New Brunswick

Farmers gathering to discuss challenges of climate change

Unpredictable growing seasons, flooding and dry spells are some of the challenges farmers in New Brunswick have had to face in the last few years.

'I’m looking forward to hearing about what other farmers have done,' says Sarah Smith

The workshop will be held Nov. 12 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Sweet Soil Organic Farm in Centre Village. (ACORN/Facebook)

Unpredictable growing seasons, flooding and dry spells are some of the challenges farmers in New Brunswick have had to face the past few years.

On Monday, farmers are gathering for a free workshop to discuss the effects climate change has had on their farms and how to adapt in the years to come.

It will be hosted by the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network at Sarah Smith's Sweet Soil Organic Farm in Centre Village. Smith has been growing vegetables in the area for 2½ years and has been hit by several big storms, including one last weekend.

We're just trying to figure out what are the shared risks, like what is happening that we all have in common and how can we move forward sharing resources and sharing ideas.— Sarah Smith

"We're just trying to figure out what are the shared risks, like what is happening that we all have in common and how can we move forward sharing resources and sharing ideas about how to mitigate those risks so that we can prepare for probably a lot more intense weather in the future," Smith said.

Some of those ideas, she said, could include channelling excess water into irrigation reservoirs, and developing wind breaks so greenhouses don't get damaged.

ACORN is holding a workshop for farmers to talk about the risks from climate change. It's being held at Sarah Smith's Sweet Soil Organic Farm in Centre Village. She told us about her own experiences with storms and some of the ways she's dealing with issues like heavy rain and wind. 8:17

Smith said farmers are also becoming more aware of importance of health of the soil.

"Even just walking in the field now especially during harvest I'm extremely cognizant of soil compaction and the potential for creating hardpans in the soil that will then take years and years of cover cropping and building the soil to get rid of."

Smith's farm is located on Rte. 940 in Centre Village. To register or find more information on the workshop, visit ACORN's Facebook page.

"I'm looking forward to hearing about what other farmers have done so I can start to think about my own plans for this farm," Smith said.

With files from Shift NB