Vendor Spotlight: Forstbauer Natural Food Farms
Blueberries, carrots, and beets OH MY! Forstbauer Natural Food Farms is only about certified organic foods, and those who shop with them get to take advantage of all the benefits. A family business which has grown locally since 1977, you must read about their story here.
Q. You have a family farm and have raised 12 children there. How is it running a family business?
Since 1977 in matsqui ~ we moved to Chilliwack in 1989
Q. What is the main produce that you grow?
All certified organic and certified demeter (bio-dynamic) blueberries, zucchini, beans, carrots, beets, pickling cukes and many other great vegetables
Q. Your family is a pioneer in organic farming. Why did you decided this was important 30 years ago?
Hans was raised on a bio-dynamic farm. We had children and did not want to expose them to the chemicals .
Q. For someone who doesn’t understand, what does it mean when they buy and eat produce that is organic certified?
Food grown on an organic certified farm is grown using cultural, biological and mechanical practices that promote ecological balance and biodiversity. Synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers are not allowed. Our farms and bookkeeping is checked regularly to ensure we are following the standards. The certification bodies are audited regularly to ensure that they have all the checks and balances in place
Q. For someone who has bought and tried your produce, why does it taste so much better than what is bought in grocery stores?
It is local and fresh. We also grow bio dynamically which is more strict than organic. Using chemicals on/in our soil can cause less sugar to be available to the plants.
Q. Why do you think farmers markets are important in the community?
For centuries people have gathered together to share food. At farmers markets people build community and meet their neighbours. In today’s world many people do not have gardens and their only connection to food is a grocery store. At farmers markets people learn that farmers are real people just like them. They have families and the same challenges as every one else
Q. What is your most popular produce? What do customers ask for the most?
Our carrots. They are super sweet ~~ after a school farm tour i often receive calls from parents to see if our farm is the one that has the candy cane sweet carrots. Also our northland blueberries.
Q. How do you see organic farming changing and growing in the future?
Every year there are more young people wanting to reconnect with farming. I see the younger generations moving back to the land as a way of securing food for the future. These young people care about our environment and the food they eat so they are farming using organic methods. I believe more mainstream farmers will move to organic as they want to be more sustainable. We are already seeing mainstream farmers looking at the organic industry for answers to some of their production problems.
I, personally, did not grow up on a farm. We raised our children on the farm and they have a respect for life and community that i am very proud of. I am now watching our grandchildren show pride in the food we grow. It is rewarding that they care and brag that we are organic farmers, they take part in the farming and marketing. We empower them to be a part of the farm business giving them responsibilities.