Young Agrarians is celebrating the eighth 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 develop the skills necessary to operate ecologically sustainable and financially viable farm businesses.
We are thrilled to introduce you to the farmers in our 2022 Mentee Cohort and hear about their farms and their plans for the season ahead. For more information about the BMN please see our YA Business Page. Applications open in fall 2022!
Hello everyone, my name is Skye Fletcher and my farm is called Thimble Mountain Farm.
My mentors are Angie and Gord from Crooked Horn Farm in Winlaw, B.C.
Where do you farm? Please include the traditional territory.
I farm in Grand Forks on Ktunaxa traditional territory.
What do you farm?
We grow organic vegetables, flowers, fruits and a few fowl.
What inspired you to get into farming?
My inspiration to farm comes from the disconnection I see between people, the food they eat and where it comes from. I’ve always had a passion for soil and farming is a great way for me to feed that passion.
What did you do to learn how to farm?
As early as I can remember I have planted and harvested food on our family coop farm. My passion for soil pushed me into horticulture where I studied at Thompson Rivers University.
Where I actually learned to farm was in my field my first year through trial and error, The Market Gardener book and YouTube.
What types of ecological farm practices do you use?
I am very new to farming and already I feel a push towards the more traditional methods of farming. We practice no tillage, organic farming. We always cover the ground with cover crops or mulch to protect it from the sun. We don’t have a tractor, using mostly hand tools to cut down on the use of fossil fuels.
What type of business structure is your farm?
Thimble Mountain Farm is run as a sole proprietorship.
How much land is under production on your farm?
I farm less than one acre at this time.
What is your land tenure? Are there special relationships that enabled this?
I am a shareholder in a cooperatively-owned piece of land, which gives me access to use the farm land I need.
Why did you apply for business mentorship?
I applied for the mentorship because I believe that all the knowledge needed to farm is available within any farming community. The path forward is not everyone for themselves but everyone working together, sharing knowledge and cooperation.
What is the greatest business challenge you face as a new farmer?
It’s hard to say as I’m just headed into my third season of farming. I’d say my greatest challenge is balancing my business and my life.
What is your primary business goal for the season?
This season’s goal is to double our production on the same amount of beds as last season.
What business tools could you not live without?
I can’t think of one tool I could not live without. I feel like everyday I wake up, there is some problem or challenge to overcome. If adaptability is a tool that’s one thing I could not live without.
If you had a farming robot what would it be?
This one’s easy. It would be a post harvest robot and I would work them until the bolts fell off.
How can we find out more about you, your farm, and its products?
I am available on Facebook, IG and you can always call 250-666-1177. There’s nothing I like more than talking about soil till the sun goes down. You can also always stop by after 7 pm for a beer in the shade.
This program is made possible with the generous funding support of Vancity and Columbia Basin Trust.