On Sunday, June 16, thirty farmers, food lovers and friends gathered at Linden Lane Farms in Krestova, Central Kootenay, for a tool demonstration with Kootenay Local Agricultural Society, farm tour and potluck social.
The event brought out folks to the farm over the course of the afternoon from toddlers to farmers with five decades of experience. The event kicked off with an introduction circle. Everyone in the circle had the opportunity to tell the group a little bit about themselves and their interest in growing. Most of the group was visiting from nearby communities in Crescent Valley, Pass Creek and the south Slocan Valley, though a few people joined us from as far away as Salmo and New Denver. Thanks for making the journey!
Linden Lane Farms is located on a multi-generational family-operated farm in Krestova, situated at the southern mouth of the Slocan Valley. The farm is 150 acres consisting of a mixture of forest, pasture and fields on amazing sandy-loam soil, 25 minutes west of Nelson, and 15 minutes east of Castlegar. The Carr family has been farming in the community since 1978. In 2012, grandson Matthew began leasing land from his grandparents and has since grown Linden Lane Farms into a successful business producing on 4.5 acres with the help of the entire family and some dedicated staff members.
Having recently graduated from the Department of Plant Sciences of the University of Saskatchewan, Matthew was able to provide an incredibly detailed and informative farm tour from a variety of perspectives: soil scientist, geneticist, business owner and farm operator. Matthew led the group first through some new beds, explaining their irrigation set-up and some tools they use to maximize efficiency. He then led the group to the greenhouse, where they grow some of the 1000 cucumbers a week that they harvest in high season.
Some of Linden Lane Farms best-selling products are their delicious pre-washed salad mixes. They grow a wide variety of greens for three different mixes that they sell at the Farmers Market and at the Kootenay Coop, among other outlets like their own CSA. The farm also produces strawberries, has a perennial nursery and a wide variety of other market garden produce.
Following the farm tour, Matthew’s father Andrew Carr led the group through Tool School. As active members of Kootenay Local Agricultural Society (KLAS), the farm houses one of three KLAS tool libraries. They generously offered to host the event in order for the community to have access to see and learn about the tools and even try them out if they wanted. Andrew Carr does many of the repairs himself in addition to managing the rentals from this tool library.
One of the most resounding messages communicated by Andrew during the demonstration is that not all tools can and should be used on all terrains and soils. Furthermore, things can break so if something isn’t working right, it should be looked at before work continues. Caring for the expensive tools very affordably on offer through KLAS thanks to its volunteers and communicating when things need repair or aren’t working properly is essential for the continuing presence of these invaluable local farming resources.
The Tool Library is a resource available to the public and Kootenay Local Agricultural Society (KLAS) members receive a discount. The tools in the library were purchased with grants from Columbia Basin Trust in 2009 and carefully selected to ensure they would help farmers be more efficient, but which—because of cost or infrequency of need—farmers wouldn’t buy themselves.
The event came to a close with a beautiful spread of fresh, local food brought to the potluck by all the attendees. Special thanks to the Carr family for providing some big bowls of Linden Lane Farms greens for us to devour. Linden Lane Farms focuses on providing high quality, safe products, and are committed to soil health, sustainability and organic practices. You can check out Linden Lane Farms’ online farm shop here, Facebook can be found here and you can follow them on Instagram here.
SAVE THE DATES!
Looking for another farm event to attend in the Columbia Basin this summer? Look no further!
- JULY 10, 2019: CRESTON, BC – FarmFolk CityFolk is teaming up with Patrick Steiner to offer an organic vegetable seed production workshop
- JULY 18, 2019: WINLAW, BC – FarmFolk CityFolk is offering a seed cleaning demo at Crooked Horn Farm
- JULY 23, 2019: WINDERMERE, BC – YA is teaming up with FarmFolk CityFolk for a seed cleaning demo, tour of Winderberry Farm, Edible Acres and potluck social
- AUG 18, 2019: CRESTON – Save the date for a multi-farm tour & potluck
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.