International Year of Family Farming

To Market, To Market


This post is the second in a series that Sarah Campbell, an intern with FSN, will be doing around the International Year of Family Farming this summer, gathering stories of family farming from around the Avalon Peninsula. Look for more stories in the coming weeks! The weekend before last was the first one that I attended the St. John's Farmer's Market – always a good feeling. I didn't spend too much time inside – long enough to get a coffee – but I was happy to see vendors I remembered from last year – selling books, soap, and local art. I really appreciate having a local craft culture that I get to delve into every once and while. The market is a great place to do that (you can go to the market's website to find out which vendors will be at the market each week).

Most vendors were selling greens and herbs – the season, it seems, is still early. I picked up some green onions from Murray Meadow's Farms; The Organic Farm was selling greens as well.

Another great find: many farmers are selling plants for your own gardens. There's a whole variety of seedlings and small plants to take home with you. Ripple Trail Farms had some kale seedlings on the go, which I plan to get some of next week – nothing better than a plate of kale chips. I got a small tomato plant – the variety is called 'Tiny Tim' – from Jeremy at Mount Scio Farms. Unlike most tomato plants that need to be staked or supported in some way, this one is a dwarf variety that grows more like a bush – great for indoor/container gardeners like myself. I was also happy to find a lemon basil seedling at Bloom n' Greens.

Tiny Tim

And of course, I picked up some eggs from Del at Oliver's Farms. The line is always long at the white truck, but it's long for a reason!

The St. John's Farmers' Market runs June-December, every 9am to 2pm at the Lion's Club Chalet between Bonaventure and Newtown. Check them out on Facebook as well for regular updates! And for schedules and updates for this and other farmers' and community markets happening across Newfoundland and Labrador this year, you can sign up for the FSN Monthly E-News!

“Nourishing the Planet”: The International Year of Family Farming


This year is an exciting one for family farms all around the world! 2014 has been declared the International Year of Family Farming by the United Nations. The campaign is being run by the World Rural Forum, an organization which unites 80 groups working for more sustainable rural and agricultural development worldwide. It aims to celebrate the work of family farmers and encourage their support.

Family farms have a big role to play in reducing poverty and world hunger, and in ensuring sustainable rural development and food security.

But they're often not supported as they should be! Many farmers lack access to the proper tools, knowledge, and resources to farm sustainably in ways that benefit them and their communities. Astonishingly, half of those who go to bed hungry every night are farmers.[1]

Food Tank and the Food and Agricultural Organization have put together a great video about the campaign. It highlights the diversity of family farms around the world, their crucial role in assuring food security, and the ways in which they can be better supported.


What about family farms in Newfoundland and Labrador? In the province, there are over 500 farms – and while there are no numbers on how many of those are family farms, about seventy-five percent of those are small farms (earning under $100 000 a year).[2]

Some ways you can get to know and support the family farmers in your area – and enjoy their food! – are by:

Attending a local farmer's market: Fogo Island Farmers' Market (Saturdays, July-Fall, Central Fogo) Grand Falls-Windsor Farmer's Market Happy Valley Goose Bay's Community Outdoor Market Salmon Cove Community Farmer's Market Some Good Market (Makinson's) St. John's Farmer's Market Wonderful Fine Market (Corner Brook)

Visiting a farm or a farm-stand: the province's Farm Guide has listings for farms all across the province in the Avalon Region the BuyLocal!BuyFresh! map has listings for 28 farms around the Peninsula

For more information on the International Year of Family Farming and family farms around the world you can visit:

[1]  “Making the Case for Family Farming #IYFF (A Video by Food Tank & the FAO),” (2013) YouTube video, 3:36, Posted by Danielle Nierenberg, Accessed May 26, 2014, <>. [2]   Statistics Canada, “2011 Farm and farm operator data,”  Statistics Canada, Accessed June 13, 2014, <>.