Why celebrate organics? “Well to put it simply organics is life that’s kind of the whole thing behind it; to promote bio diversity and increase the number of living species on your farm,” explains Jerry Kit, President of Peace River Organic Producers Association. So to celebrate national Organic Week which runs from September 17-25 PROPA is hosting an annual information session for people interested in learning more about organic production at 1:30 on September 24 at The Farmington Hall.
PROPA was established in the late 1980’s and as a result the community includes a wealth of knowledge from producers involved in livestock, grain and vegetables.
“The event is focused around sharing, there are lots of people out there who are considering going organic but they don’t really know much about it and what is involved. So what we are hoping to do is get some older organic growers that have been doing it for a long time to answer questions,” Kitt says.
When questioned on why so many producers are transitioning to organics Kitt said, “Personally I think its because people are finally seeing the light but no in all seriousness with agri-business getting bigger and bigger some people are thinking maybe they should just go back to the old ways of just working with nature. That’s what organics is all about.” A growing demand for quality organic produce is another incentive for new producers: “The market is expanding all the time there are new organic venders at farmers markets and lots of demand for organic products specifically in the grain sector.”
The event will provide a space for producers new to organics to learn more about a variety of topics including soil and livestock management along with the logistics of certification. But most importantly the event will provide an entry point into the organics community. “The community is growing all the time, I see it in my own neighborhood and out in the BC Peace. I’m constantly meeting new people who are just getting into it.” Kitt adds, “it’s a good chance to get together and meet people who may not be your next door neighbors but who will still eventually become a part of your community.”
At the end of the day Organics offers producers new markets, a value added product, and a sense of community. But beyond that, Kitt explains, “Organics is life. That’s kind of the whole thing behind it; it allows you to make a living while promoting biodiversity and increasing the number of living species on your farm.”
On September 24th PROPA welcomes anyone interested to the Farmington Hall for an informative celebration of organics in the Peace Region. Though the focus will be on welcoming new producers, the event is open to everyone interested in organic growing, including consumers.