Sitting on my paddle board in the middle of the lake five years ago, I started dreaming about a different way to grow food and build community in the Okanagan.
As I reminisced about my childhood here, playing in rolling orchards and abundant gardens, the inspiration came quickly. I imagined a space where people could experience ways to work with nature instead of against her and where biodiversity would thrive. An abundant farm where gardens and orchards resembled forests instead of sterile rows. A haven with lush soil and healthy food dripping from every branch and stem. A place for yoga retreats, weddings, school lessons and farm tours.
One, maybe two small hiccups… I’ve never farmed before and I had no idea where to start. I also didn’t have any land. I was currently living in Alberta in a career and a life that had chewed me up and spit me out.
But here’s the funny thing, when you abandon all you know and chase your dreams because you can’t live through the reality of ignoring that calling, the universe rises-up and meets you head on. You have to follow the path that makes you feel most alive.
So, I quit all three jobs I had, sold my house, put a dying relationship out of its misery, and packed what I needed… in my Volkswagen no less. Whoever says you can’t farm out of a car would have loved to see me travel across provinces with a hay bale strapped to the roof of my Golf.
What happened next has been a series of big, little and legit miracles.
You need land to farm?
A fenced acre of wild, unused land that you can experiment with?
You need a landowner with a similar mind set willing to work with you to accomplish the same goals of creating an abundant landscape?
Poof… Wish granted!
IT ALL STARTED WITH A SEED; ONE IDEA,
ONE DREAM, ONE LITTLE PIECE OF HOPE
It’s called having a vision, then you feed it, care for it, give it the space to grow, and soon your dreams are unfolding around you.
They have taken root and you are now suddenly, shaking the hand of a customer at the market who buys your greens every weekend.
You’re sitting at a local restaurant, ordering your produce off the menu and grinning like an idiot because everyone there is being nourished in part, by your work.
During my first year, I wanted to see if my dream could be a reality. Could I grow a head of lettuce and sell it? I leaned heavily on my permaculture design and installation experience, but this little farm operation was amateur at best, and I spent more money than I made selling my produce at the Naramata and Summerland markets.