Our names are Emily and Nathan, and we are Confluence Farms! We came to the Kootenays from very different places - Nathan is an Alberta city boy, and I am a country girl from Wisconsin. We met in the summer of 2015 at Shambhala Music Festival, and at the time we had very different life paths.
Nathan was studying Holistic Nutrition in Edmonton and I was studying Ecological Agriculture and Community Development in Washington state. But after two years of visiting each other on our breaks, we decided to tie the knot and start a life together in Canada!
We landed in Edmonton with a crazy idea. We wanted to start a farm in the place that we originally met, the magical Kootenays. With no money, land or any idea of how this was going to happen, we decided we better start farming.
That spring we took over a vacant city lot near our house to grow a garden in. Our goal was to grow all of our own veggies for the summer and have some left over to feed our friends and family. There were some rough patches that season, but we accomplished our goal and had fun doing it!
That summer we were known in the neighborhood for our sunflowers, which were volunteers that grew with reckless abandon all over the lot. The sunflowers were a highlight for us, and before winter came, we made sure to collect seeds to grow the next year.
After living in Edmonton for a year, we decided to move to Kelowna in the spring of 2019. We started Confluence Farms from a blank slate on ¼ acre of scraggly old horse pasture behind our rental home. Our goal was to provide all of our vegetable needs for the whole year, and we created a wild, beautiful, and abundant garden filled with sunflowers from our saved seeds.
Much to our delight, our garden was so productive that we soon found ourselves sharing our veggies and flowers with friends and neighbors!
That summer, we became a bit obsessed with sharing our food with people - even knocking on doors in our neighborhood to give veggies away. We also started a ‘Free Farm Stand’ on the side of the road as a way to connect our food with a larger audience.
From June through September, we loaded up our coolers with our finest veggies and invited people to take them home. The response that we received from these offerings was incredibly heart-warming, and we knew that we had found our calling.
For the 2020 growing season, we decided to doubled our size to be about ½ acre, and we focused on producing the most delicious, nutritious, and sustainably-produced veggies, herbs, and flowers that you ever did see!
We then heard about a program called the Young Agrarians which helps young farmers find land to farm on. We decided to reach out to see what was out there and low and behold our dream farm appeared.
Tulaberry Farms in Passmore has been run by Judi and Alex for the better part of 40 years. They built it from scratch and created one of the most beautiful farms we've ever seen.
They gave us the incredible opportunity to start our farm on their property and here we are! From a dream to a reality.
Our intention is to be a modern neighborhood farm stand, where people from our community can conveniently access high-quality food that they can feel good about. So if we’ve met before or we haven’t yet, we invite you to stop by our booth at the Nelson Farmers Market or to check out our online store, because we would love to share our food with you!