February 22, 2024

Emily Woody


Orange Carrots Are Back!

We were able to hunt down more orange storage carrots this week thanks to our friends and fellow farmers at Crooked Horn Farm in Winlaw.

We planned to have enough carrots to last us until April. But another farm that we work with, Salix & Sedge Farm out of Salmo, had a devastating pest problems last year. Pests damaged the majority of their carrot crop and and we weren't able to get the full amount that we planned for. Thus is farming…

We've been searching for more carrots but unless you've planned a year in advance with another farm, supplies are limited here in the Kootenays. Our goal is to be fully stocked on winter veggies until the spring but it turns out that's easier said than done😅


Getting To Know Crooked Horn Farm

We feel it's important to know the hard working people who grow our food. That's why we're excited to introduce Ange and Gord of Crooked Horn Farm in Winlaw!

They provide us with many of our summer crops, most notably their amazing slicer tomatoes, as well as our orange carrots, rutabaga, parsnips, shallots, and purple top turnips.


1. Who are you and where are you from originally?

We are Gord Spankie and Angela Weir. We both grew up in Calgary, but spent a lot of time in the East Kootenays at our family cabins in Windermere. Our cabins were close to each other, and we've known each other since we were kids. We reconnected in our early twenties, and lived in Vancouver for many years before moving to Winlaw.


2. How did you end up in the Kootenays?

We have both always loved the Kootenays and being in the forest and mountains. The lush West Kootenays have always been appealing, and we wanted to start a farm in an area that values organically grown food and responsible land stewardship. 

After leaving Vancouver, we went camping at Lemon Creek on a whim and floated the Slocan River on a cool and rainy day (which we don't recommend, but was still awesome). Later that fall we found our dream farm and moved in a few months later. We learned our lesson and only float on hot sunny days now.


3 What inspired you to become farmers?

I think we both had the dream of farming in the back of our minds for many years. We wanted to do work that would have some positive social and environmental impacts, grow nutritious food for our community, and be able to work outside doing work we feel passionate about.


4 What's your favorite part about being farmers?

Favourite things about being a farmer: working outside and being intimately connected to our land and the seasons, the life-long learning of farming, and eating lots of delicious food. Gord loves having a job that doesn't require a three piece suit, Ange loves listening to bird songs all day. 


5 What are your future dreams?

Our future dreams are to eliminate all weeds from the farm. But more realistically to continue to improve our soil, enhance habitat for wildlife, and have more time to enjoy our beautiful surroundings.



Grass-Fed Beef Bone Broth 

Description: Grass-Fed Beef Bone Broth is rich in flavour and a highly nutritious base for soups and stews. These bones were simmered for up to 8 hours by Granby Meat Company.


Bake-At-Home Kouign-Amann

Description: Pronounced kwun-uh-man, this rich and decadent French pastry is guaranteed to wow with every bite!

Kouign-Amanns are made with the sames light and flaky pastry dough as our Morning Buns, so the texture is similar. The main difference is the shape and the flavours.

The dough is sweet and sticky. When baked the sugars will caramelize resulting in a firm but chewy outer layer. When you take a bite the thin layers of pastry will crackle in your mouth. The heart of the bun is soft, moist and buttery. It's dominant flavour is cardamom with notes of buttery, decadent caramel. This is definitely one of Baker Mike's finest pastries!

About Luv Affair Pastry

Luv Affair Pastry was created by local baker Mike. He has spent many years perfecting his recipes. He originally started off selling his pastries at the Nelson farmers market. He then had a pop up at Au Soleil Levant for many years. Mike makes some of the best pastries we've ever had so we were excited when he decided to let us carry his products!

Details: comes in a box of 3 or 6 unbaked pastries.



Wheat Berry Pudding 

Wheat Berry Pudding is a magical dessert that we recently discovered. The wheat berries add an amazing bouncy texture. The flavour is sweet and creamy with strong notes of caramel and the occasional sweet burst of raisins.

If you want a dessert that truly represents Kootenay agriculture this is it!




Are There Pesticides In Your Cheerios?

A little-known pesticide known as chlormequat chloride which has been linked to reproductive health and fetal development issues has shown up in 92% of oat-based products tested in the US according to a new study by the EWG.

Chlormequat is a agro-chemical primarily used by grain farmers that inhibits plant growth. They spray it directly on their crops to stunt stem height growth in order to make harvesting easier.

Chlormequat is banned from use in food production in the US and is only allowed for use in ornamental plants. However, in Canada, our regulators have allowed the use of chlormequat on food crops, primarily wheat, oats, and barley. Even though it's banned in the US, their federal government has recently allowed the import of crops sprayed with chlormequat into the US for food products.

Here’s what we know about chlormequat so far according to the studies that have been conducted:

  • In the European Union, in the early 1980s, the impacts of chlormequat exposure on reproductive toxicity and fertility were first described by Danish pig farmers who observed reproductive declines in pigs raised on chlormequat treated grains.
  • These observations were later investigated in controlled laboratory experiments on pigs and mice, whereby female pigs fed chlormequat treated grain exhibited disrupted oestrus cycling and difficulty mating compared to animals on a control chlormequat-free diet.
  • Additionally, male mice exposed to chlormequat via diet or drinking water during development exhibited decreased fertilization capacity of sperm in vitro.
  • More recent reproductive toxicity studies on chlormequat show delayed onset of puberty, reduced sperm motility, decreased weights of male reproductive organs, and decreased testosterone levels in rats exposed during sensitive windows of development, including during pregnancy and early life.
  • Developmental toxicity studies also suggest that chlormequat exposure during pregnancy can dysregulate fetal growth and metabolism.Other investigations did not find impacts of chlormequat on reproduction in female mice, male pigs, or a subsequent investigation of fertilization capacity in male mice developmentally and postnatally exposed to chlormequat.
  • Equivocal evidence in the toxicological literature on chlormequat may be due to differences in doses tested and outcomes measured as well as selection of model organism and the sex of laboratory animals. Consequently, further investigation is warranted.
  • Chlormequat, was detected in 77 of 96 urine samples taken from 2017 and 2023, with levels increasing in the most recent years, a new study by the Environmental Working Group finds.
  • Chlormequat was found in 92% of oat-based foods sold in May 2023, including Quaker Oats and Cheerios, according to the research published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.

So, here's what we know for sure - chlormequat has been shown to have hazardous affects on reproductive and fetal health development in pigs, mice and rats. Chlormequat was found in the majority of human urine samples tested with a significant increase of exposure in 2023. Chlormequat is showing up in the vast majority of oat-based foods that were tested from the grocery store.

This is cause for serious concern. Small exposures of chlormequat in humans over a short time period may have been deemed safe by some health regulators (but not all) but repeated exposure over a long time scale has not been. There are also no studies on the effects of exposure on pregnant women or children.

Here's one of the major problems with our industrialized, chemicalized food system and the organizations who regulate its safety - there's no transparency. 

If agro-chemicals are approved for human consumption in small doses we deserve the right to know the names of these chemicals. We deserve the right to know the potential health risks. And we deserve the right to know which foods in the grocery store may contain these chemicals.

Otherwise we run the very real risk of unknowingly and repeatedly exposing ourselves and our children to chemicals that could harm our health permanently.

So, why don't they simply let us know? 

Would you buy a box of Cheerios from the grocery store that read: 

"May contain trace amounts of chlormequat chloride. Chlormequat is a pesticide that the Canadian government has deemed safe for human consumption. Chlormequat has been linked to reproductive and fetal developmental health issues in some animal studies." 

Neither would I - which is why they don't want it labeled or thoroughly studied.

This all sounds sounds bleek I know, but we do have alternatives. We can protect our health by opting out of this system. We can decide to support local and regional farms who refuse to spray poisons on their crops. Who are passionate about growing for quality instead of quantity. Who value public health over profits. 

It's never been more important to know where your food comes from than it is today.


🍅 Save up to $200 by joining our Farm Membership! 🍅 Farm Members play a vital role in our farm business. By paying for food upfront you allow us to invest in seeds, new tools, equipment, ingredients, and infrastructure which greatly improves the overall financial stability of our farm.



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