SPOTLIGHT FEATURE SALE: This Sunday at the Poirier Street Farmers Market Ripple Creek Organic Farm will be offering a special deal! Stop by their tent on Sunday and ask for the SPOTLIGHT DEAL on plant starts: cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and peppers – a combination of any 3 for $10. (This deal has now expired.)
Q. How long have you been farming?
My wife and I met on an organic farm in Virginia nine years ago and have been involved in farming in some way since then. My wife also studied agriculture at university in Ecuador. She was exposed to farming by her grandmother, who had avocado and mandarin orchards, and grew many different types of fruits and vegetables.
2014 was the first year that we had our very own farm business.
Q. What is the Yarrow Eco-Village and why did you decide to farm on that land?
The Yarrow Eco-Village is a co-housing community in Chilliwack, that apart from 33 households, also has 15 acres of farmland, some of which is leased to different individuals or businesses. More information can be found at www.yarrowecovillage.ca. We chose to farm here because the land is beautiful and the community is very supportive. So much so that when Ana went into labour on a harvest day last summer and our second child was born, many neighbours came together to harvest and process our vegetables and even went to the Abbotsford farmers’ market the next day to sell them!
Q. What is your favourite vegetable to grow?
I get satisfaction from growing all types of things, there’s nothing like harvesting a perfectly ripe strawberry or salad mix in its most tender and delicious stage. But my favourite vegetable to grow is the cherry tomato!
Q. You received your full organic certification this year (congratulations!), why was that process important to you?
We have always been dedicated to farming organically, but chose to go through the certification process so that new customers can be confident that they are buying a product that is grown in an environmentally responsible way and consuming produce that is free from harmful chemicals (and hopefully tastes great!)
Q. Why do you think farmers markets are important in the community?
Farmers markets enable a connection between people and their local food source. Supermarket chains that provide imported produce throughout the year with little to no seasonality have a tendency to disconnect people from that source. Customers that shop at farmers markets are rewarded with a product that is generally fresher, tastier and more nutritious than what is offered at a supermarket.
They also provide an opportunity for farmers to meet the people who are eating the product of their many hours of labour. It is much more gratifying for a farmer to interact with a customer, and see their excitement about buying a head of butter lettuce, than sell that lettuce to a wholesaler and never know where it ends up.
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