Join Young Agrarians in Creston and Erickson for a multi-farm tour to learn about four unique farms in the Creston Valley! Alongside our host farms, there are several farms and orchards along the way that make for a scenic route. Time is provided to enjoy and find local bounty along the way.
WHEN: Sunday, August 18, 2019. 2-8pm.
WHERE: Bike (35 mins) or drive (10 mins) between locations (click here for route link). Join for the whole tour or drop in along the way!
- 2:00 – 3:00 pm – Wloka Farms Fruit Stand (3524 Crowsnest Hwy)
- 3:30 – 4:30 pm – Yaqan Nukiy Farms (The farm has no address, but it’s on the West side of the highway in between 40th St and Simon Rd. Titled “British Columbia 21” on the google map.)
- 5:00 – 5:30 pm – Morris Flowers Greenhouse (1403 Erickson Rd)
- 5:30 – 6:00 pm – Root and Vine Talk & Food Truck (Stay at 1403 Erickson Rd)
- 6:00 – 8:00 pm – Potluck & Live Music (Stay at 1403 Erickson Rd)
BRING: A dish to share for the evening potluck social, sturdy shoes for traveling between and touring farms, water, bike tools, sun or rain protection, and warm layers for the evening.
SHARE: Please share and invite your networks in the Facebook event!
More event info below.
2 – 3 pm – Orchard Management at Wloka Farms Fruit Stand
The day will start at one of Creston’s long-standing family-operated farm businesses to hear from Barb Wloka about orchard management. Wloka Farms Fruit Stand uses a reflective mulch under their peach trees, which has improved production and the return bud set for the following year. They have moved from plastic row coverings for planting to a biodegradable organic product.
3:30 – 4:30 pm – Yaqan Nukiy Farms
The second stop of the tour is Yaqan Nukiy Farms, a thirty-acre mixed vegetable and fruit farm located off Highway 21 that was established in 2018. Now in its second year of operation, a visit to the Yaqan Nukiy Farms will provide a great opportunity to see a new farm in expansion. The Lower Kootenay Band is one of the six bands that make up the Ktunaxa Nation; four are located in Canada and two in the US. This farm has no street address so make sure to take a look at the Google Map link above for the location on Highway 21, on the right after 40th Street.
5 – 5:30 pm – Morris Flowers Garden Centre and Greenhouses
At the tour’s final location, General Manager Jen Comer will give a guided tour of the greenhouses. Jen will provide information about the Morris greenhouses and business, a full-service retail and wholesale Garden Centre established in 1953. The family-owned operation also proudly sells produce from what is harvested at the Yaqan Nukiy Farms.
5:30 – 6:00 pm – Farm to Table Talk with Root & Vine Acres in the Morris Greenhouse Pavilion
We will move into the Morris Garden Centre Pavilion where we will hear from Jessica Piccinin, owner of Root & Vine Acres in Wynndel. From two acres they currently produce a variety of pasture-raised meats, herbs, fruits, vegetables and nuts. Jessica will also talk to the group about her added-value business endeavour in expansion, The Peppered Pig.
6 – 8 pm – Potluck and Live Music
To finish off the day, a community potluck will take place amongst the greenery of the pavilion. The Peppered Pig will be on offer, for-purchase. There will be live music provided by Columbia Basin Land Matcher, Hailey Troock, and local musician Devo III. The evening will come to a close at 8 pm.
ABOUT THE FARMS
WLOKA FARMS FRUIT STAND
Wloka Farms Fruit Stand is a family-owned business run by Barb and Frank Wloka. Wloka Farms Fruit Stand has set a local precedent for small-scale land leasing in the Creston Valley. The business leases land for its gardens and orchards from small parcels of land scattered across Erickson from many different landowners. Barb and Frank have had two different fruit stand businesses dating back to 1980 when they bought their first property on Highway #3. By 2011, Frank and Barb’s crew were harvesting 500,000 pounds of cherries. You can read more about their history here on their website. Barb will discuss a product made by FilmOrganics. This product does not have to be lifted at the end of its use. Instead, it is tilled it into the ground and breaks down via bacterial ingestion, a labour saver for their business. You can check out Wloka’s Facebook page here.
YAQAN NUKIY FARMS
The name Yaqan Nukiy means “where the rock stands” and is an important place in the Creston Valley. The farms grow carrots, rutabagas, onions, peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage, cucumbers corn and leeks. There are five acres of blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries, which will come into production in the coming years. Just over four acres of potatoes have been planted for 2019, with the Kennebec variety being on the menu at the local Creston watering hole Jimmy’s Pub & Grill as their famous French fries. A custom designed packing and storage facility was completed to preserve the fresh harvest and ensure top quality for Yaqan Nukiy Farms customers.
MORRIS FLOWERS & GARDEN CENTRE
Morris Flowers & Garden Centre has 30,000+ square feet of greenhouse space where they grow bedding plants, annual and perennial flowers, and sell ornamental and fruit trees, nursery stock, and foliage plants. When in season, they sell fruit and vegetables grown at their location and at Yaqan Nukiy Farms, including blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, corn and garlic (and more!). They have a great selection of gardening tools, amendments, pots, planters, and other landscaping supplies, as well as custom perennial and annual flower baskets for corporate clients in the area, including the Town of Creston, Ainsworth, St. Eugenes Casino, and others. You can check out Morris’ Facebook page here and Instagram here.
Root & Vine Acres
Root & Vine Acres is a farm business based in Wynndel. Jessica Piccinin, farmer and owner, started her farm career in 2008 when she took the Start Smart Program. Over the last six years, the business has evolved from growing cucumbers and tomatoes to fruit to pork production. Jessica sees her businesses as relationship building with animals. Every part of her business model and process speaks to her unique value proposition and communicates it, the feed and packaging to how the meats are cured and the kinds of charcuterie selections they carry. Root & Vine sells its products direct-to-consumer through its food truck, which can be found most Saturdays at the Creston Valley Farmers Market (and at the Morris Garden Centre pavilion on August 18th!). You can follow Jessica and Root & Vine Acres on Facebook here and Instagram here.
JOIN US FOR ANOTHER COLUMBIA BASIN EVENT!
GOT LAND? WANT LAND?
Through the B.C. Land Matching Program, Young Agrarians is offering support to farmers looking for land for their farm business and landowners looking for farmers to farm their land. The Columbia Basin Land Matcher will be attending the event to answer any questions about accessing land through this program. For those unable to join us, you can send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Events in the Columbia Basin are funded by Columbia Basin Trust. The B.C. Land Matching Program is funded in the Columbia Basin by the Province of British Columbia and supported regionally by Columbia Basin Trust and the Real Estate Foundation of BC.
The Columbia Basin event series is made possible with funding from Columbia Basin Trust.