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Organic, Traceable, Family Farmed

Market Update


The August 2022 Farmer Direct Organic Newsletter is here!
Feedback regarding the monthly Newsletter is welcome at

To access all of our past newsletters, please visit the Farmer News page on our website here.
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August's Feature

Farmer Direct Organic CEO Jason Freeman speaks at NCG Convergence this Month

Farmer Direct Organic was thrilled to attend the 2022 NCG Convergence Conference this month. Jason Freeman, CEO of Farmer Direct Organic, delivered an exciting presentation about the adoption of regenerative farming practices and how farmers are at the forefront of organic integrity and mitigating climate change. Thank you to all who attended the presentation and came by to say hello!
If you are interested in getting ROC certified and partnering with Farmer Direct Organic, please contact Fabiola Coates at 403-999-4161.

Quote of the Month

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

A Bit of Chlorine with your Bread, Madam?
By Hayley Frances Thurlow, Nutritionist naturopath & cook BA, N.H.F. Dip. MFNTP
Last Friday afternoon I ate some bread that tasted of bleach.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  I cut into a “fresh”, “organic” wholemeal loaf from Sainsburys, cut the slice in half and buttered it.  I handed Lexi one half and bit into the other.  After three chews I spat out what I had in my mouth and immediately wrestled the bread off Lexi.  What should have been a warm, squishy and comforting tea time snack was, instead, a mouthful of vile, toxic mush.  I was horrified, and incredibly angry.
Only a few weeks earlier I experienced something similar with Clarence Court eggs in that they smelt and tasted of chlorine.  Now, either I am unlucky or this a worrying sign that the chemical processing of food is on the rise.  I fear the latter.
You may or may not be aware that the bleaching of flour is a common, legal practice in the bread-making industry, and has been since the 1960s.  White flour already contains a small fraction of the nutrients of the original grain, since the nutrient containing parts are removed to create a smooth, sugary loaf that consumers find more appealing (and addictive).  But as if that’s not enough, it is then hit with another chemical insult – a bath in chlorine oxide.  Why?  Well, firstly, this chemical bath physically bleaches the flour giving it that ‘whiter than white’ look that shoppers find attractive.  Secondly, the chlorine oxide works as an aging agent, putting the gluten through a ‘fast track’ maturing process which, years ago, used to be allowed to happen slowly.  Aging the gluten improves the baking performance of the bread and mass production calls for this to happen as quickly as possible.
Bread should contain four ingredients – flour, water, yeast and salt.  But bread made with bleached or ‘treated’ flour contains, in addition, calcium propionate, amylase, chlorine dioxide and L-cysteine hydrochloride, all toxic ingredients that contribute to aging, cancer, ‘toxic’ weight that’s harder to shift and digestive issues such as IBS and crohn’s disease.  The cheapest breads (often in plastic bags) will contain a whole host of additional additives and preservatives.   What was once a healthy, staple food has been turned into a toxic substance by enormous corporations who seemingly can’t help themselves.  A reputable supermarket like Sainsburys can’t even manage to ensure their “organic” loaves are clean of rubbish (watch out for my forthcoming blog on what ‘organic’ actually bloody means), so big is the financial reward for mass production and duping the consumer.
So where does that leave us in terms of where to source our bread?  Well, after spitting out my bleachy mouthful I decided on the spot that I would start making my own if necessary.  I am time-poor, but we do eat a fair bit of bread in our house and I’m not prepared to feed my family rubbish.  As it happens I have found a nice little bakery in Martock, a nearby village.  The lady behind the till was amazingly helpful, whilst I interrogated her, not just over the ingredients in the loaf, but the ingredients in the flour.   I was half expecting her to shove a vanilla cream down my throat and tell me to get over myself but, no, she showed me which flour they use (Wessex Mill), assured me that it is unbleached and untreated and even suggested I come in and have a chat with the owner about it all, since he is very proud of his bread.  How lovely! I skipped out of there with four wholemeal loaves at £1.25 a pop (not too bad), confident that I would now be feeding my family true bread, made with untreated flour, water, yeast and salt.
Food is so expensive these days and it’s hard to budget for healthy, high quality ingredients. But I tend to advise three areas where we really shouldn’t sacrifice quality (there are others where we can).  These are meat, dairy products and staple foods, like the good old British loaf.  So please, go forth and find yourself a nice bakery – you can always buy in bulk and then freeze the loaves.  Or even consider making bread yourself, the smell is amazing.
Agricultural Crop Report
For the full crop reports please click on the links below:
Crop Conditions as of August 9, 2022: Over the past two weeks, precipitation in the central and northern parts of the province has been variable, but even the driest areas have received 10 to 20 mm, and for many widely scattered areas, well over 30 mm (see the map). In contrast, several areas in the South Region and the southern half of the Central Region have received less than 10 mm, with some receiving less than 5 mm of moisture. During this period, temperatures in Alberta have generally remained above normal, which contributed to crop development and drying out the wet areas throughout the central and northern parts of the province. However, conditions across the south have dried significantly. From beginning of July, crop development was accelerated by the above normal temperatures and, at this point, is on par with the 5-year averages. Spring seeded cereals across the province are mostly in the beginning of the dough development growth stage, while fall seeded crops are in the ripening stage. About 90 per cent of canola and 99 per cent of dry peas, lentils and chickpeas are in the podding stage. Harvest operations have begun for fall-seeded crops and pulses in the South and Central Regions…
For the Period August 2 to 8, 2022: The past week saw very sporadic weather systems move through Saskatchewan with some regions having hot dry days while others experienced cool rainy days that have further delayed crop development. Producers in the latter areas would like to see some hot dry weather to help crops mature and allow for harvest to begin.
Most of the province has not started harvest operations; overall progress has reached one per cent as producers in the southwest and west central regions get their harvesting operations in full swing. This is slightly behind the five-year average (2017-2021) of two per cent. At this time in 2021, the provincial harvest progress was seven per cent, illustrating just how different the growing conditions have been in the province between this year and last…
As of August 16, 2022: Harvest has started in winter wheat and fall rye, with a good portion of those crops already combined. Reported yields are average for both crops. Crop condition looks good to very good in most parts of the province, pea harvest has begun in the northwest region, and widespread harvest is expected to begin for spring cereals in about two weeks, with some early barley coming off in the past few days. Insect concerns have popped up in localized spots across Manitoba, lygus bugs in the Swan Valley, and soybean aphids, cereal aphids, and grasshoppers throughout Manitoba. Soybean aphids have reached economic thresholds in some crops, while many populations remain below thresholds but should be monitored closely…
As of August 14, 2022: AGRICULTURAL SUMMARY: Conditions in Montana were mostly dry and unseasonably warm this week, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Most of the State received a quarter inch or less of rainfall. Counties along the eastern border were very dry, receiving no significant moisture. For areas that did experience rainfall this week, warm temperatures quickly dried up any moisture. Average daily temperatures for most of the State were 4 to 8 degrees warmer than normal for this time of year. The very hot, dry conditions this week, along with minimal moisture received in previous weeks, worsened drought conditions. According to the United States Drought Monitor for August 11, 2022, the amount of land rated as abnormally dry was 22.5 percent, compared to 18.0 percent last week. Moderate drought was present across 12.6 percent of the State, an increase of 6.8 percentage points from 5.8 percent last week. Severe drought conditions remained at 11.9 percent of the State and extreme drought conditions increased slightly to cover 3.6 percent of the State, compared to 3.5 percent last week. Overall, 50.6 percent…
North Dakota
FARGO, N.D. August 15, 2022 - For the week ending August 14, 2022, there were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 7% very short, 34% short, 57% adequate, and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 4% very short, 26% short, 68% adequate, and 2% surplus. Field Crops Report: Soybean condition rated 0% very poor, 5% poor, 34% fair, 56% good, and 5% excellent. Soybeans blooming was 97%, near 95% last year and 96% for the five-year average. Setting pods was 68%, behind 83% last year and 80% average. Spring wheat condition rated 0% very poor, 2% poor, 26% fair, 62% good, and 10% excellent. Spring wheat coloring was 88%, behind 97% last year and 96% average. Mature was 45%, well behind 86% last year and 73% average. Harvested was 5%, well behind 45% last year and 29% average. Durum wheat condition rated 0% very poor, 2% poor, 24% fair, 71% good, and 3% excellent. Durum wheat coloring was 70%, well behind 96% last year and 94% average. Mature was 47%, well behind 81% last year, and behind 62% average. Harvested was 10%, behind 28% last year, and near 13% average…
South Dakota
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. August 15, 2022 - For the week ending August 14, 2022, there were 6.5 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 18% very short, 38% short, 42% adequate, and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 18% very short, 37% short, 43% adequate, and 2% surplus. Field Crops Report: Corn condition rated 7% very poor, 14% poor, 29% fair, 41% good, and 9% excellent. Corn silking was 93%, near 97% last year and 95% for the five-year average. Dough was 55%, behind 65% last year, and near 58% average. Dented was 6%, near 10% last year and 8% average. Soybean condition rated 4% very poor, 10% poor, 31% fair, 49% good, and 6% excellent. Soybeans blooming was 95%, equal to last year, and near 94% average. Setting pods was 74%, behind 82% last year, and near 76% average. Winter wheat harvested was 94%, near 97% last year and 92% average. Spring wheat harvested was 72%, behind 79% last year, but near 68% average. Oats harvested was 82%, behind 87% last year, but near 80% average…
Minnesota had 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending August 14, 2022, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Reporters noted that row crops were looking better after recent rainfall. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 7 percent very short, 21 percent short, 67 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 5 percent very short, 19 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Corn silking was at 97 percent. Corn dough reached 44 percent, 6 days behind the 5-year average. Corn condition was 2 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 54 percent good, and 12 percent excellent. Soybeans blooming or beyond reached 96 percent. Soybeans setting pods reached 77 percent, one week behind average. Soybean condition was 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 57 percent good, and 10 percent excellent…
Wisconsin had 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending August 14, 2022, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Harvesting of small grains continued, and farmers in the southern part of the State began their fourth cutting of alfalfa. Topsoil moisture condition rated 4 percent very short, 16 percent short, 73 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 6 percent very short, 19 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Corn silking was 88 percent, 11 days behind last year and 3 days behind the 5-year average. Forty-four percent of corn had reached the dough stage, 5 days behind last year but even with the average. Four percent of corn had reached the dent state. Corn condition was 78 percent good to excellent statewide, up 2 percentage points from last week. Soybeans blooming was 93 percent, 1 week behind last year but 3 days ahead of the average. Soybeans setting pods was 72 percent, 6 days behind last year and 2 days behind the average. Soybean condition was 77 percent good to excellent, up 3 percentage points from last week…
Several welcomed rain events improved crop conditions across the State last week, according to Marlo D. Johnson, Director of the Great Lakes Regional Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork in Michigan during the week ending August 14, 2022. Despite the additional precipitation, the latest US Drought Monitor continued to report Menominee County and the Central Lower Peninsula as abnormally dry and counties in East Central Michigan and the Thumb Region as in moderate drought. Cover crop planting was in full swing in harvested winter wheat fields. Oat and Barley harvest progress advanced and crop conditions improved after rain events. Corn and Soybeans development progressed ahead of the average pace, while crop conditions improved from the previous week. Weather in the Southeast allowed the progression of baling Alfalfa and other hay. Mild disease and pest activity. Other activities during the week included spraying pesticides, spreading manure, and baling straw…

Growing with Farmer Direct Organic
Farmer Direct Organic has built a traceable, transparent pipeline to market that will assure retailers that the organic products they are selling their customers have organic integrity and are grown by family farmers like you--not imported from faceless corporations being accused and convicted of organic fraud or domestic players who are floating the rules.  
Simply put, our strategy to take back markets by combating organic fraud and offshoring through transparency, traceability, pesticide testing and exclusively sourcing from US and Canadian farms is working and retailers want more of your grains.
We have a real opportunity to establish lasting relationships with retailers that will assure premium prices, regardless of the pressures to organic commodity markets.
Please call Fabiola Coates at 403-999-4161 if you have grain to market or me, Jason Freeman at 306-201-6948 if you have general questions about FDO. 


Pricing and Markets

Please contact us if you have any of the grains below for sale or acres you are interested in contracting.
All our oat planting seed has been contracted for the 2022 growing season. Thank you to all our grower partners. We still would like to speak to growers who are interested in putting gluten-free oats in their rotation. 
The Farmer Direct Organic brand is purchasing the following crops. For oats, priority will go to gluten free ROC and organic oats. Pricing to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
Call us, we’d like to discuss new crop pricing with you. Spot market price indications below:

Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) grains spot market pricing below:
Contact Information

For FDO organic crops and ROC pricing, please contact Fabiola Coates at 403-999-4161 or
Real Organic Voice

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
— Mary Oliver, excerpt from "The Summer Day"

Mark Askegaard and daughter, Beth Mcconnon with Certification Director Ariel Pressman at Askegaard Organic Farm in Moorhead, Minnesota

When it feels like it's too late, when all is inevitably lost, when there are too many forces going in the opposite direction, I often repeat the closing lines to the late Mary Oliver's famous poem "The Summer Day":

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

This summer, across the country, our Real Organic inspectors are visiting roughly 400 organic farms to inspect, interview, and discuss the future of organic farming. 

Each farm's story is unique and important. We all share the vision of a much more diversified and healthy, regionally-based agriculture steeped in the wise principles of organic. It's about so much more than the food we grow. It's how we treat people and the land, and the systems we model and create to interact with and value each other differently. Genuinely. Honestly. 

Each farm we visit is actively creating an enticing, tangible, more democratic future. As organic farmers work to ensure that our individual farms succeed, we are actively building a different world. 

We could push ourselves to be more informed. We could surround ourselves with people who care. And we could allow ourselves to envision what success looks like. Because collectively, our actions do matter. We influence someone who goes on to influence someone. Change can (and has) come quickly. By doing.

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

I choose to work with, and learn from, hard-working, principled, curious, observant, and humble farmers who have devoted their lives to the future of humanity. I'm grateful that you are here with us too.

Yours in the dirt,

Tiffany & Vincent Savarese with co-director Linley Dixon at Osito Farms in Hotchkiss, Colorado
In the News

Organic Week is Just Around the Corner!
The country's biggest organic celebration will be taking place from September 12 to 18, 2022. Organic organizations across Canada will be hosting a number of events, so keep an eye out for these announcements! 
You can learn more about Organic Week on the Canada Organic Trade Association's website.
It’s Time For Fashion to Talk More About Regenerative Agriculture
Making America’s Rivers Blue Again: Connecting the Dots Between Regenerative Ag & Healthy Waterways
How Canada can become a world leader in the production of organic foods
Upcoming Organic Event: Organic Connections Conference and Trade Show: November 16 & 17, 2022 at Prairieland Park, Saskatoon
Listening Now: The Regenerative Mindset
Watching Now: 3-Steps to Rapid Soil Regeneration Part 1: Finding the Beneficial Microbes in your Location
Watching Now: Sugar - The Bitter Truth

Pet of the Month:

Meet Montana!

Owner: Costa Rican Farmer


Hello, my name is Montana. I live in Costa Rice on a beautiful farm and enjoy eating dry grass all day along the beach.

Don't forget to send us pictures of your fur friends for a chance to be featured in our upcoming newsletters! 

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