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Dig Deeper

I wonder if CBC made any profit off this recent story headlined:

Government Funds Video to Help Farmers Combat Anti-GMO Movement

Farmers near Spalding, Saskatchewan harvest their crop for 2015. (Bonnie Allen/CBC News)
Farmers near Spalding, Saskatchewan harvest their crop for 2015. (Bonnie Allen/CBC News)

What? Anti GMO is anti farmer. pfft. This is a headline crafted to mislead consumers into thinking the anti GMO movement is a militant sect worthy of eradicating in battle like indiscriminately ridding a crop pest with glyphosate. Screw collateral damage.

Bollocks. We are certified organic farmers. My neighbours are certified organic farmers and we are all anti GMO. Point a can of roundup at us and yes we will go all militia on your ass.

The point: The point people is who is SaskCanola and who funded them?

For crying out loud CBC dig deeper. Even if GMOs were proved safe. Safe for consumption and safe for the environment. Safe from wind and the forces of nature, who benefits from the sale of GMO and its spinoff industry? That alone could be the issue regardless of any environmental and health complications. For the sake of good journalism everywhere follow the bread trail to the end. Shame on CBC for reporting this not-so-cleverly disguised commercial for big ag.

Seriously. That is what it is. An advert.

And nothing against CBC’s esteemed science expert Dr. Joe, as he is affectionately known but his quote at the end of this article about what labelling should state is “some components are derived from genetically-modified plants, but there no is chemical difference.” Are you f*cking kidding me? Qualify a label statement? Thats not a label thats coercion. This from a scientist who has a concurrent career as a radio host, newspaper columnist and part time amateur magician. pfft.

Let me tell you. All farmers are very concerned about GMO. From those big guys in Saskatchewan who may be in too deep or are drinking too deep from big Ag’s Kool-Aid trough to those of us in the certified organic sector, we are all sick about it.

In part we at farmersdotter trust in the several independent Buy Local movements to further the case of food awareness. This whole issue would go away with greater awareness about food provenance. No one corporation can have a monopoly on food or water for that matter. Simply stated the ever expanding world does not need GMO to feed it. Then why is big Ag putting so much effort into its development? I can tell you it is not altruism.

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Leave No Doubt What You are About

Today is our annual inspection from PACS the certifying body that grants our certified organic status.

Inspector Dude
Inspector Dude

We make the distinction and say certified organic as opposed to simply organic. Organic can apply to many things but within the BC farming community saying one is certified organic will leave no doubt what you are about.

To our understanding there is limited regulation in British Columbia when it comes to applying the term organic to describe livestock or produce production. That does not mean to say a grower who is not certified organic does not embrace organic standards. Most city gardeners and small scale growers choose to subscribe to some form of organic method. They simply choose not to certify and that is fair enough. There needs be some way for these growers to describe their methodology and organic does apply.

In order to protect the consumer a strict and high standard of quality assurance must exist and the best way to describe that must also involve a reference to organic. But how does one usurp a word for an exclusive purpose? Tricky and most probably why there remains confusion over exactly what organic means when one goes to buy a fricking apple from the market.

That is why we say certified organic. Its an extra word but it leaves no doubt.

When purchasing meat and produce from a supermarket we look for approved labeling when describing compliant products. Something non certified and most definitely conventionally grown products will not have. There are probably more labels available for use in BC but the three labels listed below are marketing examples farmersdotter organics are entitled to use with prior permission from our certifying body.

Organic Labels
Organic Labels accepted in BC

If we know the grower, and the grower is not certified yet happens to be organic in practice, we will purchase their products for personal consumption. Certification is a choice for a grower. Certification is not for everybody. Know your grower and vote with your wallet.

Also, there are three types of annoying sticky labels on produce. Conventional produce have a 4-digit code number. Organic produce has the same 4-digit code only preceded by the number 9. GMO’s has the same 4-digit code only preceded by the number 8 making it oh so easy to avoid Monsanto Monster Mashed Morsels at a grocer near you.

For more information on Certified Organics please visit:

COR Government of Canada’s regulated system for organic agricultural products.

COABC The program designated by BC as the provincial program administrator.

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On Being a Farmer and On a Rant

This first year on the job as ‘farmer’ has its perks. My boss is pretty good. Cute too.

Cute Girl
Credit Photobucket

Sexist? Bite me.

Perk #1: I can get away with that because my boss thinks I’m pretty cute too. No accounting for taste. And if ‘bite me’ offends then click away. Cheers!

As farmers we pretty much control our day to day activities. We screw up or get lazy we merely impact our pride or our bottom line.

As organic farmers we have immediate access to some of the best meat, seafood, and produce in the world. Not to mention some pretty fabulous wines. But then folks everywhere in the country have unrestricted access to similar products in addition to some of the most sinister meat, seafood, and produce lurking  in the grocery isles beneath nondescript labels.

Because GMO labeling on this continent is archaic in comparison to the EU and Asia, the choice between best and sinister is not always clear. North American producers are not required to identify GMO constituents in their product ingredient list. There are some very simple ways to translate food labels to avoid GMO’s if that is your choice. And it should be. Bite me.

credit GMO-Awareness
credit GMO-Awareness

The proliferation of GMO’s in the market place is threatening organic producers globally. There are cases of organic producers losing their organic status at no fault of their own but simply because GMO seed somehow contaminated their property.

These organic farmers have little to no recourse.  Legislation protecting GMO manufacturers exists because there is an assumption they are fostering principles of sustainable agriculture. The legislation is flawed. GMO developers operate in a manner not consistent with the principles of sustainable development.  Indeed, legislation protecting the GMO industry may well contribute to a decline in food security, the environment, and deepen poverty in the developing world.

How can society effectively promote a fair and competitive marketplace while producers from one sector can be legislated out of business because of the provisions granted to another sector? The advantages and disadvantages of GMOs must be carefully considered.

We read labels and make the best informed choice we can. Then we vote with our wallet. We opt for non GMO first and organic second. Our preference is local certified organic. The real pricy stuff where we know exactly where our purchasing power is going. It is our money after all.

We can not and will not knowingly support GMO manufacturers. Our aim is not to put GMO manufacturers out of business but rather prevent them from putting us out of business and thus reducing our choice to McFood.


Farmer Perk #2 is having the time to write the drivel for this blog. If you made it this far you may have some perk time as well. Consider yourself a farmer in training. Consider some further reading:

GMO Awareness: Insightful blog with simple tips and knowledge about GMOs

cban: Canadian website campaigning collaboratively for food sovereignty and environmental justice


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Sunday Salute #4

The Penticton Farmers Market consistently offers some of the best produce and artisan crafted foods in the province and all within the 100 block of Main Street in Penticton. Impressed visitors from Vancouver have mentioned that there isn’t anything on the lower mainland to compare.

Penticton Farmers Market

Its time Organizers and Staff, primarily Executive Director Steph Sundquist get the weekly tip ‘o the hat, congratulations and Sunday Salute from farmersdotter.

The Market seamlessly glides through each Saturday from May 1 to October 31. Steph is first to arrive and last to leave. Clipboard in hand, smile on her face and usually a story or two. She ensures vendors get to their stalls on time and she coordinates inquiries with diplomacy and flair. She engineers a well oiled machine.

This holiday season the Penticton Farmers Markets has been extended to include December 15th and 22nd at the Shatford Centre. Plan to attend if you can. We love the whole buy-local, eat-local, vote with your wallet thing. Cheers and thanks!

To receive regular updates from Penticton Farmers Market and say thanks to Steph, join the Market’s facebook page.

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Penticton Farmers Market

Summer begins Saturday, I know this to be true because that is when the Penticton Farmers Market officially opens for the 2012 season.

Penticton Farmers Market Logo
Penticton Farmers Market Logo

The market is held from 8:30am to 12:00pm in the 100 block of Main St. Penticton, BC. There is a  wide selection of seasonal farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, honey and eggs, baking, preserves and crafts, produced by farmers and artisans from the South Okanagan/Similkameen.

Penticton Farmers Market Sidebar
Penticton Farmers Market Sidebar
Penticton Farmers Market Gallery
Penticton Farmers Market Gallery