New, aspiring and experienced farmers from across the province will benefit from farmer-led workshops and demonstrations at the fourth annual Celebration of Small-scale Farming. The event, Monday, July 22, in Bear River Digby Co., allows participants to explore how today’s small-scale farmers are building on the strong foundation of traditional farming knowledge and practices with modern technology, farm business management and marketing. Agriculture Minister John MacDonell will attend the event and speak at the opening ceremony. “This event is important because it gives new and aspiring farmers the chance to learn directly from experienced farmers and to engage with technical experts,” said Mr. MacDonell. “Agriculture is the backbone of Nova Scotia’s rural economy and opportunities like this one help to strengthen and grow the sector. As a small-scale farmer, I’m looking forward to attending.” Workshops include Grass Farming 101, Pastured Pork, Pastured Poultry, Sheep Shearing, Commercial Cheese-making, Agri-tourism, Selling Vegetables at Farmers’ Markets, Jams and Jellies, Cut Flower Production, Seed Saving as a Business, Pushing the Climate Boundary for Vegetables, and Hops Production. During the lunch break, local food and interactive sessions on plant teas, natural beekeeping, creating the ideal potting mix, basket weaving, and fibre arts will be available. There will also be trade show booths and forage and soil clinics, with agricultural experts available to answer questions. “Access to information and expertise is critically important for small-scale farming profitability,” said Martin McGurk, co-owner of Sledding Hill and co-presenter of the Jams and Jellies workshop. “We’re excited to be part of the Celebration of Small-scale Farming and we look forward to sharing lessons we have learned, hearing about what others are doing, and networking with other small-scale farmers.” “It’s exciting to be going into our fourth year,” said Becky Sooksom, THINKFARM program co-ordinator and event organizer. “We have a growing beginner farmer population in this province and it is important for the industry that we find ways to build connections between these new farmers and our more experienced and knowledgeable farmers.” For more information, contact Becky Sooksom at 902-893-5649 or [email protected], or visit www.gov.ns.ca/agri/cssf/ .