Our names are Tristan Ford and Kayla Storkson and we are Trent River Herb Farm located in Royston BC. We just bought our 22 acre property in July 2017 and our vision is farming medicinal herbs specializing in herbal products used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Our primary crops this year are Astragalus Membranaceous ( Huang Qi) and Echinacea Purpura. We have also planted a hazelnut orchard 60 trees strong, as well as blueberries, asparagus, garlic and holy basil.
Tristan and I are practitioners of Chinese medicine and we have noticed our profession in North America desires to be more intimate and knowledgeable about the living plants they are studying and prescribing. Generally when we buy herbs, they will come in highly processed powders or potions. We have no idea the quality of the plant is or the methods of agricultural production that was used to produce it. We believe growing TCM herbal medicine will provide a valuable, high quality product for TCM practitioners in the lower mainland and Vancouver Island to successfully treat their patients. In addition, practitioners and patients alike will have an opportunity with us on Vancouver Island to meet and connect with the plants they practice with and consume.
We were inspired to get into farming to become closer to nature and learn our medicine from the spirits of the plants themselves and applied for this program because we were completely realistic about our position: we have just started farming and we are idealistic young people with no farming background who are in need of mentorship guidance.
Other than learning how to farm, I think the biggest business challenge is financial management and market research right now. This business mentorship has been pure gold for its guidance and the resources it has offered us. Our primary business goal is to have our perennial crops in the ground, establish an organized business structure and continue to revitalize our farm from its slightly dilapidated state. We are just starting to organize our business and I have a funny feeling our book keeper is going to be someone we will have a hard time living without.
We are Trent River Herb Farm on Facebook and Instagram if you would like to follow us and our farm.
Funding for the Young Agrarians Business Mentorship Network in 2018 has been provided by Vancity, the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia, and the Governments of Canada and British Columbia through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. Thank you to our funders.