Eldon Kebernik and his son Brad are organic farmers in Barrhead County, northwest of Edmonton. (David Bajer/CBC) Eldon and Brad Kebernik are busy tilling their land, preparing to seed oats without using chemicals to control weeds or pests. Father and son rely on a rotation system on their farm near Barrhead, Alta., to harvest crops without herbicides and pesticides. "It’s a passion for me to look after the soil," said Eldon Kebernik, who transitioned to organic farming in 1997. "I’ve had a sentimental attachment to the farm since my youth, and it’s something I never wanted to stray away from." Around 240 Alberta farm operations switched to organic between 2014 and 2017, according to data from the Canada Organic Trade Association. There were 525 organic growers recorded in the province in 2017, up from 280 in 2012. The biggest growth was seen in crop production. Organic field crops were grown on 233,600 acres of Alberta land in 2017, a 69 percent increase from 2015. (CBC) The growth is linked to a rise in consumer awareness, Kebernik said, as more people educate themselves on the potentially harmful effects of chemicals, such as glyphosate, in the food chain. "Families are concerned […]

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