Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

Organic Market Garden Workshop with Adam Schick – July 8-15th and August 11-18th 2017

Found this year challenging? Come and get some hands on skills to make next year a success! Practical hands on permaculture with Oliver Kellhammer, introduction to animal husbandry, and answers to all your garden questions, plus some tips on becoming a successful market gardener.
Adam Schick has been an organic gardener for the past 18 years and a market gardener Linnaea Farm for 16 of those years. Come glean some wisdom from a Master Gardener!

The world is starved for people able to enrich the planet while improving soil and human ecology.
You’ve dreamed of making a right livelihood growing food and raising livestock but are unsure of how to take the next step.
This summer at LINNAEA FARM we offer you 2 – weeklong programs to inoculate you with ideas and techniques to get your garden growing!

July 8th – 15th, 2017
August 11th ~ 18th
WHERE: Cortes Island, BC
TOPICS COVERED: Sense of Place, phenology, planning & marketing, seed sowing and saving, record keeping, animal husbandry, compost & making the most of soil, pests & weeds, practical permaculture and year round cropping.
The days will be filled with lectures and hands-on training in the field to reinforce and give context to the lessons.

COST: $1400 includes accommodation

To Register or for more information: Click here!

Flower Power

By Kirsten Vidulich

Of the known 300,000 species of plants, over 250,000 of them produce flowers. It’s sometimes a hidden, mysterious thing, it’s sometimes a showy, unapologetically gaudy display of nature’s love of variety, but each one displays that species’ survival and reproductive destiny.

Along with being a botanical necessity, these petaled enticements offer much needed food to our unsung pollinators, and flowers have shaped and populated their chosen environment with their successful progeny. They’ve drawn us humans into their seduction for as long as can be remembered. Although variety and beauty has long been affected by human hands, the purpose of the flower has very little to do with humans at all. In fact, a flower’s evolution, variety and type has more to do with their surroundings, pollinating species and how they have adapted to secure reproduction.

The seed is the start of life but the flower is the reason life continues. Humans have developed a keen appreciation for a flower’s beauty and less awareness of the integral part of the life cycle these brilliant creatures participate in. Every one of our plant foods—from fruit trees to grain crops to broccoli—depends on a healthy flowering and pollination cycle, a sensitive dance of timing and optimal conditions, for that species to continue. Sometimes we’re participating in this dance, like when we watch our orchards and berry patches for its pollinator’s seasonal return. Sometimes flowering and pollination of our food crops is taken on by seed companies or plant breeders, leaving us to harvest the plant before its completed its reproductive cycle, with the knowledge that food crop will still be available to us in the future. Either way, humans are one small part of the massive work the flowering parts of a plant have to accomplish in their short and stunning lives.

The secret to their success:? Attraction. We humans fall into the draw just as pollinating bats and bees do. We’re enticed by the colours, smells, textures and delicacy of the flower, and some (myself included) would move earth and stone to create more spaces for flowers to flourish. The physiology of the flower’s power is simple, we crave beauty and sensory stimulation, all us earth bound creatures.

It’s said the true sign of depression is the lack of any pleasant or emotive response to a flower. The timely appearance of flowers, in short bursts offers our plant kingdom in its prime, ready to entice all of nature to see its potential and necessity to continue. The flower asks us to feed our senses, in exchange for pollination and the production of her seed. Kinda racy, I know, but that’s nature for you!

Think of the sensory overload of a bee inside a blossom, filling up their pollen pouches, rolling in the fragrance and colour and leaving fat and heavy with all the flower had to share, all in exchange for pollination and the promise of a future full of more flowers, seeds, fruit and food. The flower is the foundation of hope for a future existence, simplified and offered to all earth’s creatures.

At the end of the Season

Here’s where you count your beans, you made it.  We kept saying the finish line is in view, well here we are.  Hays all in the barn, garden is put to bed, seeds are drying, days are getting shorter, nights are longer….

You begin things at the start of the season with youthful exuberance, almost forgetting what it takes to get you here.  The finish line.  Whew.  Linnaea Farm was a flurry of excitement this year.  We fed 30 families, for 20 weeks with our CSA program, we hosted The Power of Hope,  The Gulf Island Center of Ecological Learning (GICEL), University of Vicoria’s Permaculture students, David Asher from Black sheep Cheese School, and Michelle’s Yoga from Vicoria.

Adam Schick lead an inspiration Organic Market Workshop (we will be offering 2 courses in 2017!), as well as Rick Valley, Brent Howieson and Jodi Peters offered a Permaculture Design Course.

Our herd of cows grew to 10, and rotationally grazed across 30 acres of pasture, and we pulled 900 bales of hay off our 3rd field (yep, that’s a record).  300 Cornish Giant chickens were raised and processed on the farm and were pastured out in the 2nd field.

Brent’s front stand starts keep Cortesians well stocked in plants for their gardens, and our fruit collective provided pounds of plums and apples for the every hungry locals!

Our mycelial beds grew and spread Garden Giant spawn all around the farm as well as keeping nutrients out of Gunflint Lake.

We hosted our annual Harvest Festival, feeding over 100 locals and keeping folks occupied with games and music for one beautiful afternoon in September!


Seedy Saturday @ Linnaea Farm Education Centre.

Saturday March 5th 11:30-3:00
Bring Seeds to Swap+Take+Trade.
Lunch available for purchase. See you there!

He stood, a point on a sheet of green paper proclaiming himself the centre

Progressive insanities of a pioneer, by Margaret Atwood.  I get that feeling.  My sheet of green paper is the center of our fields.  Yesterday i was out staking an area for the cows to be.  I imagine they would have their own version of this poem, from their perspective, but right now it would be from the inside of the barn!  However, today was the day!  After a full farm meeting, where we talked about collectives, barn chores, dump runs, fences, baby lambs (did i mention our first one was born?  Yep!), we convened down in the barn, where we have a full afternoon of manure shoveling on the agenda.  Alas, the power outage put a damper on letting the cows out.  Finally the power was on, the cows were on their way out!  I was waiting in the field to show them the edge of the small section we had given them for the afternoon.  I’m waiting.  Still waiting.  I can hear Liz’s cow call ‘Let’s go!  Let’s go” from where i stood.  Then i see the cows surface, only to turn around and run back the other way.  I waited for a bit longer, and now i can tell they are running up the back road, towards the parking lot.  I start running up the hill, then i hear Liz yell ‘Tamara!’.  Just as i get to the top of the hill, the cows round the bend.  Running down the road like they belong there.  A part of me wonders why i think it’s okay to step out and try to get them moving in the opposite direction.  But i do so without any fear, i know their language, they know me, they know my language.  Today they listened.  They turned around, and we got them back to where they were meant to be.  Whew.  So there they were.  Out on the grass.  It feels good.  It feels good after having them inside all year, to let them out.  And i know they love it.  It makes me so aware of the grass.  How all we do on this farms centers around the growth of grass, how we have to fence animals in and out, how many hours we spend out there moving fence lines, cutting grass.  This is just the beginning of that journey again.  And it feels good.  I’m including Margaret Atwood’s Poem, it’s one of my favorites, and yes, in the dead of winter, i can relate.IMG_3714 IMG_3686

Progressive Insanities of a Pioneer by Margaret Atwood
He stood, a point
on a sheet of green paper
proclaiming himself the centre,

with no walls, no borders
anywhere; the sky no height
above him, totally un-
and shouted:

Let me out!

He dug the soil in rows,
imposed himself with shovels
He asserted
into the furrows, I
am not random.

The ground
replied with aphorisms:

a tree-sprout, a nameless
weed, words
he couldn’t understand.

The house pitched
the plot staked
in the middle of nowhere.

At night the mind
inside, in the middle
of nowhere.

The idea of an animal
patters across the roof.

In the darkness the fields
defend themselves with fences
in vain:
is getting in.

By daylight he resisted.
He said, disgusted
with the swamp’s clamourings and the outbursts
of rocks,
This is not order
but the absence
of order.

He was wrong, the unanswering
forest implied:

It was
an ordered absence

For many years
he fished for a great vision,
dangling the hooks of sown
roots under the surface
of the shallow earth.

It was like
enticing whales with a bent
pin. Besides he thought

in that country
only the worms were biting.

If he had known unstructured
space is a deluge
and stocked his log house-
boat with all the animals

even the wolves,

he might have floated.

But obstinate he
stated, The land is solid
and stamped,

watching his foot sink
down through stone
up to the knee.

refused to name themselves; refused
to let him name them.

The wolves hunted

On his beaches, his clearings,
by the surf of under-
growth breaking
at his feet, he foresaw
and in the end
through eyes
made ragged by his
effort, the tension
between subject and object,

the green
vision, the unnamed
whale invaded