We should NOT be fearful in discussing the food supply ... if people shop responsibly, we'll all get through this with our nutritional needs satisfied
|BC Agriculture Minister Lana Popham|
... California and Arizona also relied heavily on migrant workers and while some may be able to return to their positions, some won't. Replacement of those who don't return could be problematic ... the same applies here just on a smaller scale ...
Popham continued, “I will be redoubling my efforts and working closely with key stakeholders and decision-makers – including foreign governments and the provincial health officer of BC. – to help farmers and processors safely employ the foreign farm workers they need. This is an urgent matter and with the proper precautions in place, it will benefit all British Columbians, as we all need access to safe, fresh, local food.”
Stated Popham, “The Ministry of Agriculture is working directly with the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets to assist with this season, and I'm pleased to share that the ministry will be providing financial support for it to develop an operating model better suited to times of a pandemic”.
The (American Farm Bureau) federation said it is working with the Trump administration to find safe, practical ways to admit farm laborers as emergency workers under the H-2A guest worker program ... many seasonal workers will still be granted entry ... State Department is allowing laborers with previous work experience in the United States and who do not require in-person interviews to return, according to the federation. In 2019, 258,000 migrant workers received H-2A visas, the vast majority of whom were from Mexico.
... if people shop responsibly, we'll all get through this with our nutritional needs satisfied ...
“We don't have a lot of growers in the immediate area. Mind you if they saw public support, they might just increase capacity... but that needs workers and that could be the major issue”.
All of that, of course, is going to be dependent on the numbers of migrant workers who actually arrive in Canada, and where they end up locating.
“Potatoes, carrots, Swiss chard (doesn't go to seed as easy) beans, tomatoes (freeze / can) are all good bets to grow at home ... beets, summer and winter squashes.
“Crucifers (ie: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collards, and watercress) take too much work...except for cabbage. Corn doesn't give you enough bang for the buck. Leaf lettuces on successive sowings can go right into fall.”
Then he went on to say ... just remember, it's not just a plant and wait scenario; gardens need to be worked ... regularly.