Backyard farming at Country Fest

Want to be more self-sufficient? Nine backyard growing experts could help you a lot

Megan Baars

Megan Baars

staff reporter

Megan Baars, 14, along with her friends from the North Fraser 4H Club wash their cows as they prepare for Country Fest on the weekend.

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Country Fest features everything you’ve ever wanted to know about backyard farming but were afraid – or didn’t know who – to ask.

Backyard gardening is a healthy and economical way to grow your own organic vegetables, as well as honey and eggs.

Sponsored by the Maple Ridge Agricultural Advisory Committee, Country Fest features a panel of nine backyard farming experts who will be sharing the joys and benefits of urban agriculture and answering any questions you may have.

Author Chris Hergesheimer is a PhD student with the faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia and will be one of the many experts speaking about urban agriculture.

Jodi Peters is an advocate of nourishing organic food, and be demonstrating how to grow you own organic food at home.

Urban farmer Michelle Lusk of Giddy Up and Grow Indoor Organic Wheatgrass and Microgreens will be speaking about indoor urban agriculture.

Educator Duncan Martin helped form the fledgling chicken coop business at, and is a wealth of knowledge about raising backyard chickens.

Urban homesteader Rick Havlak will be promoting a healthier, more self-sufficient lifestyle that’s good clean fun.

Designer turned beekeeper Melissa Cartwright will providing helpful tips on backyard beekeeping, which the District of Maple Ridge approved earlier this month.

Mushroom aficionado Scott Henderson will be helping people to learn to grow their own mushrooms at home, while UBC student Dylan Stan will also be sharing his mushroom growing expertise.

Daniel Mikolay of the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society will be talking about how to worm compost, how to make compost tea, and how worms can save bears.

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