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This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.

Linnaea Farm’s just launched a new initiative – the Linnaea Farm Food Security Guild. The guild offers farm produce, as well as seasonal products such as beef, pesto, and apple juice. It will also host farming and preserving workshops. Members pay a $40 membership fee, and can then top-up their account according to their budget. 

potatoes - courtesy Linnaea Farm
Cortes Currents: Tara Warkentin interviews Tamara McPhail

The Concept Of A Guild 

I called up Tamara McPhail, executive director of the Linnaea Farm Society and resident farm steward, to learn more about how the guild cultivates local food security.

Tamara tells me “the concept of a guild is a cooperative of people passionate about something.” 

But the word has a double meaning. When it comes to permaculture, a guild means a way of grouping plants symbiotically, for maximum harvest and use of space. Tamara hopes the Cortes community can work together, like plants in a guild, to stay nourished and healthy during COVID-19

“Food security, in the broadest sense, means that everybody has access to nutrient-rich food,” Tamara tells me. “But,” she continues, “on a personal level, food security means that we’re connected to our food source.” 

Connecting To Your Food Source

For Tamara, being connected to her food source means supporting local fishers, farmers and food-producers. It also means getting to know the soil, and learning to grow food too. 

“I guess true food security is really when we can encourage as many people as possible to have those skills.” 

She says it’s not about everyone becoming a market gardener—it’s about working together to share knowledge, plant, tend, harvest, preserve and save seeds. It’s about one person growing potatoes, and someone else sharing lettuce seedlings. It’s about giving a donation, so that the guild can provide food for people in need.

Tamara and the farmers at Linnaea are working hard to ensure we all have vibrant, healthy food this year, and in years to come. 

“One of the most important parts about food security is making sure that we’ve got seeds, especially growing for this climate,” Tamara says. Tamara’s partner, Adam is amping up seed production this year to ensure food security into the future, as we face failures in the industrial supply chain.  

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Adam transplanting brassicas in the market garden. Photo source: Young Agrarians

More

You can sign up for the Guild here

Learn more about Linnaea Farm at linnaeafarm.org, and follow them on Facebook @linnaeafarmcortes and on Instagram @linnaeafarm. Vera the cow makes regular appearances!

We’re going to keep talking food security on this show. If you are passionate about bread or bees, I’d love to interview you for an upcoming episode. Get in touch at tara.w.721@gmail.com

Top photo credit: Tamara with Linnaea’s cows. Photo source: Mike Graeme.