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Local and Organic!
Food, Gardening, Agriculture, Eating, Learning, Growing, Working...
– a People & Planet Gateway & Guide to everything organic in Canada and beyond


Jobs, internships and volunteering on organic farms, market gardens, urban agriculture, more: (A) Why Organic?
(1) What's the big deal? What's in it for me?
Why organic? Why local?

(B) Eating Organic & Local
(3) How & Where to Buy Organic
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Farmers Markets

(C) Learning & Experiencing Organic
(6) Gardening and Farming Tips, Information & Supplies
Books, Magazines, Journals
Organizations & Websites
E-mail Newsletters & Discussion Lists
Events, Conferences, Trade Shows, Festivals
(11) Volunteer, Work Exchange, Barter, Wwoof
Learning Centres, Ecovillages & CSA's
Workshops & Short Courses
University and College Courses & Programs

(D) Jobs, Apprenticeships & Business Opps.
(15) Organic Farms, Gardens & Businesses
Job, Apprenticeship & Volunteer Listings
Tips for Apprentices, Volunteers & Job Seekers

Revised: Organic Jobs · Organic Events & Conferences · Organic Volunteering

"Organic farming isn't about turning back the clock, it's about moving forward." – Dr. David Suzuki (2)

(A) Why Local & Organic?
(1) What's the big deal? What's in it for me?

We all eat. But few of us know what is in our food, what the risks are to ourselves or to society in general. We trust that healthy and ample food will appear, like magic, in the grocery store. We trust the corporations, the "food system", that creates this apparent miracle. And when the experts say it's the best way, most of us believe them (see

But there are troubling questions. What are the effects of agri-chemicals on consumers, farmers, farms, and the environment? Can industrialized, monocultural agriculture provide a secure food supply? What are the root causes of cancer and other disease? How can we best feed a growing population? Who are the vested interests, and who can be believed? Most importantly, what can you do as a consumer, a worker, an activist, a citizen?

Whether you are an eater, a gardener, a job seeker, an activist or a business person, you will find something of interest on this page. From good food boxes, to gardening tips, to food-tasting festivals... from weekend workshops, to university programs... from organic getaways, to world travel... from hands-on volunteer experiences, to life-long careers. You will also find links to related topics such as permaculture, solar and wind power, strawbale construction, and ecovillages. A cornucopia of opportunities, waiting to be discovered, experienced, and tasted!

– Peter Blanchard (contact)

The Farm Crisis, Bigger Farms, the Myths of "Competition" and "Efficiency" (2)

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(2) Why organic? Why local?

Why Organic?
Articles and quotes that answer the questions: Why organic seeds? Why organic gardening? Why organic food? Why Certified Organic? – What on Earth is Organic? | Ten Reasons Why Organic Food Is Better | Why Organic | Ten Good Reasons to Go Organic | Top 10 Reasons To Grow Your Own Organic Food | The Benefits of Organics – Sustainability 101 | All About Organics | Myths about pesticides, large-scale agriculture, and genetic engineering | Food, toxins, environment, health, cancer and other disease | What is Organic Food? What is Genetic Engineering? Can I really make a difference? | Gardening for Life Fact Sheets | More | More

Why Local?
Why buy local? Google search results for "why buy local?"
Local purchasing
Community-based economics
Living economies
Questioning Big Business... Questioning "Free Trade" Questioning Business | "Free" Trade

Foodwatch – "According to Health Canada, we receive 80 to 95% of our total daily intake of dangerous chemicals [...] through our food. Children are especially vulnerable..." Discover what toxic contaminants the government is finding in your food; the potential health effects; what the federal government is or should be doing; locate retailers in your area who sell alternative food products; make your voice heard and take action.

Raffi: We're poisoning our children – "Today's produce is full of toxic residue and our children are most at risk. We need a new pesticide law". By children's troubadour Raffi Cavoukian, Feb 25, 2002, the Globe & Mail. Full article on-line at: Related links:
Children's Environmental Health Network
Children's Health
Women's Health & Environments Network
Stopping Cancer Before it Starts
Links Between Health & Environment
Raffi's Troubadour Institute

Ground-up batteries on your food? – "Toxic sludge can be relabeled as fertilizer, spread on food we eat. If you think that eating ground-up car batteries and drinking industrial waste is healthful, don't visit these websites. 'Tis good for many businesses to have their toxic waste relabeled as fertilizer. What the heck, the EPA says 'tis OK. These URLs explain part of the reason why. The process began under Ann Gorsuch, nominated to mismanage the EPA by George Bush Sr. (See book Fateful Harvest for details.) Ironically, many autism-spectrum children are being found to have impaired detoxification (often related to gastrointestinal problems), to have high levels of various toxic metals, and to improve subsequent to gut-healing, nutritional support, and removal of toxic metals (by physician-supervised chelation)". .

Toxic Sludge Is Good For You (book) – "a cautionary reminder that much of the consumer and political world is created by for-hire mouthpieces in expensive neckties"

Protect Farmland, Don't Pave It! (article and links to sprawl & smart growth; preservation of agricultural land; landtrusts)

What is Biodiversity? Why is it important, what threatens it, and what are ecologists doing to better understand it?
Seeds of Diversity Canada
– a non-profit group of gardeners from coast to coast who save
seeds from rare and unusual garden plants for the purpose of preserving the varieties.
We are a living gene bank.

David Suzuki: Organic Farming A Realistic Alternative – "According to a landmark 21-year study recently published in the journal Science, organic farming can produce good yields, save energy, maintain biodiversity and keep soils healthy." Article by Dr. David Suzuki, June 2002 (if this link changes, go to and search for organic farming).

For more on the need for organic food and sustainable agriculture (plus analyses and solutions) please see the section on Organizations & Websites, below.

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(B) Eating Organic & Local

(3) How & Where to Buy Organic

The nearest natural food store may be the most obvious, but is far from the only option. Other choices include food box/delivery programs; farmers markets; Community Supported Agriculture; buying direct from the farm gate; food co-ops & buying clubs.

Canada: (source:
Ontario: (print booklet or PDF file)
Organic farms & markets:
Natural food, health food stores & food co-ops: Canadian Health Food Association
Create or join a buying club in Ontario: (click on "how to buy")
British Columbia: BC Food Security & Sustainability Links
Toronto (see also Ontario, above)
Ottawa area: |
USA: (click "organic marketplace") or

Consumers' Guide to Eating Organics, 3rd edition. Info & listings for consumers, including 300 stores across Ontario, 100 certified-organic farms, a dozen organic delivery services in Metro Toronto, organic farmers' markets, and info about organic agriculture & genetically modified foods. Lists what each farm sells, and when & where you can buy their products. Print edition: $5 + $2.50 shipping. FREE, downloadable PDF versions:

How to Avoid Genetically Engineered Food (Shoppers Guide) – A catalogue of the Genetically Engineered (GE) foods sold in grocery stores across Canada. Provides alternatives to the GE foods currently available, and reveals which companies are taking action for the environment and their customers by removing GE ingredients. It also reveals those which are not. Lists over 1,000 food products and whether or not they are genetically engineered. It is currently the only source of information available to the majority of Canadians who don't want to eat GE food. We hope you find it useful in navigating the unlabelled aisles of Canada's supermarkets. On-line edition: Print edition: suggested donation $2. To order, call: 1-800-320-7183 or e-mail or visit The Big Carrot, Grassroots or other environmentally responsible stores. Published by Greenpeace Canada:

The Eco-Foods Guide (book). New book, available fall 2002: Eco-Foods Guide – What's Good for the Earth is Good for You! The essential guide to making sense of grocery store aisles. "A lively conversation about accessible solutions eating for health, for the environment, and for ecological values designed to empower consumers to vote with their food dollars for positive alternatives". By Cynthia Barstow, New Society Publishers, 2002. Foreward by Francis Moore Lappe. 1-800-567-6772 (if your bookstore doesn't have it on order, see the stores listed at: or try )


The Eco-Foods Guide – top ten shopping check list

1 Was it grown locally?
2. Is it
in season?
3. Was it
organic or IPM grown? (Integrated Pest Management)
4. Was it grown at a small
family farm?
5. Does it contain GMO's? (
Genetically Modified Organisms)
6. Were antibiotics or growth hormones used? Was it
factory raised or free-range?
7. Was it
fairly traded and/or sustainably sourced?
8. Could I buy this
closer to the farmer, at a farmer's market or CSA? (Community Supported Agriculture)
9. How was it processed or
10. Does it encourage

From the Eco-Foods Guide, by Cynthia Barstow, New Society Publishers, 2002
(see above listing or:

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(4) Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
(also known as "Community Shared Agriculture" and sometimes "Consumer Supported Agriculture")

Community Supported Agriculture is a way that you can get fresh, local (often organic) food at affordable prices, while also helping to support a local family farm.

What is Community Supported Agriculture? Wikipedia | Intro | Articles (2) | Definitions | Search | Google Directory

Find CSA Farms & Gardens:
CSA's across Canada: COG Directory | Google Search | CSA's in Canada
British Columbia / BC: CSA's in British Columbia
CSA's in Ontario: Community Supported Agriculture | Google Search
CSA's in Québec: Community Supported Agriculture | Agriculture soutenue par la communauté (ASC) | Google | francais
CSAs in Atlantic Canada: ACORN Organic Directory (click 'more')
CSA's in USA: Organic Home Delivery Services | Wilson College's CSA Directory | USA CSA Databases | National Agriculture Library: CSA | Google Search
(also, inquire at your local farmers market or ag. office)
(see also "Where to Buy Organic", above)

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(5) Farmers Markets

Farmers markets can include both real, local farmers – as well as vendors who are selling food trucked in from elsewhere. Many mainstream markets have at least a few local, organic farmers. Note that most have very limited hours: many are on Saturday. The earlier you arrive, the better the selection will be. Ask the farmers if the food is locally grown, certified organic (and if not, what is their approach to pesticides). Ask if there are other organic farmers at the market. If you're looking for learning opportunities, inquire about volunteering, work-exchange opportunities, apprenticeships, or paid work.

Farmers’ Markets Ontario (click on "Market Finder").
Canadian Farmers Markets – we are not aware of any single service listing farmers markets across Canada. To find markets in your area, ask at local community centres, health food stores, etc. Or contact: Ontario, Manitoba, BC: Maritimes: . Or go to and search for "farmers markets" Alberta or "farmers market" Alberta, for example, using the quotes as indicated. Or, try searching for "organic farmers market" Alberta . Substitute the name of your province, city or town.

Organic Farmers Markets

Toronto Central: 238 Queen W. (NW corner of the building) 416-703-4975
Toronto Riverdale Organic Farmers Market, May-Oct, Tuesdays 3-7pm, in the park outside the gates to the farm.
Toronto West Organic Market, Thursdays 3:30-7pm: vegetables, cheeses, meats, baked goods, dairy, coffee, wood oven-baked bread. Dufferin Grove Park, Rink House (on Dufferin btwn. Bloor & College; south of Dufferin subway; across from Dufferin Mall). Info: (2)
Thornhill: The Village Market (Saturdays 9am-2pm, 9100 Bathurst, 1 mile N. of Hwy. 7. 905-707-5771
Ottawa Organic Farmers Market (Saturdays 10am-2pm, Ecole Parsifal School, Bank & Heron, behind Canadian Tire) Info: Art Ketting 613-256-4150
If you know of other organic farmers markets in Canada, please let us know, as well as

(see also "Where to Buy Organic", above)

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(C) Learning & Experiencing Organic

(6) Gardening and Farming – Tips, Information & Supplies

Some of the entries in this section will be of primary interest to gardeners (and those who would like to learn how to garden), while other entries are of greater interest to organic farmers. But there is no clear distinction between the two – don't ignore some sections just because you don't consider yourself a "farmer". For more information and learning opportunities, see also the various sections below: Books & Magazines, Organizations & Websites, Events, Courses, etc.

(a) Of interest to both gardeners and farmers

Organic Gardening Articles – soil; composting; flowers; vegetables; natural lawn care; permaculture; pests and diseases; seed saving; herbs; urban gardening; native plants; more Natural Life Magazine | Organic Landscaping Fact Sheets | Canadian Organic Growers Library (e.g. search for subject "gardening") | | Organic Growing | Organically Minded | OrganicAgInfo | Wikipedia | Google Directory

Seeds of Diversity – "open-pollinated", heritage varieties which are not genetically engineered and grow well in organic & low input conditions. Canada's heritage seed-saving network. Their website includes an extensive list of Heritage Seed Companies in Canada, USA, England & France. Don't miss their annual "Seedy Saturday" fairs across Canada each spring, offering seed exchanges, workshops, trade show tables, and more. . See also the section on "What is Biodiversity", above, for further explanation of why heritage seeds are crucially important.

Organic Catalogues Seeds, Plants & SuppliesSeed companies & nurseries that sell heirloom and rare or endangered varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs (see also "Seeds of Diversity", above) Seeds of Diversity Resource List | Cyndi's Catalog of Garden Catalogs (organic, natives, heirloom, perennials, Canadian)

Native Plants North American Native Plant Society | Wikipedia | Google Directory

Permaculture What is Permaculture? (2) | Permaculture Links (Canada) | Permaculture Activist (website & magazine, incl. links & listings) | | Google Directory

Landscaping & Lawn Care – Pesticide-free, low-maintenance gardening with native species, perennials, etc. Do-it-yourself or hire an organic landscaper or organic lawn-care company. Pesticide-free Naturally (Canada) | Organic Landscape Alliance (Ontario) | Society for Organic Urban Land Care (BC) | Gaia College (online course) | Organic Horticulture | Organic Landscaping & Gardening | Ecological Restoration | Naturalization (2) | Native Plants | Xeriscaping | Backyard Habitats | Get Your Lawn Off Drugs

"Each year, Americans spend as much on lawn maintenance as the government of India collects in federal tax revenue" – Wade Davis, The Globe and Mail, July 6, 2002.

Market GardeningWhat is Market Gardening? | links

SPIN Farming (Small Plot Intensive, Urban Vegetable Gardening/Farming) SPIN Farming (see also Urban Agriculture)

More gardening and farming info: Google Directory and see also sections below...

Community gardening & urban agriculture

Community Gardening – A community garden is a shared space used by individuals, families, or other groups to grow vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers for consumption, donation, or sale. It can be large or small, on the ground or on rooftops, in plots or in planters. It can be "communal", where everyone shares the work & the harvest, or, gardeners can have their own individual plot within the garden and can also join with others to grow some crops communally (e.g. zucchini or corn). Toronto Community Garden Network
Ottawa Community Garden Network
Frequently Asked Questions (2)
American Community Gardening Assoc.
[editor's note: not all community gardens are organic]

Why Community Gardens & Urban Farms? – healthy food, healthy individuals, healthy community.

Community Garden E-Newsletter occasional e-mail newsletter with gardening tips, news, Toronto events, workshops, jobs. Partial archive of back-issues: , Subscribe (free):

Community Gardening Manual: "How Does Our Garden Grow? A Guide To Community Garden Success", published by FoodShare, $25.

(b) Primarily for farmers, researchers & business

Cyberhelp for Organic Farmers – This portal website is geared to improving accessibility to quality organic content online, and upgrading farmers' capacities to access that information. The overall objective is to provide farmers with the tools necessary to function effectively in the new economy. The learning portion of the website has organic production (livestock, vegetable, fruit, specialty crop, greenhouse) information as well as connections to great resources on soil, farm equipment, organic certification and how to use your computer and the Internet. This is the place to learn the organic ropes. On the services side of the website visitors will find timely market information, farming news, a business of farming page and, coming soon, an online farmers' forum and links to an organic helpdesk, supported by a searchable FAQ system.

Ecological Agriculture Projects (EAP). Large library of on-line publications; resource centre of over 2,000 books (Montreal, Canada); research services; training; more. The "Virtual Library" main subject categories include: Alternative Agriculture; Crop Production; Cropping Systems; Disbenefits of Conventional Agriculture; Environment; Health and Nutrition; Food; International Development; Livestock Production; Organic Agriculture; Pest Control; Policy and Economics; Soils and Fertilizers.

Organic Agriculture Info (new in 2003)

Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada, Nova Scotia Agricultural College. "Research & education serving all farmers and students, dedicated to enhancing the environmental and social integrity of agriculture". Also: college/university level web-based courses.

Organic Agriculture, Processing, Marketing, Management (enormous directory of information available on-line) BC Gov't Community InfoBasket (or go to and click on "Organics".

Organic Farming Publications (ATTRA)

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture & Food (OMAF) Organic Crops Factsheets & Infosheets

Organic Certification
Organic Certification Bodies in Canada
About Organic Certification (articles & links)

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(7) Organic Books, Magazines, Journals

Books on Organic Gardening, Farming, Permaculture, Biodynamics
Natural Life (online articles; no longer selling books)
Rodale Institute
Sustainable Living Books (Toronto), hundreds of titles on organic/natural gardening, permaculture, etc.
Chelsea Green Publishers
Home Harvest Books
Permaculture (books & videos)
The Eco-Foods Guide
Books on food systems & security
Canadian Farm Business Management Council (at bottom)
Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture (2)

Organic Gardening Magazine News, action, how-to's, message boards, free trial issue. Bi-monthly. (print magazine; only partly online)

Canadian Organic Growers publish a quarterly magazine, an e-newsletter, and several handbooks on organic growing such as Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers, Organic Livestock Handbook, Organic Field Crop Handbook and several others. Click on "Publications" at for book and magazine orders. Or click on "COG Library" at for access to the mailing library of over 1500 books, audiotapes and articles.

EAP Reference Centre – "One of the world’s best collections of materials on sustainable food and agriculture systems. It contains over 2,000 books, more than 100 periodicals, nearly 100,000 articles organized in files, and an extensive range of audio-visual materials, collected over a 25 year period. Many of the materials are unpublished or out of print, or otherwise difficult to obtain. The holdings are catalogued in print and electronic form. Visitors have access to a photocopier. Staff are available to help you find what you need. Cost: $10/hour for non-members, free for members".

The Ram's Horn monthly journal of food systems analysis, by the Brewster Kneen, author of

Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Articles & Bibliographies
Ecological Agriculture Projects (academic & policy)
(for more, search for: "sustainable agriculture books")

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"Globally we lose 25 billion tons of fertile topsoil every year, the equivalent of all the wheatfields in Australia" – Paul Hawken, The Ecology of Commerce (book)

(8) Organizations & Websites

Visit these websites for news, information, events, resources & opportunities. If you're looking for work or to volunteer, these organizations offer a variety of opportunities in Canada and around the world. If you have an idea about something specific you'd like to do, you could write a grant proposal, and possibly create your own dream job as a "project" of one of these organizations.

Local, Organic and Sustainable – Food, Gardening & Agriculture

Canadian Organic Growers (COG)
Organic Advocates (Ontario, Canada)
Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO)
Organic Council of Ontario
Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN)
Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia
FarmFolk/CityFolk Society (BC, Canada)
Seeds of Diversity Canada
Beyond Factory Farming and e-mail list
Erosion, Technology & Concentration (formerly RAFI)
Biodynamics Ontario
The Corporate Takeover of the "Organic" Food Market

USA & other countries:
Organic Consumers Association (USA)
Organic Trade Association (North America)
Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA)
Farming Solutions - success stories for the future of agriculture

Other Agriculture Organizations in Canada (not necessarily organic)
Local Flavour Plus
National Farmers Union
Christian Farmers Federation
FoodLink & Buy Local Guides: Waterloo ON | Ottawa ON | more (search for your town or city)
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
Government – Agriculture Ministries, Departments & Agencies in Canada: federal | provincial

Genetic Engineering / Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network
Sierra Club of Canada - Biotechnlogy Campaign | direct link
Greenpeace Canada - Genetic Engineering / GMO Campaign home
home | shoppers guide
Council of Canadians - Biotech Campaign | direct link
Big Carrot (natural food store in Toronto, mostly GMO-free)
US / Global
Genetic Engineering Action Network
True Food Network
Ag Biotech Infonet
Biotech Industry Organization (pro-biotech)
Google Directory

Food Security, Food Sovereignty, Food Democracy, Food Politics
Food Secure Canada / Sécurité alimentaire Canada
Community Food Security Coalition (USA)
Food Security Workgroup & Resources (Ontario)
Centre for Studies in Food Security (Toronto) (with many links)
Toronto Food Policy Council
FoodShare (Toronto)
BC Food Systems Network
Wikipedia: Food Politics | Food Security | Food Sovereignty | Sustainable Food System

Urban Agriculture & Community Gardening
Foodshare (Toronto) | direct link | City of Toronto
Ottawa Community Garden Network
City Farmer (Canada)
American Community Gardening Association
Gardeners' Collective (at Univ. of Toronto)
(see also "Gardening Tips & Information", above)

Organic Landscaping & Gardening
Organic Landscape Alliance (Ontario)
More: Wikipedia article | Google Directory

People & Planet's Permaculture Portal
More: Google Directory | Wikipedia Article | Permaculture Activist |

Sprawl, Smart Growth, Farmland Preservation, Conservation, Regeneration
Protect Farmland, Don't Pave It – editorial | links & organizations
How to Protect & Preserve the Land You Love – article & portal

Food Co-ops / Cooperatives
Food Co-op Directory: Canada & USA | Ontario | British Columbia | Toronto: Karma & Big Carrot | Halifax
Ontario Natural Food Co-op / Food Buying Clubs | how to form your own
More Co-ops: Canada | Worldwide | Search for your own town, city, province or state
USA Co-ops: Co-op Directory | National Cooperative Business Association
About Co-ops: Co-op Info & Links | Wikipedia | Business Co-ops | Housing Co-ops

Land Trusts
People & Planet's Land Trust Links | Google Directory | Wikipedia

Canadian Organic Growers COG is the education and networking organization representing farmers, gardeners and consumers across Canada: . Subscribe to their quarterly Canadian Organic Grower magazine (included in membership, $20/$30/year). For interesting speakers, networking & discussion, or to inquire about local learning & work opportunities, go to a meeting of the local chapter nearest to you. See also the Directory of Organics in Canada (2).

More Organic & Sustainable Agriculture Links: COG Links | Google Directory (2)
For more, search the web for combinations of words such as: food, gardening, agriculture,
organic, environment, ecological, sustainable, permaculture, organic, biodynamic, herbs,
cooperative, ecovillage, education, learning, workshops, courses, jobs, employment,
volunteer, volunteering, apprenticeship, internship; plus the name of your province,
state, or country. Or phrases such as "organic gardening", etc. (quotes included).

Organic Farming is a Realistic Alternative
"Conventional farming produces high yields, but there are also enormous costs – pollution of groundwater, rivers, lakes and coastal areas, and reduced soil productivity through nutrient leaching. The use of pesticides and herbicides also kills beneficial non-target species and poses a health risk to farm workers and potentially to consumers. None of these 'external' costs are factored in to the price of conventionally grown crops."
Dr. David Suzuki (if this link changes, go to and search for organic farming).

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(9) E-Newsletters, Announcement Lists and Discussions

E-mail newsletters and lists related to organic and sustainable food and agriculture:

Organic-l e-mail Discussion Forum
(Canada) – Join our discussion forum on organic agriculture issues, research, news and events... Organic-l. Wide-ranging discussions with fellow farmers, researchers, educators, and students. Founded June 2003. (source)

Ecological Solutions Roundtable (Canada) – an on-line forum for the discussion of ecological solutions to common farming problems. (source)

BC Organic Farming Newsgroup (British Columbia) – a forum for organic farmers throughout BC to post questions, answers and exchange ideas with regards to production and marketing issues. (source)

Foodnet-L (Ontario) discussion about food security issues. Ontario Food Security & Nutrition Network. Homepage:

Foodshare Newsletters (Toronto based) – e-mail newsletters with news, events, workshops, jobs, organic & community gardening tips. (source)

Toronto Food Policy Council – About twenty messages a month on food-related conferences & publications, some exceptional articles/reports culled from a wide range of electronic sources and a few reports on the Food Policy Council. To subscribe, email (source)

Biodemocracy / Organic View (USA based) – e-newsletter of news and analysis on genetic engineering, factory farming & organics. (source)

GoodWork Canada – daily postings of jobs and apprenticeships related to organics, environment and sustainability in Canada.

More Organic & Sustainable Food E-mail Lists

How to use e-mail and e-mail lists effectively

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(10) Events, Conferences, Trade Shows & Festivals

Organic events tend to be as enjoyable as they are interesting. The people are down to earth, and the atmosphere casual. Many are free, or highly affordable. And if you're looking for opportunities, there's nothing like face-to-face interaction. Bring your questions, and don't hesitate to ask them! There's no such thing as a "dumb" question. Below are some organic-related events, mostly in Canada, plus links to other organic calendars across North America. Many more events and workshops happen with less advance notice; to hear about them before they happen, subscribe to our weekly e-mail newsletter (see also: most recent edition; continuously updated on-line version). Please let us know of upcoming events & activities!

Annual Events

Events in Canada, USA, plus a few international events. In order by date.

Guelph Organic Conference & Trade Show. 4 days, annually in late January. Canada's largest public, organic event. Includes free organic trade show & food-tasting fair on Saturday and Sunday, with over 155 exhibitors, free to the public. Over 46 workshops & courses for all levels of interest, novice to experienced grower. Come for one day or all four. At University Centre, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario. More info, sponsorship: Tomas Nimmo 705-444-0923 | | Volunteer and receive free entry to workshops:

Green Communities National Conference, Annual (January), Canada. Info: Sharyn Inward 705-745-7479 [topical links, resources, opportunities: Sustainable Living Links ]

Eco-Farm & Garden Day, Annual (February), Morrisburg, Eastern Ontario. Speakers, workshops, trade show, organic lunch, more.

Seedy Saturdays, Annual (various dates Feb-April), across Canada. An annual series of separate events that have sprung up across the country. A day for gardeners, local seed companies, merchants, and environmental organizations to come together to share and to learn from one another. Find help for your garden; community seed exchange; buy open-pollinated heritage seeds & plants which are not genetically engineered and which grow well in organic and low input conditions (vegetables, fruits, flowers, grains and herbs). Swap table: each item brought to the table allows you to exchange it for another item, anything related to gardening, seeds, plants, cuttings, books, magazines, etc. Workshops on seed saving, biodiversity conservation, organic gardening. Seeds of Diversity Canada

Organic Landscape Alliance – Annual Conference (Feb), Toronto. Of interest to seasoned organic professionals; those interested in integrating organic techniques into their existing businesses; novices and anybody interested in the issues of pesticide use and the alternatives. Speakers, break-outs, trade show, gourmet organic lunch.

ACORN Atlantic Organic Conference & Trade Show, Annual (March), Atlantic Canada. Conference tapes available. Info: Atlantic Canada Organic Regional Network (ACORN)

Canada Blooms, Annual (March), Toronto. Large mainstream flower & garden show. Be sure to ask the vendors about their use of pesticides and other chemical, water, energy and labour inputs (especially compared to native plants and organic approaches). Read ingredient lists and look for organic certification. Listen critically to any responses about why organic isn't necessary, practical, or affordable. Consider alternative gardening events such as Seedy Saturdays, the Organic Landscape Alliance, the Native Plant Sale, etc. Canada Blooms:

All Things Organic Conference & Trade Show, Annual (May), USA. The place to be if you're passionate about organic, want to learn about the latest regulations facing the industry, looking for outstanding business opportunities to meet decision makers, and enjoy doing business in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Info: Organic Trade Association (USA, Canada & Mexico).

Foodshare Open House, Spring Plant Sale & AGM, Annual (May), Toronto. Foodshare works with communities to increase access to affordable & healthy food – from field to table. Free. Info: 416-392-6653

Native Plant Sale, Annual (May), Toronto. Annual sale offering hundreds of species of native plants & wildflowers under one roof. Add interest & beauty to your garden. Native plants benefit the environment, providing vital food and habitat for indigenous birds, butterflies and other wildlife. They don't require additional watering, fertilizers or harmful chemicals. Plants are grouped by habitat (sun, shade, etc.) for easy selection - no matter how poor your garden conditions seem, we have the perfect plants for you! Native plant experts are available to answer questions; also native plant seeds, books, magazines, info sheets, memberships, more. Free admission, inexpensive plants. Info: North American Native Plant Society 416-631-4438

Herb Fair, Annual (June), Toronto. Medicinal & culinary herbal displays, demos, lectures, children's activity tent, culinary treats, plants & products for sale, organic vegetarian cafe. Free. York Quay Centre, Harbourfront Centre, Queens Quay W. (Harbourfront LRT from Union Stn.). Info:

Feast of Fields, Annual (September), various locations near Toronto (shuttle bus from Toronto). Celebrate the organic harvest with chefs, wineries, breweries & farmers! Imagine strolling through a sweet-smelling field, sampling dozens of the freshest, most succulent organic creations, accompanied by organic local wines & beers. Meet and enjoy the delicacies of 35 chefs. Sample the beverages of 18 wineries and micro-breweries. Purchase organic food and learn about organic agriculture, the environment and fair trade (display stations of 50 organic farmers and non-profits). Live music & entertainment. Funds raised support numerous sustainable food & farming causes. Largest-ever gathering of local organic farmers, chefs, consumers, suppliers, wineries, and like-minded non-profit groups. Rain or shine. Media passes & chef interviews available.

Ottawa Feast of Fields, Annual (September). A feast of local organic food samples - offered by local area chefs renowned for their haute cuisine with a twist. Also: organic wines, beers, teas & coffees. Environmental & social concerns are highlighted on the menu. Last year a crowd of 300 attended. Eating tables: 12-3pm. Silent auction. Wandering entertainers. Help support Canadian Organic Growers! More organic events in eastern Ontario:

Canada's Outdoor Farm Show, Annual (September), Woodstock, Ontario. Includes: Eco Expo; Clean Water Expo; more (click on expos). At the U. of Guelph Research Station, in Woodstock (approx. 2hrs west of Toronto). Eco Expo Clean Water Expo

Vegetarian Food Fair, Annual (September), Toronto. A fun-filled weekend celebration, free to the public. Sample a diverse cross-section of vegetarian cuisine and learn more about making healthful, ethical and earth-friendly food choices. New vegetarian products; over 80 exhibits; free food samples; hourly cooking demos; dynamic guest speakers; interactive workshops; great vegetarian meals; children's activities. A dynamic roster of presenters will address a range of issues such as prevention & reversal of disease; biotechnology; ethical & cruelty-free investing; and mind/body wellness. Of interest to vegetarians and everyone else. Each year, over 12,000 people from across Canada, the U.S. & beyond make our Food Fair the largest annual vegetarian event of its kind in North America. Free. Seeking volunteers. York Quay Centre at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queen's Quay W. Info: Kathleen Farley, Food Fair Coordinator 416-544-8891 (Toronto Vegetarian Association) [editor's note: while only a few of the exhibitors and events are specifically organic, there should be much of interest and relevance to organic enthusiasts].

Canadian Health Food Convention & Trade Show, Annual. Feb: Québec. April: Vancouver. September: Toronto. Includes Organic Market-Place. Info: Canadian Health Food Association 905-479-6939 [from the website, it is not clear which portions of this event are open to the general public; please call them for details]

American Community Gardening Association, Annual Conference, location varies (usually USA). 2004 dates & location: Oct 1-3, 2004, Toronto, Canada. Scholarships available.

Ontario Land Trust Alliance Conference, Annual (October), location varies. [topical links: Open Directory | Google Directory | Protect Farmland, Don't Pave It ]

Royal Winter Fair, Annual, (November), Toronto. Includes an "Organic & Natural" section.

World Organic Trade Fair & Other International Events, Annual (various dates and locations). Info: International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).

Smaller Annual Events & Courses

Friends of Everdale Annual Meeting, Annual (July), Hillsburgh, Ontario. At Everdale, a non-profit learning centre, working organic farm, diverse wildlife habitat, and sustainable technology showcase, one hour northwest of Toronto. Free. Bus & train service to Georgetown. Info/RSVP: 519-855-4859 (Everdale Environmental Learning Centre)

Permaculture Design Fundamentals, Annual (July, week-long course), near Orangeville, Ontario. Practical training to help you become more self-sufficient in your own life by learning to meet your basic needs for food, shelter, energy, fulfilling employment and supportive community. A whole systems approach to ecological living. Classroom and hands-on experiential learning; personal empowerment work. For backyard gardeners to design professionals. With Gregoire Lamoureux, Richard Griffith, Monica Kuhn. At the Ecology Retreat Centre. Info: Russell 519-941-4560 [topical ]

Ecovillage Network of Canada, Annual (late summer/fall), location varies. Annual gathering of the Ecovillage Network of Canada, facilitating the exchange of ideas and information on healthy, sustainable living in our homes and daily lives. Ecovillage Network of Canada: Global Ecovillage Network: Communities Links:

Seventh Generation Annual Meeting & Social Gathering, Annual (September), Ottawa. Seventh Generation is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable living practices in the greater Ottawa area to help in the preserving of our beautiful planet and in creating health and well-being for people and our communities.  We do this through organizing conferences, workshops, seminars, trade shows and tours; networking and partnering with other like-minded organizations; and supporting and promoting "green" businesses. Free. Info: 613-839-3997


Guelph Sustainable Agriculture Forum, Thursdays 11am, Guelph. A student group at the University of Guelph, offering information, ideas and accessibility to sustainable agriculture, organic farming, genetic engineering issues, family farm community, etc. University Centre, Grad Lounge. All welcome. Subscribe to our e-mail list for updates.

More Upcoming Events

For many more events, see: People- & Planet-Friendly's On-line Calendar; links to Other Calendars; the Learning Centres & Places directory; Protect Farmland, Don't Pave It; and the next section. Please let us know of upcoming events & activities!

Organic Calendars many more organic & related events, workshops, conferences

Canadian Organic Growers
COG Chapters across Canada
Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada
British Columbia Gov't
Organic Events Calendar (Canada, USA, international)
Organic Opportunity (North America) (especially the sections on "Events & Conferences", "Learning Centres", "Short Courses & Workshops" and "E-mail lists")
Ottawa-area Events (Canada)
Ontario Events and latestnewsletter.php
Learning Centres & Places (North America & worldwide)
Food Safety Events & Conferences (USA & worldwide): or (click on "events")
Organic Trade Alliance (USA, Canada, international)
Organic Research (international)
USDA Organic Calendar (international)
Sustainable Business Events (international)
OFRF Calendar
(mostly USA)
OEFFA Calendar (mostly USA)
Sustainable Agriculture Events (USA, Canada)
Green People (mostly USA)
Ecovillage Network Calendar (North America) (includes a variety of events related to organics, permaculture, renewable energy, etc.)
Mother Earth News Calendar
Permaculture Courses & Events (USA & Canada)'sEdge.htm Sustainable & Community Events Calendar (North America)
Sustainable Communities Network (USA)
Farmland Preservation & Urban Sprawl
Progressive Calendars Directory
(Canada & USA)
People- & Planet-Friendly (mostly Canada)
The Green Pages (mostly Canada)

Mainstream Food, Gardening & Agriculture Calendars

Gardening Conferences & Events (mostly mainstream)

Food & Agriculture Conferences & Events (mostly mainstream)

PLEASE LET US KNOW of upcoming organic, ecological & sustainable living events, meetings & activities! We can help spread the word to thousands of interested people. Please use our submission form: – your listing will be posted to the on-line calendar within 24-48 hours, and will also be submitted to our e-mail newsletter.

Transportation to Events

To find out about transportation options, check the event websites or contact the organizers directly (well in advance of the event, if possible). Sometimes they can match you with someone else who is going to the conference. For public transport and other options see:

Please tell them you heard about it at!

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(11) Volunteer, Work Exchange, Barter

Volunteering or Wwoofing on an organic farm or garden can be a wonderful, truly unique experience. There are opportunities for all ages and levels of interest – from helping out for one afternoon, to season-long or even year-long apprenticeships. Each farm is unique – the land, the people, the work, the lifestyle, the social experience. Develop new skills, make new friends and/or local connections that can lead to paid work. Wwoofing can also be a great way to travel the world. Wwoof gateway, articles & link directory | International WWOOF Association


World-Wide Orientation to Organic Farms & Gardens – An amazing diversity of organic farms, gardens and businesses have opportunities – from a few days to a few months – where you can work in exchange for accomodation, organic home-cooked meals, learning and fun. Locations across Canada and around the world. Working/learning opportunities vary from organic farming & gardening, to cooking, carpentry, business admin, creative work, childcare, solar power, sustainable living skills. Everything is negotiated between you and the host. From solar-powered to strawbale homes, from herbs to orchards to rare-breed cattle, from swimming holes to gourmet cooking – the variety is endless. Year-round; all ages. Membership is $30/year; this gets you a fascinating booklet describing over 400 organic farms, gardens & businesses across Canada. Also known as Willing Workers On Organic Farms. What is Wwoofing? All About Wwoofing – wwoof gateway, articles & link directory. Wwoof Canada: John Vanden Heuvel, WWOOF Canada, 4429 Carlson Road, Nelson, BC, Canada, VIL 6X3. Tel. 250-354-4417 (please call Mon-Fri 9am-5pm Pacific Time). Wwoof USA: Overview | Organic Volunteers (online listings) | Wwoof USA | New England Wwoof (mostly apprenticeships) | Wwoof California Worldwide: | How to Join | Organic Links & Resources

Learning Centres & Places in North America: Sustainable Living Learning / Eco-Experience Centres | Wwoof Gateway | Organic Gateway

When you phone a host, be clear about any skills, specific goals or interests you may have, and limitations. Make sure you understand the host's expectations: ask ask lots of questions. See also the "tips" section, at the bottom of this document.

For other volunteer, work exchange & barter opportunities, go to your farmers market; browse a festival or trade show; see the learning centres listed below; or contact a farm or organization of interest to you.

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(12) Learning Centres, Ecovillages & CSA's

There is a growing number of environmental, ecological, or sustainable living Learning Centres across Ontario and Canada. Also, ecovillages around the world serve as living demonstrations of organic, sustainable living. Participate in a workshop, volunteer, or inquire about apprenticeship & work opportunities. Some of these have very active programs, and a variety of short- or long-term volunteer or barter opportunities. Their offerings vary greatly from one centre to another, and from year to year. Workshop schedules are usually posted on their websites in late winter or early spring. If you ask to be put on their e-mail list you'll get occasional updates.

Please note that some of these centres are operated from peoples homes, without corporate or government funding. Please be considerate in your requests. Do not contact farm-based centres later than eight or nine in the evening, unless they specify otherwise. They often have very busy lives and are doing this for little or no money. Try to ask not only what they can offer you, but what you can offer them – if only willing hands and an open mind.

Learning Centres

Everdale Environmental Learning Centre (organic; NW of Toronto, near Hillsburgh)
Meeting Place Organic Farm (near Lucknow)
Seventh Generation Community Projects (with organic Permaculture gardens; near Ottawa)
Ecology Retreat Centre (annual ten-day permaculture course; NW of Toronto, near Orangeville)
Circle Sun Farm (ecological farm, co-op & forming landtrust near Hanover) and 212
Sun Run Sustainability Centre (near Lindsay/Peterborough)
New Brunswick:
Falls Brook Centre (includes organic gardens and much more; new home of Canadian Organic Growers; located in rural New Brunswick)
British Columbia:
Kootenay Permaculture Institute
Many more:
Eco-/Organic Learning Centres & Places (directory of learning centres across North America) Eco-Experience Places
See also: World-Wide Orientation to Organic Farms Wwoof Gateway | Wwoof Canada | Wwoof International
Please tell them you heard about it at

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

What is Community Supported Agriculture?
CSA's across Canada:
Eco-Market Database: (click on "Eco-Market Database", then select "CSA", click "view records")
CSA's in southern Ontario:
CSA's across the USA:
(see also "Where to Buy Organic", above)


Ecovillages in Canada: ,
Ecovillages & Learning Centres (USA & worldwide): ,

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(13) Short Courses, Workshops & Workbees
(see also "Learning Centres", above)

Introduction to Ecological Agriculture. A two-day course, at locations around Ontario. ,

Short Courses, Workshops & Workbees in Permaculture, Organic Gardening, Strawbale Construction, etc.
Toronto area: (2)
Ottawa area:
Atlantic Canada:
Organic Agriculture Tour of Cuba (related: )

Please tell them you heard about it at

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(14) Organic Education (post-secondary organic programs & courses)

(A) Post-Secondary Education in Organic/Sustainable Food and Agriculture in Canada
(colleges & universities including local and online courses)

Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada "Research & education serving all farmers and students, dedicated to enhancing the environmental and social integrity of agriculture". Offering college/university level web-based courses across Canada.

Certificate of Specialization in Organic Agriculture, Nova Scotia Agricultural College

Ecological Agriculture, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

Agriculture Biologique, Universite Laval, Quebec and

Food Security Studies, Ryerson, Toronto, Ontario

Organic Agriculture, University of Guelph, Ontario (2)
Introduction to Organic Agriculture | Ann Clark

Everdale Organic Farming Certificate

UW Farm Market, Waterloo, Ontario

Natural Systems Agriculture, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg /

Organic Inspector, Assiniboine Community College, Brandon, Manitoba

Richmond Farm School, Richmond, BC

Organic Farming Institute of BC, Similkameen Valley, BC

Land and Food Systems, UBC, Vancouver BC
Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm, BC

Growing Food, Gaia College, BC

Food Studies Programs in Canada

More Organic Educational Programs & Links (Canada & USA):

*** For a more hands-on approach to organic education,
see also Organic Internships & Apprenticeships, below ***

(B) USA Sustainable Agriculture Programs / Colleges / Universities (2) |

(C) Industrial/Conventional Agriculture Colleges & Universities in Canada, USA & Europe (mostly mainstream / not organic)
"We're learning how not to farm. The school is as good as owned by the pesticide and genetic engineering companies" – student of an agricultural university program, Ontario, Canada) | (2)

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(D) Jobs, Apprenticeships, Business Opps.

(15) Listings of Organic Farms, Gardens & Businesses
(note: for listings of where to buy organic, including farms & gardens, see section 2, above)

To find farms, gardens or businesses that might have work or volunteer opportunities, try these links. Then call them up and ask what's available, and what their needs are. Consider doing an information interview with the farmer/gardener, to learn about how he/she got started, etc. This can be done by phone or in person, if arranged in advance. To find farms & gardens in your area:

Ontario: (printed booklet or pdf format)
Ontario: (organic landscaping & lawncare)
Atlantic Canada:
New Brunswick:
North America: (permaculture)
North America & worldwide:

Directory of Organics in Canada – published by Canadian Organic Growers (COG), 2002 edition. Available as a free download from: To order print copies of the directory, please contact: Canadian Organic Growers, 125 South Knowlesville Road, Knowlesville, New Brunswick E7L 1B1 email: The directory includes: * Contacts for COG Board and Chapters * All current legitimate Certifying Bodies in Canada (and their logos so that consumers may recognize them) * Many certified organic producers, processors, distributors and retailers * Education, training and apprenticeship opportunities across Canada * Organic research * Conferences * Seed sources * Related non-government organizations * Government contacts and important publications * Current statistics on certified organic producers and organic acreage in Canada.

Wwoof organizations in Canada and around the world, have listings of farms, gardens & businesses who are seeking "wwoofers" and/or apprentices. Some of these could also lead to paid positions or other opportunities:

World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms & Gardens – An amazing diversity of organic farms, gardens and businesses have opportunities – from a few days to a few months – where you can work in exchange for accomodation, organic home-cooked meals, learning and fun. Locations across Canada and around the world. Working/learning opportunities vary from organic farming & gardening, to cooking, carpentry, business admin, creative work, childcare, solar power, sustainable living skills. Everything is negotiated between you and the host. From solar-powered to strawbale homes, from herbs to orchards to rare-breed cattle, from swimming holes to gourmet cooking – the variety is endless. Year-round; all ages. Membership is $30/year; this gets you a fascinating booklet describing over 400 organic farms, gardens & businesses across Canada. Also known as Willing Workers On Organic Farms. Also known as Willing Workers On Organic Farms. What is Wwoofing? All About Wwoofing – wwoof gateway, articles & link directory. Wwoof Canada: John Vanden Heuvel, WWOOF Canada, 4429 Carlson Road, Nelson, BC, Canada, VIL 6X3. Tel. 250-354-4417 (please call Mon-Fri 9am-5pm Pacific Time). Wwoof USA: Overview | Organic Volunteers (online listings) | Wwoof USA | New England Wwoof (mostly apprenticeships) | Wwoof California Worldwide: | How to Join | Organic Links & Resources | Sustainable Living Learning Centres across North America

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
What is Community Supported Agriculture?
CSA's across Canada:
Eco-Market Database: (click on "Eco-Market Database", then select "CSA", click "view records")
CSA's in southern Ontario:
CSA's across the USA:
(see also "Where to Buy Organic", above)

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(16) Organic Jobs, Apprenticeships & Volunteering

Organic Jobs in Canada and Beyond (organic gardening & farming, sustainable agriculture, local food, CSA, etc.)
GoodWork Canada (search for food, organic, garden, farm, etc.)
Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada |
City Farmer (Canada & US)
Organic Volunteers (USA, Latin America) (click "employment")
More Organic Jobs:
Organic Networks & Organizations (their websites & publications sometimes have jobs): see Section 8, Organizations, above
Green/environmental job boards also carry some organic and related opportunities, see
Google search for organic jobs, organic job, "organic jobs" canada, "organic job" canada, "organic employment", etc.
(try also phrases such as "sustainable agriculture" jobs, "urban agriculture" jobs, "food security" jobs, "gardening jobs", etc.)

Agriculture Jobs/Employment (mostly mainstream and industrial agriculture):
Google Search: agriculture jobs | agriculture jobs canada | Google Directory Agricultural Employment in Canada
General purpose sites sometimes also have agriculture jobs: search: Jobs | Employment Google Directory: Job Search

Organic Internships & Apprenticeships (organic gardening, farming, sustainable agriculture)
– Canada:
Across Canada: GoodWork Canada
SOIL Apprenticeships Canada – Stewards Of Irreplaceable Land
Ontario: CRAFT Ontario: and FarmLink Ontario
Atlantic Canada: ACORN
New Brunswick Organic Farm Apprenticeship Program
Manitoba Organic Farm Mentorship Program
Alberta Sustainable Agriculture Apprenticeship
– USA & Beyond:
ATTRA: USA & Canada: (see also
Organic Internships & Volunteers: USA:
MOFGA: Maine, USA (direct link)
NEWOOF: New England, USA
Hawaii Organic Farm Apprentice Program
Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association: USA
Draft Animal Farming & Logging Apprenticeships: USA & Canada
– Worldwide:
WWOOF: Wwoof links, articles & resources:

Organic Volunteering
Some of the Apprenticeship and Internship sites listed above also list volunteer opportunities. See also Section 11 above, as well as the WWOOF gateway, and the Organic Organizations listed in Section 8, above.

Please tell them you found it at!

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(17) Tips for apprentices, wwoofers, volunteers & job seekers

Finding the "right" opportunity is a real skill. First, educate yourself about the alternatives. Ask around, read & surf, try various volunteer opportunities. When considering a paid or volunteer position, it is up to you to communicate clearly with the potential employer, mentor or host. They may live in a very different world than you do: it is a test of your communication skills to bridge that gap. You need to listen carefully, ask appropriate questions and express yourself politely but effectively. The goal is to discover whether the employer's needs and expectations match yours. Ask about the kinds and amount of work; what skills or strength is required; what training or guidance they can offer; pay or other benefits; accommodation, etc. Tell them why you're interested in the position; your skills and experience (if any); your hopes and expectations such as: the kind of work you're most interested in; what you want to learn; and any other goals or expectations you may have. Be as clear as possible about how long you'd like to stay; how committed you feel (or whether you'd prefer to take it a day at a time). Don't forget to mention any particular limitations, physical, dietary or otherwise. Be honest both for your sake, and theirs. If you've never done anything like it before, ask if you could try it out for a short period (a few days or a week), to get a feel it. The better you are able to communicate, the less likely that you will end up wasting your time and the employer's – and the more likely it will be a great experience for both of you.

Don't stereotype or be stereotyped. To some people, volunteer always means "inexperienced". To others, farmer means "hard working but not very intelligent". Both of these are very misleading and harmful. Getting beyond the stereotype depends on clear communication – assertively expressing who you are and what you can do. If you have unique skills, interests or motivations, make you express them in a way that is understood. Skills as diverse as sales, marketing, computer skills, cooking, tutoring and handyman skills – can be of great value on a farm or garden. If you have them and are willing to share them, say so. They may or may not be able to make good use of your skills at that time – but if they can, they probably will.

Something for every taste. There is a wide variety of opportunities in farming & gardening – part-time or full-time, urban or rural, as an employee or in your own business. If you don't want to be spending time in the garden, there are also opportunities in education, research, writing, sales, marketing, distribution, retail, cooking, landscaping, non-profits, activism – but in any case, it's a good idea to start with a good hands-on gardening/farming experience. I was unable to find a website discussing careers in organic agriculture, so here is a mainstream site: To learn about organic career paths, you might need to take a more organic approach – ask around, surf, read... try different events, workshops, volunteering, even travel.

Be willing to try something new – and to give it your best effort. This is how we grow, expand our horizons, and become better, well-rounded human beings. But don't unnecessarily try to "go it alone" – don't hesitate to ask for help when you need it.

Keep looking. Just because one opportunity wasn't right for you – the work was too challenging or not challenging enough; the social or physical situation wasn't to your liking; there was a personality or communication gap between you and your employer – doesn't mean that another opportunity might be everything you could hope for. Reassess your hopes and goals, and keep looking!

Don't give up. Full-time farm apprenticeships are hard work. It takes a different kind of energy to stay outside & active for many hours. If you're new to it, give it at least three weeks. Your first two weeks should be by far the most difficult, as you slowly gain stamina. Never quit before the third week! Then you will find that not only does it take a different kind of energy – but it can offer a special kind of joy.

Stay in your zone. If you're thinking of starting your own garden or farm, don't go too far away for a volunteering or apprenticeship placement – unless you're planning on moving to the area. The farther you are from the bioregion (or "zone") where you expect to start your garden, the less relevant your experiences will be, at least in terms of specific knowledge of plants, pests, etc. You'll be amazed how much diversity (of skills, specializations & cultures) you can find close to home. On the other hand, traveling to other regions can help open your heart & mind to new experiences, and can foster cross-cultural sharing & understanding. Plant hardiness zone map: , Ecozones: , , Soils: USA: ,

We are seeking career tips, information, articles, and statistics on where there is the highest demand for organic employees, gardeners, farmers and entrepreneurs in Canada and/or the USA. By "where", we mean: what kinds of roles, in what kinds of businesses or organizations? We are planning to write an article (and possibly a directory of links & resources) on how and where to find work in organics. Any information is welcome! Contact Us

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Plus a few more featured items...

Protect and Preserve the Land you Love – Do you care about the land? Is there a special place, public or private, that you want to help protect? Do you want it to be green, healthy and sustainable? This page is a gateway to ideas, information and resources that can help you protect and preserve the land you love – today, and for future generations. Whether you own private land or public land – as all citizens do – you will find useful information here.

FoodShare – At FoodShare we work on food issues "from field to table" - meaning that we focus on the entire system that puts food on our tables: from the growing, processing and distribution of food to its purchasing, cooking and consumption. We operate several innovative grassroots projects that promote healthy eating, teach food preparation and cultivation, develop community capacity and create non-market-based forms of food distribution. Public education on food security issues is a big part of our mandate: we create and distribute resources, organize training workshops and facilitate of networks and coalitions. We believe that food is vital to the health of individuals and communities, and that access to good, healthy food is a basic human right. FoodShare promotes policies – such as adequate social assistance rates, sustainable agriculture, universal funding of community-based programs and nutrition education – that will make food a priority at all levels of society. (based in Toronto, Canada) links:

Tangled Routes – Women, Work & Globalization on the Tomato Trail (book). Where does our food come from? The fact that we even have to raise this simple question raises many other questions. Very few of us in the northern hemisphere have any sense at all of the processes that bring food to our table, nor of the people who grow it, process it, and move it along the way. The tomato is a perfect "entree" to a process of cross-border research and popular education around the complex pheneomenon and often confusing concept of globalization. This book stems from a five year commitment to research, education and action called the Tomasita Project. It traces the tomato trail from a Mexican farm field to a Canadian supermarket; examines the significance of fast food chain McDonald's and Loblaw's supermarket conglomerate; looks at workers who serve the global food system, a trucker and a migrant picker in Ontario; and at the role and position of women within the Mexican agroexport industry The experiences of women workers in different sectors of the food chain between North & South are examined. The book concludes with alternatives and a framework for "the other globalization" through collective action and transnational coalitions. By Deborah Barndt, Garamond Press, 2002. ISBN 1-55193-042-0 $35. (click on "Barndt, Deborah) [food & diversity links: ]

Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply (book). By Vandana Shiva, world renowned environmental thinker and leader, physicist, winner of the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize. Available at Orders: 800-533-8478. Sonia Shah or Alexandra Etheridge, South End Press 617-547-4002. Progressive booksellers: Big bookstores: Related:

Farmageddon: Food & the Culture of Biotechnology – the latest book by food system analyst Brewster Kneen. By the same author: From Land to Mouth: Understanding the Food System (2nd ed.), more.

Sustainable Living Links – "sustainable living" includes organics, renewable energy, non-toxic home & garden alternatives, alternative construction, etc. (People- & Planet-Friendly Events, Jobs, Resources, Links) (Sustainable Living links directory) (Alternative Voices links directory) (Canada) (Sustainable Communities Network, USA) (Natural Life Magazine, Canada) (Ontario Environment Network, Canada)

Organic Food, Gardening & Agriculture – Search Engine Links
Organic Food
Organic Gardening
Organic Farming & Sustainable Agriculture

– Peter Blanchard (contact)

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Please tell them you saw it at
None of the links on this document are paid advertising, although a few have made
donations in support of this service. If you find a job or otherwise benefit from this
listing, please consider making a

Everything Organic! – a comprehensive directory of links to everything organic, organized and annotated for your convenience. For consumers, business people, gardeners, farmers, students, job-seekers. Everything from where to get organic food... to gardening tips & information... events, workshops, courses and educational programs... jobs, volunteer and business opportunities. Includes lists of organizations and websites; directories of farms, gardens & businesses; books & magazines; much more. Related topics include permaculture; sustainable living; food security; sustainable agriculture; community supported agriculture, Wwoofing; learning centres and ecovillages.
Copyright (c) 2006 by Peter Blanchard. All rights reserved. This copyright protects Peter's right to future publication of his work. Nonprofit, activist, and educational groups may circulate this document (forward it, reprint it, translate it, post it, or reproduce it) for nonprofit uses. Please do not change any part of it without permission. Please keep this copyright notice with it. Readers are invited to visit the original document:

This directory is being provided as a free public service, with no paid advertising, government
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