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Beginner Farmer Symposium to Showcase Internationally Recognized Farmer/Author

by Acorn Organic

Sackville, NB: Inspiring innovation and resilience for the next generation of organic growers, the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN) will once again draw over a hundred farmers and “wannabe” farmers to Sackville for their 3rd annual Beginner Farmer Symposium. This event will be held on Monday, August 18th, 2014, at Mount Allison University, providing new and aspiring farmers with an exciting learning opportunity to congregate and make important connections, while gaining knowledge about both the field and financial sides of agricultural production.

Headlining the day’s festivities--and setting the tone for the many experienced producers and industry experts who will be sharing their expertise--is guest-speaker, Jean-Martin Fortier. Fortier is the author of The Market Gardener and co-founder of Les Jardins de la Grelinette, an internationally recognized micro-farm known for its high productivity and profitability by using low-tech, high-yield methods of production. Located in Eastern Quebec, Fortier and his wife Maude-Hélène Desroches are leaders in the emerging “micro farm” movement. Growing on just 1.5 acres, they are able to feed more than 200 families as well as supply vegetables to dozens of local establishments. For more than a decade the farm has been the family’s only household income, generating close to $140,000 in annual sales with a profit margin of around 45%.

“Many beginning farmers start small, and we want to show how one can stay small and develop a viable and sustainable farm business without having to begin with the weights of both a large acreage and of large capital investment,” states Lucia Stephen, ACORN’sGrow A Farmer Program Coordinator, “Fortier is a prime example of someone who has devised a productive and profitable enterprise, while also managing to lead a balanced life with family. We are thrilled to have him join us this year.”

All proceeds from the Symposium will support the sustainability of ACORN’s Grow A Farmer Apprenticeship and Mentorship Programs: an organic farmer training initiative providing multi-faceted curriculum-based education for new entrant and transitioning organic producers in Atlantic Canada.

For full details, including the schedule, workshop descriptions and registration information, please visit http://growafarmer.ca/symposium/ or www.acornorganic.org.

All students, farm-apprentices and ACORN members receive discounted rates to attend. As the last two events have sold out fast, ACORN is encouraging all interested participants to register early to ensure confirmation of attendance.


The Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN) is a non-profit organization that promotes organic agriculture through programs, events and numerous resources. ACORN’s vision is to enhance viability and growth of the Atlantic Canadian organic agricultural community through a unified regional network. Working to facilitate information exchange and coordinating education for producers, consumers and everyone in between, ACORN promotes networking opportunities for all interested parties both regionally and nationally. 




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Topics: Food
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