My background is stewardship and environmental engagement. When we moved back to Vernon with kids I decided it was time to get hands off the computer and in the dirt to manage a piece of our own land. From the start we pursued organic status, added a permaculture grove to our orchard, built onsite cold storage, and implemented regenerative practises to build soil and rehabilitate the natural environment on and around the farm. Soon some of our friends’ farm animals were arriving to retire here.
I’m proud of our CSA with members who have been with us for five years. We want our CSA members to feel involved and know they are a part of supporting local food— partnering is the motivating side of the work. We partner with ventures like Monashee Community Coop, Vernon Farmers’ Market, and Farmbound Warehouse. We’ve enjoyed partnering with our friends at Pilgrims’ Produce near Armstrong on apple juice blended with their organic veggies like carrots and beets. Some store owners come to the farm to buy juice as it comes off Okanagan Mobile’s juicing trailer. And this year we will be a part of a local BX farm gate tour—a fun way for locals to explore farms right in Vernon’s back yard.
In terms of what is missing in our region… the first thing that jumps to mind is a food co-op like the Monashee Co-op. Vernon should have its own. I’m hoping we will also see a dedicated farmers’ market space—like at the BX Ranchlands park—with community gardens, demonstration plots, workshops etc. All happening right there.
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