The Graham Island East Coast Farmers’ Institute is celebrating over 100 years of farming and agriculture on Haida Gwaii.
In recognition of the efforts made to support local food sources, the institute is receiving a Century Farm Award from the Ministry of Agriculture at the Annual Tlell Fall Fair.
Over 100 years ago, the institute was formed to increase education, research and development of programs beneficial to islanders with the goal of improving conditions of rural life. Today, the priority remains the same.
In 1982, the institute started the annual Tlell Fall Fair in Naikoon Provincial Park. The fair informs residents about the agriculture and aquaculture of Haida Gwaii while encouraging them to grow their own produce or buy local products. The fair includes exhibits, food and live music.
The Graham Island East Coast Farmers’ Institute also is responsible for establishing the Tlell Farmers Market in 2008. A permanent structure was built to house the weekly event and the institute regularly hosts training sessions and seminars promoting agriculture.
With members including farmers, ranchers, gardeners and market vendors, the Graham Island East Coast Farmers’ Institute provides a wide range of information to anyone interested in local food production.
Century Farm Awards honour agricultural organizations that have been active for 100 years. The Century Farm award program was created in 1994 to mark the centennial of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick -
“Supporting local food sources in remote regions is an integral part of creating a thriving community. By working together, the producers on Graham Island are able to share knowledge and ensure local and high-quality food on Haida Gwaii for generations to come.”
“I encourage everyone to participate in the Annual Tlell Fall Fair to learn more about agriculture and the Tlell Farmers Market to support local producers.”
Douglas Louis, director, Graham Island East Coast Farmers’ Institute -
"For over 100 years, we have been a voice for the agricultural community on Haida Gwaii. We are a growing organization, a repository of information and a group of producers encouraging people to grow and enjoy local produce and livestock.”
For more information about B.C.’s Century Farm Program:
Tlell Fall Fair: http://www.tlellfallfair.com/
Tlell Farmers Market:
For a comprehensive list of B.C. fairs: www.bcfairs.ca
Ministry of Agriculture
Graham Island East Coast Farmers’ Institute