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.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Rossland looks to implement mail ballot voting

City said new procedure could make voting easier and more accessible for residents

Drugs, stolen bike and cheques seized during RCMP search in Castlegar

Two men were taken into police custody during the search warrant

Morning start: This is the fastest growing city in the Kootenays

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Monday, May 25

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Mountain Pineapple defers application for new cannabis store in Rossland

The application was originally going to be reviewed by city council on May 19

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Most Read