Bushels of green local vegetables

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

Celebrate B.C. Farmers Appreciation Week

This week marks the fifth annual Farmers’ Appreciation Week — a province wide celebration of B.C. farmers, agriculture and food.

British Columbians are passionate about buying local, fresh, and in-season; According to Statistics Canada in 2011, more than 120 farmers’ markets operate across the province, stocked by nearly 20,000 farms, 98 per cent being family-owned and run farms. There isn’t much that B.C. farmers aren’t growing — B.C.’s agrifood industry is the most diverse in Canada, with over 200 agricultural products — and with market venues popping up throughout the province, consumers have an easy time accessing their products.

“The Rossland Mountain Market has worked hard all year long to ensure this community has access to good, healthy food. It’s not just about bringing in vendors; the market is about building relationships — friendships – with the people who are growing the food we eat,” said market manager Miche Warwick. “It’s about getting to know the farmers who care so much about our health. B.C. Farmers Appreciation Week is a time when we should all offer a big thank you, a supportive hug and a sincere handshake to those who work tirelessly so we can eat good food.”

Here in Rossland, farms from Fruitvale, Creston, Grand Forks and the Slocan Valley regularly provide everything from vegetables, fruits and herbs to antibiotic and hormone free meat.

John Abenante and Jeanine Powell are the faces behind Earthy Organics in Fruitvale. With backgrounds in kinesiology, horticulture, permaculture and greenhouse management, and a strong belief in eating healthy, John and Jeanine have built a beautiful, productive, certified organic farm. They began selling at the Rossland Mountain Market in 2008, and have been season vendors every year. To John and Jeanine, farming is more than just growing food; it’s a passion, a lifestyle and their contribution to local sustainability.

Joanne Gugelyk from Abbeylane Farm in Creston has been a season vendor at the Rossland Mountain Market for the past two summers. Joanne’s farm is certified organic through the Kootenay Local Agricultural Society, and she takes great pride in growing pesticide free produce. “Organic is important because it is a protection mechanism. When you put chemicals into the soil, they are brought right back out into the food that grows in that soil,” explained Joanne. In keeping with this organic philosophy, she also tries to use as little packaging as possible, opting for newspaper pots for bedding plants and paper or cellophane bags for produce, all compostable.

Wendy and Dale McNamar are the proud owners of Kootenay Natural Meats in Creston, and Wendy attends the Rossland Mountain Market on a bi-weekly basis. Wendy and Dale have developed a passion for healthy, antibiotic and hormone free meat. Their animals are born and raised on the farm and with their own breeding stock they control their animals’ health and welfare. All the beef and lamb from their farm is “grass-finished” which, in comparison to “grain-finished,” is a much healthier product.

Behind Centre Road Farm in Grand Forks are Gerry and Debbie Steadman. They operate a 33,000 square foot greenhouse, as well as an outdoor garden. The Steadmans love to grow food and feel very thankful farmers’ markets exist in our area; markets provide them with income to keep farming. Gerry has attended Rossland’s market since 2010 and feels that they receive a lot of support every week.

Mad Dog Farm is located in Tarrys, just east of Castlegar. Here you can find Nette Lack working on her 28 acre farm. A very important part of it is 14 bee hives containing approximately 300,000 bees, essential for good pollination. Mad Dog Farm is Certified Kootenay Mountain Grown, which is a farmer-to-farmer, organic certification here in the Kootenays. Nette plans to be a regular in Rossland.

 

See for yourself what they have to offer at the Rossland Mountain Market at Columbia Ave and Queen St., every Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. until October 2.

 

 

Just Posted

Spruce up Castegar, we’re being judged!

Communities in Bloom officials review everything from littering to city’s environmental policies

Kootenay heat wave sparks record-breaking energy use

Energy-use is nearing FortisBC’s highest peak load on record of 746 MW from December 2008

Kaslo native promotes science and reason on a global stage

Pangburn Philosophy is part show business, part intellectual journey

Trail All Stars riding tourney win into Little League provincials

The Trail All Stars are heading into the provincial championships on a winning note

Kootenay town was the hot spot in all of Canada on Monday

The temperature hit 38.8 C at the Warfield weather station on July 16, setting a new daily record

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Woman charged after eight dogs seized from hotel room

Sixteen dogs recently seized from Adams and her daughter in Quesnel

Motorcyclist grateful to be alive, thanks fellow drivers

Over a dozen people stopped to assist Lori Hann after she tumbled off her bike on Hwy 3, Saturday

Owner of B.C. fruit stand recounts ‘flames popping up everywhere’ from wildfire

The Mount Eneas wildfire is burning at about 200 hectares south of Peachland

Ontario, Saskatchewan premiers join together to oppose federal carbon plan

Saskatchewan is already involved in a court case over the tax

For-profit ridesharing legislation long overdue: BC Conservatives

Interim party leader Scott Anderson said the provincial government should step out of the way

After cave rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

On Wednesday evening, the boys and coach were released from hospital

Gymnastics sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage award at ESPYs

The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

Most Read