When you move to a new place, it can be hard to find information on the local quirks in soil and climate, and sources for materials and equipment. This page will give you a head start on finding that local info.

Soil and Water Conditions

Hwy 101 South

  • Soil varies by location. Black Point: sand and gravel on rocks. Very little topsoil.

Kelly Creek

  • Varies greatly! One FI member reports “our soil is very good – no rocks, sandy loam.” while another says “The soil is a very sandy mix with a good percentage of industrial gravel (rocks to double fist size ) mixed in.  Digging is a real chore.”
  • Deep well water may contain arsenic – shallow wells generally do not.


  • Thin topsoil on top of very sandy subsoil
  • City water available in most areas


  • Clay soil in many areas
  • City water available in most areas

Planting Dates & Frost Dates

In general, the last average frost date is around the end of April. However, that varies locally due to micro-climates and it’s a very good idea to check in with gardeners and farmers close to you. Since that date is an average, not an absolute, frosts can easily occur after it.

Many people are fooled by our lack of apparent winter weather — and then lose everything in early May!  Watch the weather forecast, and cover up at night as needed.

Manure Sources

Therapeutic Riding Association


BC Organic Matter Recycling Regulation

BC Agricultural Composting Handbook

A very comprehensive pdf from Cornell University http://cwmi.css.cornell.edu/compostingathome.pdf

Added Value Products

Small Scale Food Processor Association

Guidelines for the sale of food at temporary markets

Pest Control

UBC Botanical Garden forums – Garden Pest Management (IPM, not Organic)

Bear Proofing

Bear Aware BC
Bear Aware Powell River: Laurence Edwards  604 483-2334

Bear proof composter – Laurie Chambers

Heritage Breeds

in the Powell River Region
Sugar Tree Farm (Powell River)
Powell River Backyard Chicken Peeps

On Vancouver Island

Holiday Hill Poultry (Fanny Bay)
Omega Blue Farms (Vancouver Island)
Cowichan Valley Feather Fanciers

Seed Sources

Seed sources and catalogs

Seed Saving

Seed Bank
Seedy Saturday

Farm & Garden Events

Seedy Saturday
Edible Garden Tour
Garden Tour
Fall Fair

Local Nurseries

Springtime Nursery (plants, seeds, garden supplies) in Cranberry
Mother Nature (plants, seeds, garden supplies) on Duncan St N of Joyce Ave
Wildwood Gardens & Nursery (plants)
Eternal Seed Garden Centre (plants, seeds, soils and soil amendments) Hwy 101 S at Zilinsky Rd
Fiddlers Farm (plants) in Cranberry

Feed Stores

Rainbow Valley Pet and Farm Supplies, 4480 Manson Ave, 485-2244


Permaculture Powell River
Agricultural Association
PR Open Air Market
PR Winter Market
Kelly Creek Garden Market
PR Garden Club

Texada Garden Club
Skookum Food Provisioners Coop
Farmers Institute (YOU ARE HERE)

Biodiversity and Pollinator Insects

Gardening for Backyard Biodiversity in Canada (UBC Botanical Garden)
Plan Bee Now
Pollinator Plants for the Maritime Northwest
Selecting Plants for Pollinators – Pacific Lowland Mixed Forest

Hints and tips from the 7th Generation blog

  • First and foremost, no insecticides, please. (Obvious, yes, but always worth saying!)
  • Second, don’t be afraid of bees! Very few species are aggressive. Most are exactly like us – they just want to be left alone to mind their affairs without trouble. Treat them respectfully, as friends not enemies, and you’ll co-exist quite peacefully.
  • Plant locally native species around your home to provide the food sources your growing zone’s pollinators need.
  • Remember that nature always knows best so consider letting parts of your yard “go wild” and return to their natural state.
  • Grow flowering plant species with different colors, shapes, and blooming times to provide plenty of attractive choices for different pollinators throughout your growing season.
  • Plant in clumps, which attract more pollinators than single standalone plants.
  • If you’re not in a drought zone, keep gardens well-watered so they produce more nectar.
  • Mow your grass less often so pollinator favourites like daisies, clover and other wildflowers can grow through and bloom.
  • Don’t just feed pollinators. Shelter them by putting up some bat houses and bee nests.
  • Leave dead tree trunks standing for wood-nesting bees.
  • Supply some water. Pollination is thirsty work so set out a shallow birdbath-like bowl with some water and floating wine corks and/or half submerged stones.

Organic Farming

COABC (Certified Organic Associations of BC)
Information and Education
Becoming Certified Organic

Who to Contact for Advice

For Rabbits and Muscovy duck questions call Jacqueline Huddleston 604-483-9902

Starting with Livestock

Jacqueline’s favourite rabbit, goat and muscovy websites: