Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association

Bridge at Maple Plains Agro-Environmental Demonstration Project The Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association, BBEMA to its familiars, is an organization worthy of support from every Islander.

Today I had the pleasure of taking a tour of the Maple Plains Agro-Environmental Demonstration Project, a joint venture of BBEMA and farmer George Webster.

The Big Idea at Maple Plains is research and education surrounding sustainable agriculture: in other words, figuring out how we can adjust the way we grow our food so that we make less of an impact on the land.

Maple Plains is an actual working farm, where actual real potatoes and other crops are grown. And there’s actual real research going on there: research on run-off, filter strips, buffer zones, strip cropping and more. There’s a weather station and a significant educational effort involving tours, and outreach into the schools.

In short, BBEMA and their partners are doing the kind of stuff that a lot of people are saying we need to do before the agricultural bubble bursts; they’re laying the groundwork for the kind of sustainable farming that will inevitably become common practice if we’re going to continue growing food here and not completely screw the place up.

The BBEMA people impressed me with the degree to which they are firmly rooted in the practical: they understand how the world works, how to make projects happen, and how to preach the sustainable gospel without coming off as whacked out weirdo hippie freaks.

You can join or make a donation. Given that a donation is an investment in the long-term health of our province, I would encourage all readers to make a donation to the extent that they are able; feel free to drop a note in the Discuss This box when your cheque is in the mail.