B.C. Business Mentorship Network – Glade Organics

Posted by Melanie Buffel on January 20, 2020

Mire Grbich at Glade Organics

Young Agrarians is celebrating the sixth year of the Business Mentorship Network (BMN) program. The BMN offers business mentorships  to a diverse array of new and young farmers across BC. Through one-on-one mentorship and peer networks, young farmers develops the skills necessary to operate ecologically sustainable and financially viable farm businesses. We love to profile our program participants and celebrate their efforts!

Glade Organics is owned and operated by Mira Grbich and Ross Petrie in Glade near Nelson, BC. In the Young Agrarians Business Mentorship 2019 program we were supported by Seann Dory from Salt and Harrow Farm.

What were your goals for this season and how did you work to achieve
Our goals this year were to increase production while streamlining the business. We reached out to accounts we already held and sought out how to increase sales to those customers we already held relationships with. While increasing production, I wanted to create a better system to catalog farm data.

Did you meet your goals / Did it work out?
Yes we did meet our goals broadly, but next year will be even better. Every year you only have one go at it and it is a pretty full-on season. It is a great opportunity to grow and evolve as a farmer and entrepreneur. I believe that one should set out goals that are just a little out of our reach so that we fully have to extend our efforts and that helps to get the best results. It will always get easier next season.

What were your most profitable avenues of sales?
Direct to consumer through Farmers Market and Farm Gate Sales were our most profitable avenues of sale and continue to be.  CSAs are also a good contribution. We are expanding our wholesale avenues yearly and quite enjoy this aspect. Different markets are opening up with the demand for local and organic produce more and more prevalent. It’s a great time to be a small-scale organic farmer.
Glade Organics farm stand.
Glade Organics Farmers Market stand.
What is your unique value proposition in your market? Why buy from you?
We grow a wide variety of certified organic produce in the West Kootenays and we are located right off of Highway 3a the Nelson – Castlegar corridor. There is a healthy appetite for local and organic products in our valley and we are lucky to be able to supply this community with some fresh veg.

How did the mentorship impact your business?
The program really forced me to look at the numbers and look at the future and plan accordingly. It was encouragement in all the right ways.

What business skills have you gained through the mentorship?
I have been able to gather all the farm data, process it, summarize the year and plan for the next season accordingly. The program helped me walk through these steps.

What was the most important information you gained from your mentor?
All information is equally important and relevant. Farming is so varied that all little bits of information are important.

Overall, how are you feeling about your farm business this season?
We had a great season. Overall, it was a great season for growing. We had ‘normal’ summer temperatures and no August smoke and this led to some healthy crops.
Beautiful green fields!
Beautiful green fields!
Do you have any big plans for future growth?
Just keep cultivating the relationships that we have built and FARM ON!

What are you most looking forward to this winter?
Rest, recuperation, recreating, training, skiing, planning, and getting excited about spring 2020 and all the growing that is going to happen.


This program is made possible with the generous funding support of Vancity, Province of British Columbia, and Columbia Basin Trust.