Who We are!
The Northern Co-hort is a farmer led, family farm support program with the goal of helping local farmers explore soil health and work towards regional food security by working together to establish a robust, diverse regional food system in the Peace Region of BC.
Northern Co-hort programs 2021
Market Garden Extension Program
Partially funded through the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund, we are offering our first production series of webinars featuring Cait Vince of the Rustic Garden and Pantry in Hudson’s Hope. The Northern C0-hort has supported Cait as she developed webinars and resources to share her knowledge around Northern Greenhouse Production. Register today for your space at one or all workshops: Saturday March 20 | Northern Greenhouse Design, Sunday March 21 | Northern Greenhouse Growing 101, Sunday July 11 | On-site Greenhouse Production Tour. For more information and to register click here: https://neat.ca/northerngreenhouseseries/
Soil Health Matters Program
Rose Prairie 2021. Made possible through a Systems Change Develop Grant funded by the Vancouver Foundation. This is a pilot project geared to connect 5 local cross-commodity farmers from the Rose Prairie area with each other and with deeply experienced Peace Region soil agrologists to explore historical and current soil health factors. The program goals are to develop relationships between researchers and farmers as well as farmers across commodities in their local area to support them as they consider innovation in their operations and the factors that support or prevent shifts in land management decisions that foster soil health development. Based on the results of this pilot project, additional funding will be sought to provide these connections for farmers in a community near you.
Peace Food Hub Network
Business Planning Spring 2021
The BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development funded a Food Hub Feasibility Study and Business Plan which has been underway since spring 2020. Northern Co-hort just received the draft feasibility study and is working to connect producers in the region with the team at Greenchain Consulting as they develop the Business Plan for a Food Hub Network that will work towards achieving regional food security here in the BC Peace Region. Our Northern Co-hort producer members are working on piloting weekly pantry, meat and veggie boxes to be offered starting summer 2021
Research and Development for Peace Region Horticulture
In March 2021 we received funding through the Canada-BC Agricultural Innovation Program for Piloting the use of Native Symbiotic Microbes to Increase Plant Health and Growth in Commercial Haskcap and Sour Cherry Production System in the Peace Region. We are thrilled to be working with local microbiologists with Fixed Earth Innovations, UAV Drone mapping with Blackbird Environmental and local agrologist Aaron Mackay to conduct this research over the 2021 and 2022 growing seasons.
Doig River First Nations Food Security Planning
The Northern Co-hort began supporting food security programming at the Doig River First Nations in 2020. Supported by the Eco Farm Skill program labour access, a 1 acres in ground garden was developed and planted in June of 2020 providing potatoes, onions, carrots, peas and beans for the community. A beautiful raised bed gathering area was also developed and an abundance of lettuce, broccoli, kale, tomatoes, peas and squash were enjoyed by the community. Our favorite day at the Doig River FN was when we safely gathered outdoors with elders and children to paint vegetables and fruits on river rocks and learned Beaver language as stories were shared about harvesting wild strawberries.
Eco Farm Skills Program
We will be entering our 3rd year offering the Eco Farm Skills program to producer members of the Northern Co-hort who are seeking engaged labour to support their operations. In exchange for mentorship to the students who are eager to learn about soil health focused agriculture, agroecology, regenerative ranching, permaculture and local marketing, our producer members are able to access students when they are needed throughout the growing season to ensure labour intensive tasks are completed. In 2020 we started to pilot hands-off market access for producer members so they could have a consistent presence at the local farmers markets throughout the busy season. Job postings are up on our website if you know any youth or students who would be interested in learning and growing with the Northern Co-hort this summer. https://neat.ca/northern-co-hort-eco-farm-skills-coordinator/