Fruit Tree Pruning 101

fruit tree test

FRUIT TREE PRUNING 101: This workshop will be outdoor observing, pruning & talking about a diversity of fruit trees.  We’ll look at care requirements for trees from 2 to 22 years old, different sizes (dwarf, semi-dwarf & standard) & species (Apple, Pear, Asian Pear, Plum, Cherry, etc.).You will learn the basic principles of pruning (why, when, where, how, etc.) & how to minimize pruning in the long run. We can also talk about restoring older neglected trees if people are interested.

Your Instructor: Gregoire Lamoureux, of the Kootenay Permaculture Institute has been pruning fruit trees for over 25 years for both commercial orchards & backyard gardeners. Gregoire’s farm and nursery is home to a large diversity of fruit & nut trees, berry bushes & other perennial plants with a stunning well established poly-culture food forest system. Gregoire is a permaculture designer, consultant and teacher.  (Register early + don’t worry, it’s not too late to prune your trees AFTER this class)

The number of participants is limited… So Register now by email!

Class is $45 and runs 12-4pm Saturday March 29

farmer mixer : crowford bay


Ready to gather, share, learn, dream and mix it up Kootenay farm style? 

Kootenay’s first ever Young Agrarians Farmer Mixer & Sleepover!

Before the days get too long, the weather too warm, and all our lives way too busy… it’s time to gather and network with farm folk!!!  We’re bringing together as many young(ish) ecological farmers as we can for two-days of skills sharing, workshops and connection making.

Young Agrarians has officially come to the Kootenays!  We have regional coordinators on the ground and modest funding to start supporting local young farmers and the farm-curious.  The Mixer will also be a chance to plant the seeds for meaningful projects and gatherings for 2014 and beyond.



Bring food to share, seeds to swap, preserves to trade, travel-able tool(s) to show off, the best farm book(s) you’ve ever read that everyone else should know about, your innovative farm-ideas and more…


Your input will help to shape our time together.  Participants will receive an info package with details by email before the Mixer.


We’ll be gathering in the community of Crawford Bay on the East Shore of Kootenay Lake.  The Mixer will be hosted by the Crawford Bay School –  We will get a taste (literally!) of the school’s awesome garden and lunch program.  We will also have the chance to visit the nearby Yasodhara Ashram, a yoga and retreat space with an inspiring “food flow” program that includes extensive gardens and a super local farm network –


We have great accommodations available at the Kokanee Chalets –  Shared accommodation for Saturday will be organised as part of your event registration.  We will be sleeping four to a chalet; although a limited number of private two person rooms are available, first come first served. If you require a place to stay on Friday and/or Sunday nights, let us know and we will point you to good options.


We would love to have as much food locally sourced as possible from participants. The registration process will give you a chance to tell us how you might help to make this happen!

POTLUCK DINNER SATURDAY NIGHT – Please bring a dish to share… and invite friends!  We would like this part of the weekend to include as many Kootenay farmers, food lovers, and friends as possible.  *Folks coming to just the potluck do not need to register here.”

There are kitchen facilities available on-site, as well as in each chalet at the Kokanee Chalets.


Info on getting to Crawford Bay will be included in the package we email participants.

We recommend using Kootenay Rideshare and the Facebook Event Page for the Mixer to connect with others and plan shared journeys.

We want you with us!  A very limited number of travel subsidies are available.

*If you will not be able to join us without this support, please contact :


The event is being held by donation.  We are asking each adult to donate between $35 and $75.  Smaller contributions for participating children would be very much appreciated.  Monies raised will be directed into future Young Agrarians activities that will benefit us here in the Kootenays.

*Too steep?  We need some volunteers – contact for work trade opportunities!

Crawfor Bay

We can’t wait to see you on March 15 & 16!


Huge thanks to Columbia Basin Trust, Kootenay Co-op, Kokanee Chalets and the East Shore community for making this event possible!

Kimchi + Fermenting 101


This hands on workshop focusing on lacto fermenting you will make and take home a vegetable ferment. We have designed this workshop to walk you through the process as a beginner, however there will be valuable tips and advise on how to make a consistently successful ferment that has the taste and texture that you prefer. Traditional Fermenting methods use less energy than canning, freezing and drying. There are many health benefits to using these methods, Fermented foods are packed with beneficial bacteria cultures, keep longer, and make for interesting culinary ingredients. Participants will bring Their own vegetables to ferment, detailed instruction will be given on specific vegetables preparation to ensure success. Come ferment with us!

YOUR INSTRUCTORS: Joyee and Martine are currently developing their fermented foods business, offering delicious ferments at Farmers market and retail stores in the Slocan Valley. They focus on supporting local farmers sourcing majority of their vegetable regionally and seasonally.

Register Soon, Space is limited

tricycle acres permaculture internship 2014


We had such a fabulous internship experience over the last 2 years that we are happy to announce we are accepting applications for our 2014 program!  We are currently accepting applications for 1-3 week internships for the April-October 2014 season. This is your chance to get your hands dirty implementing permaculture principles in paradise!

We are going into our fifth season of growing food and building here in the Kootenays, and are looking for eager and hardworking interns to help us implement more permaculture techniques, test theories and explore new integrated systems. Essentially we want WWOOFers who want to dig in to permaculture hands on! We have 2/3 of an acre of organic primary gardens, which employ many interesting techniques; guilds, sheet mulch, companion planting, herb spiral, hugelkultur, etc… along with a newly guilded fruit system, the foundation of a food forest, many established fruit trees and vineyards, 2+ year round creeks, and over 6 acres of mossy diverse mushroomy forest.

Our projects this year have been broken down by season (see below) and we have a pretty clear-as-dirt idea of  what we’ll be doing in these time blocks, and encourage applicants to consider activities and timing when applying.

Early Spring:

  • woodworking / carpentry / pole building
  • willow bed implementation
  • firewood / chainsaw skills + chopping, hauling + stacking
  • seed starting / garden planning / transplanting / soil blocking
  • planting expanded perennial food system
  • Valley Permaculture Guild – permablitzing, tour, learn and implement at other local farms

Early Summer:

  • soil building / compost tea brewing based on Soil Food Web research
  • garden planting / transplanting /guild building
  • woodworking / carpentry / pole building / tree house building
  • wild crafting
  • foraging / harvesting early berries
  • Valley Permaculture Guild – permablitzing * tour, learn and implement at other local farms

Late Summer / Fall

  • harvest , harvest, harvest! / seed collecting
  • canning / drying / preserving
  • mushroom foraging
  • root cellaring / cellar building
  • woodworking / carpentry / pole building
  • firewood / chainsaw skills + chopping, hauling + stacking
  • Valley Permaculture Guild – permablitzing* tour, learn and implement at other local farms

We currently have 26 0 laying heritage hens after our bobcat buffet, who knows by summer we will likely have any number of new critters on the homestead. We have 2 working dogs who keep the beasties away (bearscoyotes & cougars to name a few). We have a top bar bee hive we hope to expand into 2 hives this year, and are considering turkeys as well as ducks and a pond system.

As a tricycle acre intern you will enjoy mainly vegetarian from scratch home cooking but the occasional ethical omnivore meal makes it’s way to the table (unless of course you don’t eat meat then we can easily accommodate this). The  focus of most every meal here is eating seasonal organic and local whole foods. Your host is passionate about food and blogs regularly at eatingwithSOLE .You’ll drink and wash in living mountain fresh creek water from the source, and enjoy a magical forest full of wildlife, wild edibles and medicinal plants, right in the heart of the Kootenays most diverse and wonderful community, with it’s ample art, music, learning living events, Rivers and lakes, beaches and mountains to explore.

Your hosts have a wealth of knowledge to share: Shauna is a Certified Permaculture Designer, and Dylan is a Master Carpenter with skills in fabricating just about anything out of just about anything. Shauna was a successful bakery owner in her city life and is passionate about cooking, baking, canning and food preservation, gardening and fiber arts. Together we have a good amount of alternative building experiences including: undertaking an earthship internship, building with straw bale and cobb + rocket stoves, composting toilets, waddle and daubyurt buildinglog building, and of course our favorite building material… GARBAGE! We are a young small family eager and open to constant learning and exploring of new ideas. We also have an extensive permaculture / building / growing / cooking / primitive skills / fiber arts library which can be accessed during your stay. We also have an extra canoe and bicycles interns can use on hot and sunny days off.

In 2012 we hosted 8 interns throughout the season  and in 2014 we hosted 3 full time spring – winter interns and enjoyed the ups and downs of growing food and building in rain and sunshine, and have more than memories to show for it.

Applicants should have reasonable amount of permaculture knowledge, and should be physically able to dig, shovel, lift and haul heavy piles of materials (largely organic inputs). Applicants should also be prepared for near off grid living; no TV, limited internet, limited access to power, be comfortable using a composting toilet outhouse, and a dreamy outdoor shower house heated with a compost pile we need to maintain. We expect interns to not create or bring unnecessary wastes onto our site. We expect any intern to follow the permaculture ethics, and understand that those are our guiding principles. Interns would work 5 days a week, approx 5 hours a day weather and project permitting. Lunch, dinner and accommodations are provided, but interns will need to prepare and provide their own breakfast and are responsible for all of their own dishes, as well as contributing with cleaning and dishwashing in the kitchen (to keep your cook happy).

Interested in applying? email us for application information.

6 figure farming


Our farming friends from the Young Agrarians are bringing are bringing Rock Star farmer Jean-Martin Fortier, author of The Market Gardener and young farmer extraordinaire from Quebec, to Nelson! Friday March 14th.

Jean-Martin Fortier and his wife Maude-Hélène Desroches are the founders of Les Jardins de la Grelinette, a micro-farm located in Eastern Quebec, just north of the American border. Growing on just 1.5 acres, they are able to feed more than 200 families through their thriving CSA and seasonal market stands as well as supply vegetables to dozens of local establishments. For more than a decade the market garden has provided their only household income, generating close to $140,000 in annual sales with a profit margin of around 45%. During the workshop, Jean-Martin Fortier will demonstrates how adopting intensive methods of production can lead to optimal cropping systems. He will discuss how to:
—Set up a micro-farm & design biologically intensive cropping systems with negligible capital outlay
—Farm without a tractor & minimize fossil fuel inputs through the best hand tools, machinery, & minimum tillage
—Grow mixed vegetables systematically with attention to best practices for weed and pest management

Tickets sold online here