Telsing has a couple of aspects on her farm; she has a demonstration garden, a seed house, and a small nursery. Her farm demonstrates various ways of food growing with an interest in crop growing, especially local crop growing. She grows a wide variety of crops and while she is not a market garden or a CSA, she provides plant starts through seeds and plants. She has moved across Canada all her life but has been farming in West Carleton since the fall of 2010.
Her goals that she is working towards are crop development and being able to provide access to seeds and genetic information. She wants to maintain seeds as a part of the public domain so she does not patent anything she grows so it is accessible to everyone.
- Why is the Deep Roots Food Hub important?
The Deep Roots Food Hub provides a space for people interested in food to work together including growers, advocates and eaters (all of us). I find that people don’t always know that various resources or other like-minded people exist so being able to work together and sharing resources and strategies is important.
- What does food security mean to you?
Food security means timely access to nutritional, affordable food as well as the means to produce it.
- How long have you been farming and what type of farm do you run?
I have been on my acreage since the Fall of 2010 and my farm is multi-dimensional. It is mostly a seed house specializing in hard to find edibles but also crop development. I have various demonstration gardens including a food forest and a small seasonal plant nursery.
- What made you want to be a farmer?
I became interested in cooking while living in England. Passing by hedges of rosemary and fennel, it seemed silly to buy herbs in little plastic containers, so I became interested in edibles and edible landscaping. As I learned more about what I was calling cottage gardening, I stumbled across lost plants, perennial edibles, seed saving and plant breeding.
- Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
Homegrown Goodness, a proboard brought me in contact with a multitude of excellent and innovative plant growers including Stephen from http://www.edimentals.com/blog/, Owen from http://radix4roots.blogspot.ca/, Soren from https://toads.wordpress.com/, and many more who don't have websites. I would inevitably miss one that is equally important in inspiring and developing my craft which I would hate to do so please know this list is very long! There are so many others that I deeply admire including Dan Tourne-sol, Patrice at Solana Seeds and William of Cultivariable. Some influential authors early on for me were Carol Deppe, a plant breeder: http://www.caroldeppe.com/ , Eliot Coleman, a market gardener: http://www.fourseasonfarm.com/, and Healther Jo Flores of http://www.foodnotlawns.com/.
- What have you found the hardest thing about farming?
The hardest thing about farming would probably be that people don’t value it economically nor have a sense of the work involved.
- What is your proudest accomplishment?
Watching the landscape grow and watching myself grow with the landscape. Here I have become more keenly aware of our fragility.
- What goals are you working towards in terms of your career?
I am working towards crop development and being able to provide access to diverse seed. I want to maintain seeds as a part of the public domain.
- If you had the power to solve one food related problem in the world, what would it be and why?
This question is extremely hard to answer. What comes immediately to mind is to prevent land-grabs or the buying up of arable land. I think it is important to enable the good stewardship of land by all the people who benefit from it. That is, of course, everyone. And by good stewardship, I mean for a whole, dynamic ecosystem.