Savings the seeds of change

The City of Port Alberni is not the only entity going through a transition: seeds, crops and the food we grow are also undergoing change.

To the Editor,

At the Transition Towns Food Group meeting, held June 14 at Arrowvale Farm, lifelong farmer Bob Collins told us that the cutoff date for seeding grain in the prairie is almost here.

This means that 25 percent of farmable Canadian, prairie land will not get planted this year. Of the 75 percent that does get seeded we have no guarantee it will mature to usable human food-product.

We also talked about the cold in our region and which crops are doing well and which are not. We discussed that we will have to learn to eat whatever grows.

We will have to have greenhouses and learn to be excellent composters so that our foods will have maximum nutrition.

A stressed plant is more subject to pest and disease trouble. In our compost heated greenhouses we can also raise fish species that thrive in those conditions for protein and variety in our local food diet. People in North America are doing this successfully.

We all need to be saving acclimatized seed for the diversity and resiliency that this seed incorporates into our food system. Apparently our arugula seed is doing well.

At our farm we are having success with Dragon Tongue lettuce but our peas are not growing at all. If the long-term weather forecast is correct then July 1 it will switch over to hot, hot, hot and dry, dry, dry.

Last month we had nighttime lows of six and eight degrees and daytime highs as low as 14. These temperatures are well below our normal June averages.

Farming, an already tough job, has become less dependable than ever.

The Transition Towns Food Group meetings are open to all interested persons. Go to patransitions.ning.com to find out how to get involved.

Jen Fisher-Bradley,

Port Alberni