Riverside Farm in Brisco is home to a lot of creatures. Bounding, friendly, and massive Maremmas, handsome horses and mules, honeybees (a kindergarteners’ birthday wish), and beautifully laced chicken and guinea hens. The animals are taken care of with a great deal of thought and affection, by a first-generation farming family—Jennifer Bowes, Trevor Hann, and their five-year-old daughter, Ellie. But at the heart of it all is their sheep. They keep over 130 in their flock of diverse heritage breeds, which are raised for both fibre and meat. The decision to raise sheep was an homage to their heritage. Bowes [...]
The growing season is winding down and farmers' markets have closed for the year, but there is still a lot in season and in abundance in the Columbia Valley. As you plan your holiday meal with family and friends, we encourage you to think local. Whether it's choosing to feature grassfed beef on your menu, local preserves on a charcuterie board, or local spirits for a toast to good health, this fall we want you to eat and drink Columbia Valley! Click here to download our Thanksgiving guide.
Winter squash season has arrived and with so much sweet, rich, bright, and nutrient-packed squash, we want you to embrace the diverse variety of these thick-skinned and hearty fruits. They are our favourite for flavour and colour to brighten up a dark winter day. They are also super immune-boosters, full of vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, and fiber. No matter the variety, when you’re shopping for winter squash, go for those that feel heavy for their size, have no bruising or soft spots, and an intact stem. The stem should be brown and dry, to ensure that the squash was [...]
It’s a skill, growing garlic. Farmers direct seeded it last fall with care, the tips of the seeds (cloves) pointed up. They planted it before the ground was frozen, but while it was still warm enough for roots to establish. They pushed the seed deep enough to protect it from harsh winter temperatures, but shallow enough to let it emerge with vigor in the spring. While it grew, they watered, weeded, and fertilized. They harvested its flower stalks (scapes) to help the plants develop large bulbs. They watered some more and weeded again if there was time (there’s never time). [...]
Farmers’ markets are economic drivers for communities. They bring people together to spend money within their local economy, whether it is directly with vendors at the market or with a local business in the surrounding neighborhood. But farmers’ markets can also act as business incubators, serving as a low-risk entry point into the marketplace for farmers, ranchers, food entrepreneurs, and artisans. A business incubator is a program or initiative which offers support for businesses to grow—this support includes knowledge, networking, equipment, and infrastructure. A farmers’ market organically fits the role of an incubator, as a market allows small businesses [...]
It’s peak growing season in our Valley and farmers’ markets are overflowing with abundance. When the days are long and hot, it all comes in at once. Raspberries, tomatoes, corn, eggs—it feels like everything is in season this month (yes, even eggs have a season). There are lots of big and small reasons to choose to shop local at a farmers’ market. Maybe you think it’s good for the environment or want to keep your dollar circulating in your local community. Maybe it’s something fun to do with your family on the weekend, or you know the ranchers who have [...]