Name? Laticia Chapman
Where do you farm? Tarry’s, between Nelson and Castlegar, BC
What do you farm? Our family farm produces orchard fruit, flowers, & berries.
What type of business structure is your farm? Sharecropping.
What is your land tenure? Are there special relationships that allow for this? My parents are the landowners, and fellow farmers.
How did you seriously get into farming? I spent two growing seasons as an intern at the Bullocks Permaculture Homestead and Nursery on Orcas Island in Washington, which is where I got my practical, dirty-hands farming experience.
Why did you apply for the YA Business Mentorship Network? I applied for the mentorship because I thought it might help give some structure and momentum to our first year on the farm, and also because I feel that becoming more financially literate will help me to make sound decisions when it comes to spending money/making money on this land, and also using the land wisely and sustainably.
What is the greatest business challenge you face as a young farmer? Right now, I’d say the big challenge is not having much money to invest in what I need to buy for this season. As the season ramps up the big challenge will probably be trying to find enough hours in the day to do all the work.
What are your business goals for the season? My business goals are pretty modest. This year, all I want to do is make the necessary amount to maintain the property’s farm status, and to get some business experience under my belt that can be built on for next year.
What business tools could you not live without? Necessary business tools: a filing system and spreadsheet software.
If you had a farming super power what would it be? The farming super power I’d like to have would have something to do with the ability to start things early and to see them through to the end. An impeccable sense of timing and the ability to translate that knowledge into action, those are the two qualities/practices farming is teaching me to cultivate in myself.
What is your favourite farm book? I think my favourite farm books are actually probably cookbooks. To that end, I’d nominate anything by Nigel Slater, especially his Kitchen Diaries.
How can we find out more about you, your farm, and its products? I’ve been disentangling myself from social media, but I do still enjoy Instagram. My handle is @vierra_k, and I’ll be posting lots of photos of the farm as we start to get more sunny skies.
Funding for the Young Agrarians Business Mentorship Network Pilot is provided in part by Salt Spring Coffee, Vancity, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the BC Ministry of Agriculture through programs delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.