New Faces in Farming

Man in t-shirt pauses from work to smile for the camera. Standing amid field of green maize.

With many farmers pushing past retirement, a new generation of 20-somethings and 30-somethings is leaving college behind and jumping into farming. They’re bringing liberal arts degrees, live-tweeting, dance music and brunch-cravings with them—alongside a fresh enthusiasm for alternative farming models. We’re learning what the next generation of hipster-farmers is up to on this week’s Terra Informa.

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Upcoming Film Club

Before we get going, some exciting news. To celebrate the winter holidays, we’re holding a film-club. Join us to watch Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story. It’s streaming for free on Knowledge Network. Watch it, and tweet us your comments @terrainforma or email us at terra@cjsr.com. If you’re in Edmonton and would like to join in on the review, let us know before December 9, 2014.

Here Come the Farmsters

There are plenty of things you can say about the Millennial generation. We’ve all heard the statistics on young people are moving back in with mom and dad after graduation. We’ve heard that the average cost of a house has increased to the point of prohibiting young professionals from entering that erstwhile next step of adulthood known as “home ownership.” And large scale industrial projects threatening our natural spaces are driving people young and old into the streets of major cities all over the world to protest inaction over climate change. These days young people are likely to finish university with a mountain of debt and spend years underemployed while career track positions remain out of their grasp.

Some folks have chosen a radically different approach to life post-liberal arts degree. I’m talking about farming. Scores of city-dwellers are leaving behind the urban lifestyle in favour of farmshares and ecovillages. Lauren Markham, writing for Orion Magazine, refers to this new phenomenon as the emergence of “farmsters.” Like hipsters, only instead of wearing flannel and weeping over their lack of prospects, farmsters are taking matters into their own hands to bring about change in whatever small way they can.

Danielle Dolgoy knows her fair share of farmsters. She meets them at the farmer’s market and reads their uplifting posts in her news feed. She called up her old university pal, Kate Rustemeyer, to talk about Kate’s decision to start her own CSA on a shared farm in B.C.’s Slocan Valley of the West Kootenays.

Links: Craft OntarioYoung AgrariansLauren Markham’s articleHoe Down CSA at Tulaberry Farm

Eye-opener: Times Have Changed

From time to time on Terra Informa, we bring you Eye-openers: stories about how your perspectives shifted about an environmental issue. Chris Chang-Yen Phillips has a story about someone who realized how much she cared about the values she was raised with after seeing how much the world had changed.

Chris spoke with Rita Gore at Calgary’s Word Fest.

What’s Happening

Toronto – Eco Trivia Pub Night

Hey quiz fans! Join us for our fourth Eco Trivia night. Decked to the halls with festive questions and an eco theme – you may even see Santa and his reindeer. Step out of the cold and warm up your brains: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Firkin (461 King St. West). Pay What You Can / Free.

Surrey – Christmas Craft Market

Originally an upscale riding estate, The A Rocha Brooksdale Environmental Centre looks like something out of a fairy tale with its Tudor-style buildings, heritage barn and, most importantly, Little Campbell River running through it. It’s the perfect place to host our 2nd annual Christmas Craft Market: Friday December 5 and Saturday December 6, 2014 in Surrey, B.C.

Come browse handmade products from our store & other local vendors and enjoy an ethically-sourced lunch for sale. Festive cheer will carry on into Saturday, with Christmas caroling, site tours and kids’ activities.

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