YA Business Mentorship Network – Okanagan Herb Patch

Posted by Melanie Buffel on March 23, 2023 1 Comment

Young Agrarians is celebrating the ninth year of the Business Mentorship Network (BMN) program in BC and the expansion of the program across the Prairies! The BMN offers business mentorships  to a diverse array of new and young farmers. Through one-on-one mentorship, peer networks and online workshops young farmers develop the skills necessary to operate ecologically sustainable and financially viable farm businesses.

YA business mentorships have helped over a 100+ farmers to generate more revenues, grow more food and put more land into production. Immediate results have led to on average of 64% more farm revenue, a 72% increase in food produced, and a 48% increase in land under production. We are thrilled to bring the stories of  these farmers to you for inspiration!

Applications open for Mentees across Western Canada in October 2023.

Mentor applications are accepted year round.

Check out the program page on our website for more information!

My name is Carlos Rodriguez, my farm is The Okanagan Herb Patch, and my mentor is Daniel Garfinkel. 

Where do you farm? 

My farm is located in Kelowna, BC. 

What inspired you to get into farming?

I used to work as a chef and have always had close ties to farms and farmers.  Fresh produce is the best tasting and most nutritious, so it’s what I’ve always chosen to work with as a cook.   The inspiration for a move to farming was a combination of fortuitous timing (started in early 2020), burnout, and a continuous pursuit of the best produce to use in the kitchen. 

How did you learn how to farm?

I learned by working for Jordan Marr, at Unearthed Organics. 

What type of business structure is your farm?

My farm is a corporation. 

How much land is under production on your farm and what are you producing?

I grow on just 1/6th of an Acre for now.   Hoping to expand that into at least two acres by the end of 2023. I’m focused on culinary herbs, with some vegetable production for use in value added products. 

What types of ecological farm practices and/or responses to climate change realities do you engage in?

I farm organically, though I’m not certified.  I use biological pest controls and am pro-active in my weed management to avoid using any chemicals. For now I’m at the will of the weather, though by the end of the year my goal is to have a greenhouse in which I can extend the seasons. 

What is your land tenure?

I’m on leased land supported by the B.C. Land Matching Program.

Why did you apply for business mentorship?

The program has a wealth of knowledge to share and is a great tool to a rookie farmer.  I applied because getting help from those who have done it before is the only way to learn in this business. 

What is the greatest business challenge you face as a new farmer?

The greatest challenge I have is in pricing my product – keeping it affordable and still making the profit margin required to make the business viable. 

What is your primary business goal for the season?

My goal this season is to establish myself as a quality source of culinary herbs in Kelowna. 

What business tools could you not live without?

A flame weeder, a good community, and google drive. 

If you had a farming robot what would it be?

A bind-weed seek-and-destroy bot! 

How can we find out more about you, your farm, and its products? 

Instagram @okherbpatch 

Website: www.alliumhospitality.ca

This program is made possible with the generous funding support of Vancity, Endswell Foundation and Columbia Basin Trust.

One thought on “YA Business Mentorship Network – Okanagan Herb Patch

  1. Hello sir good morning i am bishnu dev yadav study under see and malaysia return 4 year experience food paking cleaning agriculture and in this time self employed clothes bussines

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