Brianne Fester leases land from a homeowner with a large lot on 30th Street NE and farms it with her friend Mitch Ward. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)

Leased land makes Radical Bloom possible for young farmers

The small farm, in its second year of operation sells fresh vegetables and flowers.

Brianne Fester gets a lot of satisfaction seeing the green shoots of vegetables and flowers rising from the soil of the approximately two-acre plot she farms with her friend Mitch Ward.

They call their farm Radical Bloom and harvested their first crops last year.

Rather than owning the land their plot is on, Fester and Ward lease the property from the owner, who lives on site, just steps from the edge of the tilled soil. Leasing land in this way isn’t a common arrangement in the Shuswap, but Fester said there are benefits for everyone involved.

As the property Fester and Ward farm is in the Agricultural Land Reserve, the owner can claim farm use and enjoy the tax benefits that come with the budding agricultural operation on their land.

Fester said there is lots of land for anyone who wants to get into a lease agreement; she added that small-plot farmers in the Okanagan and Shuswap are fortunate both because the area has a long growing season and the community really wants to support local food.

Read More: Council supports panhandling bylaw

Read More: Turtle Valley Bison Ranch owners speak on biosolids controversy

To help get their farm off the ground, Fester and Ward employed a concept called community supported agriculture. Under the community supported agriculture model, customers pre-pay for produce before the growing season and then collect it periodically. Fester and Ward offered their customers a weekly vegetable box for up to 10 weeks.

“It helps the farmer because it means you have some income at the beginning of the season before you have anything ready to sell,” Fester said.

Fester said it is great for creating relationships between people who are interested in buying local food and the farmers who grow it. Community supported agriculture is not a new idea but Fester said it has gained momentum with the push to re-localize food production.

Read More: Thunderstorms forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Read More: No link between Scotch Creek structure fires

Along with vegetables, Radical Bloom offered a weekly or biweekly flower bouquet subscription.

The bouquet subscription will be returning this year but the vegetable boxes will not as Fester and Ward focus on sales from the farm stand at the front of the property, and the new farmer’s market which will be running on Saturdays in the Ross Street Plaza beginning in late June.

Farm gate sales received a lot of interest on the well-travelled 30th Street NE. Fester said many people in the neighbourhood were keen to purchase local produce. Fester said she hopes to begin selling DIY buckets of flowers for weddings and other events, allowing event organizers to create their own arrangements for bouquets and centrepieces.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

City seeks public approval to borrow $845,00o for airport runway project

Salmon Arm residents have until June 24 to not support borrowing bylaw

Hope grows for local foodbanks thanks to modest volunteers

Secret garden donated 1,100 pounds of vegetables produced last year

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: weekend rain

Environment Canada forecasts continuing bad weather for the start of the weekend

Family supports find home at newly opened Shuswap Family Centre

Gathering celebrates grand opening of centre’s new location at 681 Marine Park Drive NE

Firefighters respond to gas leak on 2nd Street SE

Portion of Okanagan closed, residents of neighbouring home being asked to evacuate

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

RV trailer fire surpressed in West Kelowna late Thursday night

West Kelowna Fire Rescue aided BC Wildfire Services near Bear Creek Park

Court to rule on B.C.’s pipeline permit law in crucial case for Trans Mountain

A panel of B.C. Court of Appeal judges has been mulling B.C.’s constitutional reference cas

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

Kelowna golf course supports MS research

Shadow Ridge Golf Club hosts golf by donation May 27

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Okanagan housing builds hope for 52 homeless individuals

The 52 unit supported housing apartment officially opens in Vernon

Gardens plant hope for Okanagan residents who were once homeless

Turning Points, in collaberation with Briteland, bring square foot gardening to Blair Apartments

Most Read