JUL 10, 2022: Keremeos, BC – Land Social and Farm Tour at Similkameen Nurseries

Posted by Tessa Thompson on June 16, 2022

You’re invited to an outdoor Land Social and Farm Tour at Similkameen Nurseries in Keremeos, B.C.! If you’re curious about what land matching and sharing is all about – or just want to check out what your local farmers are up to – join us for the event.

Come learn from farmers Josh Brown, Erik Knechtel, David Lemieux, and Dejan Nad of Similkameen Nurseries Ltd., an organic nursery business specializing in fruit trees.  They are an operation on approx 20 acres of leased land. Established in 2015 in Cawston, BC, the business has grown to be one of the largest in the province, supplying orchardists, cideries, garden centres and backyard gardeners, with around 150 varieties of orchard fruit on their choice of many different rootstocks. They are currently producing about 70,000 units per year and have created this farm by developing an intimate network of land and equipment owners, as well as their progressive approach of empowering farm owner-operators.  This is a dynamic, mutli-location farm tour, sure to inspire!

This tour will be composed of both a physical description and walk-about of two of their producing lease-blocks, showing a bit about their growing systems, as well as a presentation at the potluck site about their business strategy and growth plan.  This company is an example of how young farm startups can develop their businesses within the constraints of rising costs and tougher labour conditions. In fact, current market constraints may have been the impetus for developing a much more progressive approach to business development that they feel is well adapted to these challenging times and inaccessible markets.  Through social capital and reciprocal land/equipment arrangements they have managed to focus on cash-flow over capital expenditure to build a farm that can then support its mortgage, while at the same time engaging a healthy farm network within its community. Through an equity-share model to management, as well as generally empowering real managerial participation on-farm, they have secured a labour force that focuses on healthy operations and culture. They will speak more to this at the event.

We’ll tour the farm, network, and look at the steps to building a successful land sharing relationship. Your regional Land Matcher will share information about how the B.C. Land Matching Program can help you find the perfect farmer for your land – or farmland where you can build your dream farm business.

Land Socials connect farmers and farmland holders, and set them up to receive ongoing support through the B.C. Land Matching Program. Both farmers seeking land and farmland holders thinking about sharing land are encouraged to attend – as well as anyone who loves food, farming, and getting out onto the land.

DATE: Sunday, July 10, 2022 • 4-8 pm

LOCATION: Syilx Territory. Meet out front of Parsons Fruitstand (110 7th Ave, Keremeos, BC V0X 1N3), and we will bring you to the back of property from there. Come a little early to shop at the fruit stand if you’d like! Note this farm tour includes multiple locations. (If you arrive late, our first tour stop is at 400 2nd St, and the second stop is at 186 Beecroft River Rd.)

REGISTER: To have a better idea of how many people will join us, PLEASE REGISTER ON EVENTBRITE.

SCHEDULE (times are approximate): 
4-5 Farm Tour
5-6 Introduction circle & B.C. Land Matching Program Overview
6-8 Potluck, Refreshments & Networking

BRING: Please bring a chair or blanket to sit on and sturdy shoes for walking the farm. Please bring a dish to share, a plate and tools to eat with! Optional: face mask.

Not sure what to bring to the potluck? Consider supporting your local, organic farmer and/or food producer and find inspiration with their ingredients. Also, it is greatly appreciated if you can include a little card with the ingredients list for your dish in case people have food allergies/sensitivities.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS: Please stay home if you have cold or flu-like symptoms, OR if you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are completing a period of self-isolation as mandated by public health, OR if you have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days. Refer to the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool for more information.

We welcome cancellations at any time – you can do so through Eventbrite, through the link in your registration confirmation email, or by contacting tessa@youngagrarians.org. Please let us know if you aren’t able to attend. If provincial health guidelines for events change, we may cancel the event and you will be notified by email.

AVIAN FLU PROTOCOLS: To prevent the spread of the current avian flu, if you keep chickens or have visited a farm or household that does, please wash your boots before coming onto the property.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: This event is free and open to everyone! Children are welcome but please leave furry friends at home.

Join our Young Agrarians Okanagan-Thompson Facebook Group to stay up to date with all events. Sign up for our e-newsletter to get events and opportunities for your region delivered straight to your inbox.

SHARE: Planning on joining us? Invite your friends and share the Facebook event!

Check out SIMILKAMEEN NURSERIES LTD. online:

Website: https://www.similkameennurseries.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/similkameennurseries

UPCOMING OKANAGAN EVENTS

Not able to join us for this event? Fear not! Here’s a quick look at the dates and places we’ll be visiting this season.

SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2022 
LAND SOCIAL AND POTLUCK AT IKIGAI FARM / HONKING GOOSE REGENERATIVE FARM, CHASE, BC: 4pm-8pm
(more info coming soon!)

SUNDAY, AUGUST 7, 2022
LAND SOCIAL AND POTLUCK AT PILGRIMS PRODUCE, ARMSTRONG, BC: 4pm-8pm
(more info coming soon!)

If you are interested in hosting an event at your farm and bringing together the farming community in your area, please reach out to tessa@youngagrarians.org with your idea!

GOT LAND? WANT LAND? 

Through the B.C. Land Matching Program, Young Agrarians offers support to farmers looking for land for their farm business, and landholders looking for farmers to farm their land. We’ve made more than 204 matches on over 9,100 acres to date! The Vancouver Island Land Matcher will be attending the event to answer any questions the B.C. Land Matching Program. For those unable to join us, you can send a message to tessa@youngagrarians.org for more information.

The B.C. Land Matching Program is funded in the Okanagan by the Province of British Columbia, with support from the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia.

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