Fresh This Week:
We have garlic, canning tomatoes, and squash available now!
We have preserved Peach Jam, Pear and Cinnamon Jam, Raspberry Jam, Strawberry Jam, Green Pepper Relish, Inferno Pepper Jelly, Honey Grain Mustard and more!
Raw Honey, Wildflower Honey, Spring Honey, Elderberry Flower Honey, Linden Honey and Creamed Honey are still in supply.
How do we grow Local Food on our Farm?
The sustainability of our farm is based around our honey bees. We grow our local produce in correlation with honey bee forage needs. The honey bees require good sources of pollen and nectar from early March to freeze up in the fall.
March, on the farm, will see thousands of crocuses blooming, which coincide with the bloom of wild pussy willows and hazel nut trees. Our first blooming crop is the haskap or honey berry in April. This remarkable berry can withstand -7C in full bloom and still bear fruit. The fruit its self is ready just prior to our strawberries and is highly anti-oxidant.
As important to the farm as the honey bees is our soil. Here is SE Kelowna; we have a very light sandy soil. The stewardship of our land by rebuilding our soil is a continual process. Soil erosion, nutrient depletion, and water control must be considered every day for our produce to survive. Mulch is placed along the entire permanent berry rows, equipment rows are planted to bee forage, mowed in sequence and the clippings put back into the soil as top dressing. This achieves weed and pest suppression, retention of our precious water and rebuilding of the nutrients in our soil.
Crop rotation and inter plantings aid in pest reduction, weeding and nutrient depletion by heavy feeding crops. Green manure crops like fall rye, clover and phacelia are grown to prevent soil erosion, feed the honey bees and add fiber and nitrogen into the land. Compost is mixed here on the farm and fed back in the soil to maximize our production.
Pest management is achieved through crop rotation, mulching, hand picking, time management, and companion planting. Our pungent garlic is a critical tool in our pest management regime.
Our main stream produce is spring time radishes, rhubarb spinach, lettuce, greens, chives and garlic greens. Late spring, early summer English peas, Edible pod peas, honey berries, strawberries, beets, carrots, onions, and beans. During this time the rest of our berries like red and golden raspberries, currants and goose berries bear fruit. Our late crops include squash, sugar pumpkins, and non GMO corn. Garlic harvest is late June to early July. Honey harvest is typically July to mid-August. Our farm is a mosaic of fruits and vegetables, feeding our bees and supplying local food.
We are not Certified Organic but for the love of our bees and our land nothing is sprayed on the food we eat. Our due diligence and our passion for what we do are reflected in the quality and flavour of the food we grow. This consistent high quality has earned us a partnership with some of the Okanagan’s finest Executive Chefs in restaurants like Old Vines Restaurant at Quail’s Gate Winery, Raudz Regional Table and Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar.