts? Use your wallet to vote for a more vibrant downtown. When you choose to shop local, you help insure those small businesses grow, which can have trickle-down effects, as the owners spend within the community and help other busi-nesses and organizations thrive. You also get to make personal connections with other people that care about your home town.

    Do you really need a clutter of imported plastic toys and elec-tronics, all purchased from a massive chain store? The largest percentage of the profit from the sale goes to US shareholders. A tiny smidgen of the income goes to the country where the product was made, perhaps under poor working conditions. Countless volumes of carbon emissions are created transporting the merchandise. Even if you make a resolution to purchase just 10% of your holiday gifts in your own home town, you can really make a difference.

    The closer we come to paying the actual price for the items we buy and the food we eat, the more likely we are to truly value and support a system that respects the small producer. If everyone needs and expects a $2 burger, then subsidies will continue and fast-food chains will drive agriculture practices we may not agree with. Vote with your wallet! There is nothing stronger than the choice a consumer makes. Our society is based on consumerism, so the most direct way to affect change is with your shopping routines. Here are some ideas for local shopping in a small town:

    Baskets of Edibles. Kale and winter cabbage, squashes and dried garlic look beautiful, will be truly appreciated and will support a local farmer. Mix in a few potted herbs for lasting yumminess. Make sure to include the farmers contact information for future shopping.

    Books, especially by local authors. These are interesting gifts for friends and family that live far away. It will give them a window into what your life is like on Vancouver Island.

    Homespun and homemade items. Some gifts give twice, like mittens made by the good people that donate the profit to charity. Ever worn an alpaca toque? They are amazingly soft and no two are alike. Beeswax candles smell wonderful and light up any holiday table.

    Why Shopping Local Really Matters

    SPECIALTY SAUSAGESmade from your home-grown quality meat!

    e perfect Kolbassa, Hickory Bacon or Spicy Pepperoni can be made from your

    lamb, goat, pork, beef, turkey or wild game using traditional European recipes.

    At Nanaimo Sausage House you canchoose from over 30 dairy-free recipes or

    bring in your home recipe and have it made to order. Gluten-free, made with natural

    ingredients and no llers. Your meat will be delicious and healthy too!

    3018 Ross Rd Nanaimo250.751.0555

    we love custom orders!

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 201424

  • Artisan food products. Local cheeses, wines, chocolates, even teas are made here on the Island. Another wonderful gift to take friends and family on the mainland; theyll be introduced to what deli-cious treats we have to offer, perhaps be enticed to visit more often and enhance the local economy.

    Gifts that will bring you together. How about a garden tool, along with a promise to get together on the first day of spring, or a rolling pin and a heart-shaped cookie cutter and a date for the day before Valentines.

    Gift Certificates. You can get really creative with these. Automo-tive detailing, income tax services, yoga classes, specialty gourmet foods, painting workshops, or a stay at a beautiful B&B are just a few ideas. Attach a certificate

    for 2 yards of compost to a shovel for your favourite gardener. Give a certificate for a friend to have her portrait photographed with her horse. How about a certificate for two local heritage hens?

    All of the above are much more exciting to get than a combination coffee-maker/bagel-warmer/foot-massager. Trust me.

    Fresh Organic Produce Living Soils Farm250-816-8814Corner of Doole &

    Yellow Point Rd Ladysmith

    Building Products Bedding & Hay Lumber & Roofing Fencing & Farm Supplies Animal Feed & Supplies

    Live Poultry Fertilizers & Seed Pest Control Products ...and so much more 250-337-8922 1-800-771-6771

    2184 Lalum Road (off 19A) Black Creek Proudly Serving Our Island Communities For 30 Years!

    Ask About Delivery

    Black Creek Farm & Feed Has What You Need!The Ultimate toolto remove unwanted

    bushes or trees!

    Available at...Buckerfields, Sooke Home Hardware, Duncan Home Hardware, ParksvilleHome Hardware, Mouats Home Hardware, Willow Wind Feed & Tack,Richlock Rentals, Western Equipment, Beaver Creek Ace Home Center,Black Creek Farm & Feed, Borden Mercantile, Slegg Lumber, Port McNeillRona, Wild Rose Garden Centre, Pender Island Home Building Centre,Windsor Plywood Salt Spring Island, Mayne Island Building Centre,And online at:

    Proudly...Made In CanAda!Shawnigan Lake, BC

    Send Broomto its doom!!

    Invasive plants?See ya later,Alligator!!


    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 25

  • Lesleys Holiday Ham

    1. Rinse your ham and then use a sharp knife to cut a grid pattern through the skin about 1/2 inch down into the layer of fat.

    2. Cover the ham loosely in tinfoil and bake in a 250 degree oven for 3 or 4 hours. Take the ham out and let it set for 45 minutes or more, until it is cool enough to work with.

    3. Peel off the skin and most of the fat. Leave a little fat layer. Paint the whole thing with a 1/4 cup of mustard, then sprinkle with a cup of brown sugar. Pat the sugar into the mustard. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of ginger. Get a spray bottle and spritz the ham with bourbon, rum or sherry.

    4. Put the ham back in the oven, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour. Baste the ham and bake another 1/2 hour or more. The internal temperature of the ham should be 160 degrees.

    5. Let the ham sit for at least a 1/2 hour before slicing. I usually serve mine with home- made perogies, deviled eggs, borscht and a cucumber salad.

    6. Super easy honey-mustard sauce. Mix 1/4 cup dijon mustard with 1/4 cup local honey. Repeat this recipe in another dish and add a 1/4 tsp of cayenne for the spicy version. Make sure you mark the spicy one with a slice of a red chili or some other creative garnish.

    Lesleythis is a family favourite that has become a holiday tradition at our house. Select a locally smoked picnic shoulder. 20 lbs will feed about a dozen people, and youll have a wonderful bone for soup-making.

    Let us help you make your

    familys wishes come true this Christmas

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 201426

  • Strawberry Santas

    These are fun and easy to make. kids love them!i use chocolate sprinkles for the eyes and smiles. use very cold cream for whipping, and add a little sugar to stiffen the cream. Dust the plate with powdered sugar for a snowfall effect.


    eat for the health of it!

    BISON Enjoy the great taste and health bene ts of our free range, 100% grass fed, hormone and antibiotic

    free Bison!

    Farm Gate Store3100 Hamm Road

    250.650.9305 Black Creek

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 27

  • this fabled event began 9 years ago when a parent who wanted to teach her children the value of giving ap-proached Ladysmith Family and Friends Executive Director Jacqueline Neli-gen. Even though this mother and her children visited the local food bank each

    Tuesday, when she did go to the grocery store, the first item in her cart would be something to donate to the food bank.

    At the family resource centre, located at Aggie Hall in Ladysmith, there are kitch-en facilities. Together, Jacqueline and the parent came up with the idea of telling the story of stone soup, and then creating

    a soup together, in which each family brought something to the centre to make a nutritious meal to share.

    The event went so wonderfully that it was repeated the next month. It soon became so popular that the organization now presents Stone Soup each Tuesday. Some days, there are so many hun-gry little guests that the items brought in by families need to be supplemented. Luckily, there has been tremendous support from the

    community, and various groups donate staples like potatoes, carrots and onions. The local bakery supplies whole grain breads, and other businesses are generous with dry and canned goods.

    During the growing season, the Lady-smith Community Garden Society sets aside a plot for the children, and they plant and tend the vegetables that will later play a role in soup or other shared meals. (There is a meal each day of the week, from oatmeal and fruit to french toast Fridays.)

    The centre is focussed on educating children and parents on good nutri-tion, good health habits, and providing support with issues like having a child with special needs in the family. A public health nurse and various community resource providers like speech therapists visit the centre each month. Many of the childrens caregivers are grandparents, and after their wee charges have gradu-ated from the pre-school program, they continue on volunteering to work at the centre, playing guitar, reading stories or sharing other special skills.

    Several years ago, a grandmother decided she would like to share her sewing skills, and started an evening group for the moms (and babes in arms), which later morphed to include other home skills like canning, quilt-making and baking. One parent who attended this program went on to start her own small business

    Stone SoupBy working together, with everyone contributing what they can, a greater good is achieved.

    P MEATSLECAS. custom processing. boxed meats. livestock transport. custom cut & wrap. beef, pork and lamb

    2063 Evans Rd.

    When you want to know EXACTLY where your beef comes from...

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 201428

  • Stone SoupA kindly, old stranger was walking through the land when he came upon a village. As he entered, the villagers moved towards their homes locking doors and windows. The stranger smiled and asked, why are you all so frightened. I am a simple traveler, looking for a soft place to stay for the night and a warm place for a meal.

    Theres not a bite to eat in the whole province, he was told. We are weak and our children are starv-ing. Better keep moving on.

    Oh, I have everything I need, he said. In fact, I was thinking of making some stone soup to share with all of you. He pulled an iron cauldron from his cloak, filled it with water, and began to build a fire under it. Then, with great ceremony, he drew an or-dinary-looking stone from a silken bag and dropped it into the water.

    By now, hearing the ru-mor of food, most of the villagers had come out of their homes or watched from their windows. As the stranger sniffed the broth and licked his lips in antic-ipation, hunger began to overcome their fear. Ahh, the stranger said to himself

    rather loudly, I do like a tasty stone soup. Of course, stone soup with carrots thats hard to beat. Soon a villager approached hesitantly,

    holding a small carrot hed retrieved from its hiding place, and added it to the pot.

    Wonderful!! cried the stranger. You know, I once had stone soup with a carrot and a bit of onion as well, and it was fit for a king. The village butcher managed to find an onion And so it went, through potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and so on, until there was indeed a delicious meal for everyone in the village to share.

    The village elder offered the stranger a great deal of money for the magic stone, but he refused to sell it and traveled on the next day. As he left, the strang-er came upon a group of village children standing near the road. He gave the silken bag containing the stone to the youngest child, whispering to the group, the magic was not the stone, it was the vil-lagers that had performed the magic.

    creating up-cycled clothing items from thrift store purchases.

    The concept behind stone soup the sharing of what you have to offer so we can all be healthy infiltrates so many layers of the activities at the centre. The idea is extremely popular. Participants come from as far away as Lantzville and Mill Bay. Perhaps you can imagine that every little bit of help is appreciated. The program can always use more food items the healthier and more local the better. If you are a farmer or gardener with produce to share, please take the time to call 250.210.0870 or send an email to [email protected]

    There is a similar program in Sooke, and one on Gabriola Island. To find out more about what is offered in your community, you can visit the Family Resource Programs of BC website, or call 604.738.0068.

    Nurturing family health and happiness through supportive, enriching and inclusive play.

    Web: www.dougroutley.caEmail: [email protected]

    Doug Routley, MLANanaimo~North Cowichan

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    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 29

  • this is the time of year to review your gardens productivity, and plan for next year. I use a journal to track when I plant, my expenditures, and since I sell some of my produce, any profits. I find this really helpful, and even if you are not selling your flowers or vegetables, you might find it useful too. Give your herb planters or tomato plants a value similar to nursery prices, and keep track of what you harvest, using grocery store prices. It can illuminate the routines you have that work the best for your crops, and also give you the satisfaction of seeing the virtual profit of your labours.

    Of course, many gardeners spend years culturing a green thumb for the pure love of gardening without the expectation of profit. However, it is a pleasant reward when your hobby pays off in beau-tiful blooms and delicious fruits and vegetables. After tracking my garden profits for a few years, I

    realized a couple of things about the way I garden, and what grows best in my greenhouse and outside in the main plot.

    I have spurts where I garden a lot every day, and then I barely have time to do more than water for a couple of weeks. Plants that are high maintenance, or have a small window in which to harvest, or are not drought resistant, just dont do as well. I pretty much gave up on corn. I would check it day after day, waiting for that perfect moment when the ears where ripe, then have a deadline to meet, and the next time I went out, the kernels would be so shriv-eled and dry they looked like witchs teeth.

    My kind of gardening does suit a crop that keeps on generating throughout the season, like basil. Harvest some, more comes up. You can pick a whole bunch at once and dry it or turn it into pesto. Basil grows well as many individuals in a

    mass planting, so the plants can be in different stages of growth, which means a continuous harvest. I grow basil from seed, therefore start up cost is nice and low. Basil makes a good profit at the market, either picked or potted, and I use it all the time in my cooking too, so I get excellent value from my basil crop. Perhaps now you will see why I converted the corn plot of 2012 into the basil plot of 2013. Next year, Im going to experiment with another herb. Perhaps cilantro

    I have found that my sporadic gardening style lends itself particu-larly well to larger planters, as they hold their water better. This year I tried large coconut fiber hang-ing baskets, which held twice the number of flowers, had more prolific blooms and lasted longer into the fall. Through careful record keep-ing, I found that although they cost more to produce, the profit margin increased slightly as customers were willing to pay extra and were so pleased with the results.

    Winter Gardening

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    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 201430

  • Coming to a Garden Near You...DECEMBER:

    If you have a live Christmas Tree in the house, make sure the container is plenty large, so you can keep it well watered. Turn the heat down at night, as low as possible. When putting your lawn mower away, remember to drain the fuel. Beauty Berry, Pansies and Holly add colour to the garden. If you planted kale, youre still enjoying treats like massaged kale salad.


    Pour over the seed catalogue, do your research. Look online for photos of how perennials you are thinking of purchasing will look during each season, to ensure a variety of colour all year. This month youll see Snowdrops popping up and the bark of the Dogwood is a colourful relief from the snow. Nutritious kale is still being harvested.


    Time to start pruning! In our temperate climate, roses will start to send out a few buds. Trim back well or youll have straggly growth. Prune on a diagonal just above a bud that faces out from

    the centre of the bush. Use super-sharp pruners. This month will finish in the fireworks display of forsythia. Cut a couple of branches early in the month and bring them inside to bloom for your first bouquet of spring. Your kale will now be getting a second wind before it goes to seed.

    Stay Sharp!Its an easy process to sharpen your shears, and a rainy winters day is perfect for priming your pruners.

    1. Clean your pruners with warm water and a wire brush.

    2. Dry them well and lay on a paper towel (to catch the little metal filings)

    3. Draw the file down and away from you, across the slanted part of the blade (dont do the flat edge).

    4. Watch as the edge gets shiny. Try to get an even shine across the blade.

    5. Dip in a solution of 10 parts water to 1 part bleach, to disinfect and prevent trans-mitting disease (like black spot) from one plant to another.

    6. Wipe on a little olive oil or WD40 to help prevent rust.

    7. Store somewhere dry.

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    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 31

  • Bees are so important to the life cycle of plants and crops that a healthy bee population is critical to our ability to eat a diverse diet. Having a bee hive on your property has many benefits. The bees will visit the blossoms on your fruit trees and the flowers that will set future tomatoes, trading genetic material and pollinating each plant, and generally increasing the productivity of your garden or crops. Honey, the by-product of their industriousness, is a natural sweetener that offers many health benefits and does not require refining. The Fredrich family has been producing honey on Vancouver Island for decades. We share their expertise.

    In the winter, bees go dormant. Theyve finished pollen collections and return to the hives. Bees need a safe environment

    to hibernate. A strategically located hive will be out of reach of their two main predators bears and wasps. Wasp traps set near the hive entrances are necessary if the fall is unseasonably warm and dry, as these conditions are favourable for wasps who will continue predating upon the bees as they begin hibernation. Artificial hives have a screen door in the basement which is left open to allow ventilation over the winter months, but it must be reduced in size if the wasps are actively preying on the bees. Bears can also threaten hives, and here the beekeeper can provide some deterrents like motion activated lights or sprinklers. However, if the bear is undaunted, it is time to call the conservation officer, who can trap and relocate the bear. Luckily, this time of year many of the bears are too busy with spawning salmon to create

    much havoc with the hives.

    The Fredrichs have hundreds of hives, and place them in various Central Island locations. They choose large berry farms in their Ce-dar/Yellowpoint neighbourhood, as the hives must be tended several times each season, and a wider dispersement would increase travel time and workload. The bees spend spring moving from one budding crop to another, polli-nating strawber-ries, raspberries, blueberries and then cranberries.

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    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 201432

  • When the cranberry crop has finished flowering, they are trucked up to the local mountains, where the cool forest welcomes them to visit and pollinate the pine trees, mountain wildflowers, and fireweed. Beekeepers must obtain permission from landowners, and timber companies require keepers to carry fire insurance before the bees are placed on their forest lands.

    At the end of their active cycle, usually October, the bees are trans-ferred backed to their first spring location to wait out winter. Fall is ex-traction time, and a large operation like the Fredrichs is in full swing. Or rather, full spin. The honey comb comes out of the hive in frames. The wax is scraped off and saved to be used for candles. Next the plates are put into a huge spinning cauldron, which will use centripetal force to extract the honey, flinging it out of the comb and down the sides of the machine. The cauldron holds 108 frames, or about 300 pounds of honey. A typical Vancouver Island hive will produce about 100 lbs of honey and could have up to 50,000 bees. The cauldron rotates at 1750 rpm, and creates a thunderstorm effect in the extraction room. As the speed increases, a golden river of honey starts to flow out of the caul-dron and through a system of pipes into the packing room.

    If you are interested in keeping bees yourself, you dont need an operation as expansive as the Fredrichs. The Island is dotted with Beekeeping Clubs, and they are the perfect place to get started. There are people who wish to keep bees, but dont have a location for the hives. There are others who have an orchard or berry field they wish to get pollinated, but they dont want the work of beekeeping. Wonder-ful partnerships can be struck at these clubs. Bees are also happy in a suburban environment where flower and vegetable gardens can offer a diverse biosphere.

    Winter is the perfect time to do your research if you are interested in keeping bees. Familiarize yourself with the various kinds of houses, decide whether you want to purchase or make your own. Price out other equipment - including a protective garment, hat and gloves. Find out where to get bees in your area, and when the best time to buy is. You can buy a 2 lb package of bees (about 8000 individuals) or a

    Nuc or nucleus, which is two to five frames and a laying queen. Make sure you have a good location plenty of access to blossoms/pollen, wind-protected and well drained. A sunny location will warm the colony and stimulate foraging.

    The Honeybee ColonyHoneybees lives are short, last-ing less than one season, but the colony lives on because individuals will gather and store food that they will never eat, and will sting to defend the hive even though stinging results in the death of the bee.

    Worker Bees are females un-able to reproduce. they live six weeks and forage for nectar, pol-len, water and propolis, which is a sap-like material used in hive construction. they carry out the production and glandular secre-tion of royal jelly, the food for the brood, and beeswax.

    the Queen lays 1500-2000 eggs per day. She lays from February to october, and has no other role in bringing up the young. She may live 5 or 6 years. Most beekeepers replace the queen every year or two.

    Drones are the male bees of the colony. Several hundred drones are reared in order to leave the hive and mate with a queen from another colony. they do none of the hive work BC Bee-keepers are required to register their colonies with the BC Min-istry of Agriculture Apiculture Program. For this form, or to source more valuable informa-tion on beekeeping, visit

    lawrence Hoganson, Theo Fredrich Sr. and Theo Fredrich Jr. you can reach the Fredrichs at 250.245.4214.

    Island Farm & Garden ~ Winter 2013 / 2014 33

  • tIMBER! Lumber is an obvious forest product, but creative First Nations businesses are branching out into offshoot in-dustries. The innovators of First Nations Wildcrafters BC were the first BC company to introduce wild harvested products using the Canadian Good Agricultural Collection Practices Program. Previous products brought to market in Alberni and across the Island included mushrooms, berries and herbs. These past activities added value to the land base and created

    income for local gatherers.

    Usually, once a stand of timber is harvested, the area is re-planted and then left for a decade or longer with no further cultivating. The can-opy fills in quickly with the replanted trees, crowding out other new growth and leaving little ground cover. Tradition-al forest floor foods and wild-life grazing areas are greatly reduced. Tending these areas could lead to a more bio-di-verse ecosystem. First Nations Wildcrafters BC works closely with the Ministry of Forests, Ministry of Agriculture and timber companies to encour-age better forestry practices that address multiple uses, including:

    variance in species, age and density of trees positioning and site selection to make best use of micro

    eco-systems within the forest attention to health and safety issues, such as dust contamina-

    tion from logging trucks

    Operator Keith Hunter says that First Nations Wildcrafters BC strives to create good business models for agroforestry prod-ucts. Products like huckleberry jam and forest mushrooms were developed to be delivered on a commercial level after an in depth study that included small batch testing, an assessment of

    The idea is to integrate agroforestry management with existing practices and policies in typical west coast forests. We use the highest standards of eth-ical and traditional knowledge-based harvesting to create products that meet the quality and traceabil-ity standards of Health Canada and the Canadian Food inspection Agency.

    We test the feasibility of concepts as they pertain to resource stewardship management and product development, in order to determine the best way to market high quality products. its about making the best use of the forest while making it more livable for wildlife and First Nations traditional uses in a way that is culturally appropriate while also pro-viding sustainable economic opportunities, invest-ment risk management and decision making tools.

    AgroforestryInnov tions in


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