Bursary benefits farmers

The Birds and the Beans Farm will purchase new equipment prepare for another great year of farming thanks to the Good Earth Bursary.

JAY IS ONE of four people at the Birds and the Beans Farm who are overjoyed about a Good Earth Bursary from the comox Valley Farmers' Market.

The Birds and the Beans Farm will purchase new farm equipment this winter in preparation for another great year of farming thanks to the Good Earth Bursary.

Last year, Comox Valley Farmers Market vendors Simon Toole and Heather Mills initiated a new bursary for farmers. Their intention was to help take a bit of a bite out of season startup costs.

Along with Good Earth’s contribution, many customers, and fellow vendors added to the fund. Farmers were then asked to apply by sharing a little about their operation, and their plans for the coming year.

The Birds and the Beans foursome (Kelsey, Jay, Natasha and Foster) described how keen they were to find out how much more they could grow with the addition of a new greenhouse and seeder funded by the bursary as well as an earlier start to the season.

“We are so thankful,” a representative from the farm says. “This bursary helps us with our early-season cash flow, allowing us to invest in a greenhouse, which will provide a space where we can start transplants, grow warm-season crops in the summer, and greens in the winter.

“This vastly increases the productivity of the shoulder seasons, bringing the Comox Valley fresh food earlier in the spring and later into the winter.

“Our first year was so amazingly productive; we are excited to see what we can do with a little more experience, an earlier start, and a few extra capital assets. So stay tuned, and we look forward to feeding you fully! “

Their plan is to grow more fabulous vegetables; everything from arugula to zucchini: exciting salad and braising greens, beets, carrots, and roots galore, peas and beans, onions, garlic, kohlrabi and broccoli and cabbage, summer and winter squash, and much more. As well as a strong crop of winter/cold hardy vegetables, beans and grains to extend their season at the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market this fall and winter.

Farmers’ market president Hubert Gravoueille is enthusiastic about the bursary, and the new farmers.

“It is fabulous to see young people starting to farm in the Valley. With the age of most farmers well above 50, it is vital that we cultivate and support up-and-coming farmers.

“The Birds and the Beans clearly demonstrated their skill and commitment to farming in their first year and are much-deserved of this bursary.”

— Comox Valley Farmers’ Market

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