New Canadian Farm Based in Vernon is Already Making Local People Healthy and Happy
Today we are introducing Lake View Farm's story. This is the first farm in Canada to get featured on Microgreenology and if you still haven't got a chance to explore Canadian farms this is a great opportunity.
Without further ado, let's hop straight to the interview:
What's The Name of Your Farm and where are you based?
Our farm is Lake View Farms, in Vernon BC Canada. We overlook Okanagan Lake, which is said to have a Loch Ness creature in it called Ogopgo. The lake is 160 km long. Three cities are situated on the lake, one at either end and one roughly in the middle.
Our farm over looks the lake and we have a wonderful view in the summer when we sit on the deck and have a glass of wine. The Okanagan Valley is known also for its wines.
What's the story behind Lake View Farms?
We are growers of vegetables and fruits for ourselves, using organic method. We wanted a hobby, perhaps a little business, as one of us is retired, and one of us is trying to retire.
We did a lot of research and started small. We bought a wire rack and some lights, some trays, organic dirt and seeds.
We watched a lot of videos on Youtube to get us started and went on our way. Our friends and families were our first customers.
We started just when precautions for Covid-19 were being put in place. Our first Farmers Market was cancelled due to Covid-19.
We pedaled our micro greens to customers online and delivered by E-Bike, with a bike trailer and cooler. We used different online community forums on Facebook to get our ads across to people.
We then got an offer to supply 100 units to a week to a company that sells Boxes of Groceries to people via home delivery. We also had to grow for 2 different Farmers markets… and that how we are growing.
What's the funniest/most exciting story you've experienced while running the farm?
We used to have a lot of time off. Now we get up early, water, plant, wash trays etc. We then have to plan our harvest days with our markets, our online customers and home deliveries. We always seem to be online posting pictures of our recipes for meals using our products. We love the growing, but we don't seem to have much time off… this is funny, as this was supposed to be a 'retirement hobby farm'.
What types of microgreens and other produce are you currently growing?
Our seed selection in Canada was limited with Covid-19 coming into the picture. It seems as a lot of people bought in large quantities, while we didn't, and then we were only able to get a few varieties.
- Sunflower Shoots
- Pea Shoots
- Radish Shoots
- Mixed Salad Shoots.
We do have more seeds coming, but when they get here is the trick.
What makes your produce different?
Our produce isn't different, but it is packaged with an Edible flower in each clam shell. Our marketing of delivery by E-Bike is unique. We grow the best produce that we can for ourselves… and that level of quality is passed on to our customers.
What type of clients do you currently serve?
We have a real variety of customers, but all of them are interested in being healthy, eating healthy and getting good nutritious foods grown locally.
What's Your Mission?
To grow and sell healthy, nutritious food to make people healthy and happy.
And last question:
A lot of smaller farms and ones that started just recently are struggling to survive due to the huge drop in sales this spring.
What would you do if you were in a similar situation, but had the experience you accumulated recently?
We recognize that our product is unique and treat it so. We gave out a lot of product when we first started, giving it to people just to try.
We included our Facebook page, our Instagram and our Youtube channel addresses to try to collect them as customers.
Delivering to homes and businesses is another thing that we do. We take all the necessary precautions, and do what we can to make people feel comfortable in buying from us. We have been in business for two months.
We try every angle - restaurants, food box programs, home delivery, getting involved on local community forums, posting on Facebook, we just keep trying every angle.
One of us has been in retail and wholesale sales, as well as in the hospitality industry. It helps to have a good salesman trying to find an avenue, or try an idea of who can help us sell our Microgreens, in these tricky times.
We keep trying, and aren't afraid to try a new way. Promote your own product, by being a user. Know the taste, the texture, the feel, relate it to something tangible.
"Do you remember sitting in your parents garden eating peas right off the vine? Well… that's what our Pea shoots taste like". Tweet this