March 24th, 2022

FARM NEWS

Who's ready for Spring greens?!🌱

We just planted our first greens of the year into the soil in our hoop house and boy did it feel good!

We transplanted Pac Choi using soil blocks which was another first. A soil blocker is a tool that we use to make blocks of soil for our transplants to grow in instead of using plastic cell seed trays.

 

Not only does this eliminate the use of cheap flimsy plastic seed cell trays, but the starts look MUCH stronger.

Can't wait to put more plant babies in the ground!

 

 

NEW PRODUCTS

Sprouts by Meadowbrook Farms

Delicious and highly nutritious sprouts grown by our friends and fellow farmers at Meadowbrook Farms in Salmo.

Details

Each clamshell weighs 112 grams

Available in Alfalfa or Clover.

 

 We’ve upgraded our cookies! 🍪🍪🍪

We’re currently in the process of revamping our bake-at-home cookie offering. We’ve decided to switch from our glass jars to carboard boxes. This will significantly lower the cost of the cookies while still being super cute. We’ve also changed the amount of cookies from 12 to 8 to keep costs down.

Soon we’ll be dropping 3 NEW cookie flavours. We’ve been doing a lot of research and experimenting, trying to perfect the art of the cookie. We’ve had to eat a lot of cookies, in the name of science of course, and we’re very excited to share our work with you!

We will be running a cookie clearance sale this week to make room for the new cookie boxes. Be sure to grab some before they’re all gone!

 

 

 

MEET YOUR LOCAL FARMERS 👨‍🌾👩‍🌾

We would like to introduce you to Krista and Brian, owners and operators of Zero Fox Tree Crop Farms in Harrop. Like us, they are new farmers to the Kootenays and hold many of the same values that we do. The only difference is that they specialize in native trees and shrubs!

They have just launched their catalogue for this year it looks amazing! If you’re looking to add fruit trees, create more beauty and improve the overall property value of your home with native, locally grown trees and shrubs, than this is the farm you need to check out!

We asked them a few question so that you could become better acquainted. Here are 5 things you didn’t know about your local nursery.

 

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

Hiya! We are Brian Goldstein and Krista Robson of Zero Fox Tree Crops. Brian originally immigrated to Canada from the square state of Colorado and Krista is from the shores of Lake Erie in Simcoe Ontario.

We are mountain loving folk seeking a genuine experience with the land and the people who live here. We wanted to farm thinking generationally so growing trees made the most sense. Leaving the place we call home a better place is important for us and we hope that our interactions with the community and the perennial plants we put out in the world can have a positive trickle down effect for decades to come.



2 How did you end up in the Kootenays?

Krista moved out west 17 years ago to live the dream and landed on the east side of Vancouver. After working various career jobs in community services and other random endeavors, Krista decided that the city life was no longer for her and set off for Nelson with her kiddos in search of a slower pace and tighter community.

Brian grew up in the foothills of the southern Rockies in Colorado and eventually spent a decade in the super cold Gunnison Valley on the western slope where he got a BA in Environmental studies and learned everything he could about high altitude cold climate gardening by starting community gardens, the University farm and eventually his own small vegetable operation.

The arid mountain west drove him to search for deeper snow and bigger trees to the north and 8 years ago, after taking a PDC at Kootenay Permaculture Institute in Winlaw, BC Brian had found the place he wanted to call home.



3. What inspired you to become farmers?

Krista grew up in conventional farm land surrounded by thousands of acres of Corn, Soy and Tobacco grown in southern Ontario. She was nurtured by the Carolinian forest ecosystem and grew up playing in the wooded areas nearby and fell in love with the forest too. The shift towards farming made sense for Krista once she moved to the Kootenays but certainly not the conventional monocrops she was used to seeing in Ontario.

After meeting Brian in 2016 and through the developing years of their relationship the plan to grow tree crops evolved and made the most sense. Brian’s desire to farm and be a producer was stumbled upon later in life during college. Going through an environmental studies degree was becoming existentially overwhelming and the need to make a real positive change with his hands motivated Brian to fill the need for cold climate food production that was lacking in his community.

Farming made sense on a values level and the challenging conditions of growing food in a mountain environment made the endeavor unique and engaging. Learning about permaculture system designs and the value of perennial food crops inspired Brian to work with tree crops and get them out into the world and thus Zero Fox Tree Crops was born.



4. What’s your favorite part about being a farmer?

We have many favorite parts about being farmers that center on freedom, connection and gettin dirty. The ability to set our own hours, have the kids at work, and put our vision into the world creates a great sense of freedom and empowerment to keep us stoked on farming. Creating community connections and helping people try on perennial agriculture is really fun and has provided us with so many unexpected joys.

Getting ourselves good and dirty, working with hand tools and using our muscles every day to accomplish work that ties our bodies to our vision is definitely one of our top reasons to farm. Teaching the kids different names of plants and seeing them develop their own relationships with the wild world is an amazing part of being a farmer and really any opportunity to educate and empower people to be a part of their place through the plant world is great.



5. What are your future dreams?

We have a lot of future dreams and passions we would like to see come to life. Right now the main dream we have is making this business work and trying to make next year not be as hard as the current one. Krista dreams to have her farming lead towards working with the community in healing generational trauma through connecting with the earth.

Currently Krista works both as a farmer as well as a family support worker with Nelson Community Services. She sees so much opportunity in working with medicinal herbs and perennial food crops to provide support to the most vulnerable members of our community. Providing people with a safe and accessible space to facilitate healing trauma is an important dream of hers that she hopes to put into action in a bigger way.

Brian dreams of having land one day and being able to plant all the different trees he’s been learning to propagate over the years. The goal is to create a genetic library that holds the perennial food crops and medicinal herbs that work well in our physical and social environment while also working with their desire to connect it all to healing and community building.



6. What are you selling and why should be people be interested?

This year we offered 27 different selections of trees, shrubs and bushes available on our website Zerofoxtreecrops.com. We’ve sold out of a few items but there are many exciting options left to purchase in the store including Food Forest and Nut Tree packages in different sizes. We also offer a Cold climate food forest package for our zone 3 or 4 customers. Our plants include large overstory nut trees such as walnuts, chestnuts, oaks and full sized hardy fruit trees like Mulberry and apple. Understory plants are also available such as hazels, plums and Aronia berry.

Ecological support trees and bushes that fix nitrogen such as honey locust and hybrid poplars along with Sea Buckthorn are available to pair with the food producing trees. People should be interested in our trees to increase their food security along with providing wildlife habitat and growing fire smart species to reduce fuel load, increase shade and water retention on their property. We handpick most of our seeds from plants in the southern interior so that we can provide suitable specimens for growing in Canada and specifically in our region.

Plants are sold bare root to keep prices low and improve their transplanting ability and need to be planted before breaking dormancy at the end of April. We offer affordable shipping anywhere in Canada and also offer local pickup for people who want to come out to the farm in early April.

You can contact them by email at trees@zerofoxtreecrops.com or by checking out their website by clicking the link below! 👇👇👇

www.zerofoxtreecrops.com

 

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