Wildflower Produce had its first successful year of ginger crop make it to market this month on the island.
This is the second time local farmer Sara Stewart has grown the crop, but last year’s abnormally wet spring posed challenges. Even growing in a greenhouse didn’t protect the farmer’s crop.
“Last year, the ginger didn’t do well because even though it was in a greenhouse in the exact same conditions, we had an unusually cool, wet long spring,” Stewart said, saddened. “We had ‘June-uary’ for six months, it was like completely demoralizing.”
Due to climate change, Stewart notes that the mental health of farmers continues to decline and has become a serious issue.
“In Canada, the suicide rate for farmers is three and a half times the national average. So having things like climate change on top of something that’s already stressful is very challenging,” Stewart said.
Two Canadian organizations are acknowledging this issue by offering services through Agsafe and the Canadian Centre for Wellbeing. Stewart has utilized these resources, and encourages other market farmers to seek it out.
With some optimism, Stewart will continue to expand her growing in greenhouses as she utilizes the infrastructure year round now.
“If things were unlimited, I would have 10 greenhouses. It just makes things so much easier.”
To hear more about how climate change is affecting farmers, listen to the CKTZ News Update below: