March 9, 2023
We Built a Big Ugly Thing
This cumbersome contraption is our new germination chamber. Here’s how it works: You place a slow cooker full of water at the bottom and turn it on. The slow cooker will then create a warm and moist environment which is perfect for germinating seeds in. We can also attached LED lights to help our starts grow. We’ve never built anything from scratch before and we’re not handy people. Hence, it’s big and ugly.
A new state-of-the-art germ chamber can cost up to $8000. Ours cost under $200. Small-scale farming has a strong DIY culture due to the fact that new farms often don’t have money invest in new equipment or infrastructure. What we create often isn’t pretty, but it gets the job done!
Community Supported Agriculture
As many of you know, we had to move farms last year. The original property where we were farming had most of the infrastructure and tools that we needed. And so we were able to start our farm business with minimal up front investment on our part. However, after two years the owners of the property decided to sell.
When one of our regular customers found out he offered us a field on his property to farm and a place to live. This was truly a miraculous turn of events because opportunities like this are nearly impossible to come by here in the Kootenays.
The next major obstacle we faced was financial. We now have to build our farm from scratch which requires an invest in new infrastructure and tools. Our plan was to take out a large loan and invest in all new equipment that would make us more efficient, and therefore more profitable. There was one issue with our plan though. Because we’re a new business that doesn’t own any substantial collateral the bank denied our loan application.
This caused us to completely revamp our game plan. Instead of investing a ton of money we’ll be doing the opposite - spending as little as possible. Getting denied for a loan made us realize that if we ever hope to buy land of our own one day we can’t be carrying around a mountain of debt. The only issue with our new plan is that we still needed a walk-in cooler. And because we couldn’t afford one we were yet again in a difficult spot.
During our search for a new property to farm on another one of our customers had reached out. They told us that if we need a loan to help in our transition they would be willing to lend us a hand. When we reached out to see if that offer was still on the table they said yes. They offered us a zero-interest loan which we used to buy our much needed cooler.
There are massive barriers that young farmers have to wade through when trying to start a small-scale community farm. Both in affordable access to land and capital.But our community is proving that if we come together to support the types of changes we all wish to see, these obstacles can be overcome.
Our farm would not exist without this community and we want to make sure all of you know how thankful we are for all of the support that you’ve given us!
Description: This sauerkraut is made locally in small batches by the amazing folks at Counter Culture in Salmo. It's made with locally-grown organic veggies.
This is a traditional sauerkraut with just three ingredients: cabbage, carrots and salt. It has that classic clean flavour with a crunchy finish.
Details: Comes in a large 750 ml jar.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT 🍎
Farewell Garlic! 😔
There is no more quality local garlic left for us to buy in the Kootenays as its season comes to an end. But don’t feel sad, for longing makes the heart grow fonder.
As we emerge from winter and into spring the locally-grown veggies that we carry will dwindle more and more. This is how nature intended it to be.
However, with the invention of the automobile and globalization we now have a wide variety of food available all year round. We may think we’ve hacked nature but in reality all we’ve done is cheat ourselves.
The thing people misunderstand about eating seasonally is that is not about depriving yourself - it’s about appreciating what you have when you have it.
You can’t truly appreciate something until it’s gone. And when something like garlic is always available you forget what a miracle it truly is.