Crooked Horn Farm
Crooked Horn Farm is a certified organic market garden located just south of Winlaw, on the banks of the Slocan River. Farmers Ange Weir and Gord Spankie, have a strong sense of responsibility for the land they steward and a deep respect for the surrounding ecosystem and wildlife that coexist with their farm. It was a pleasure to chat with Ange and learn more about their farm. Her humble deference to the nature they farm alongside is moving and her love of veggies is infectious!
Who are the farmers at Crooked Horn Farm?
Ange Weir and Gord Spankie.
What do you grow?
We grow a colourful array of market veggies as well as oyster and shiitake mushrooms.
How would you describe your farm?
We are a certified organic market garden located just south of downtown Winlaw. We really love growing unique and colourful vegetables – rainbow carrots, purple potatoes, golden beets, lots of uncommon heritage varieties – we like getting people excited about their veggies!
We have a strong sense of responsibility for the land we steward and we are very conscious of the critters we share this land with. We love seeing the frogs, salamanders and turtles who are happy to make our farm their home. Our respect for them and this land informs our growing practices every day.
How long have you been farming/in business?
This is our eleventh season as Crooked Horn Farm.
What motivated you to start?
We both really wanted to make a positive change in the world. Looking around at the problems facing the world it was easy to feel a bit overwhelmed and hopeless. Farming was a place where the ideas of things we thought we could do to make a difference and a vision of a career we thought we would love, came to a happy confluence. We have come to believe that small-scale farming, using organic techniques, is one of the most significant things that we can do to encourage a diverse ecosystem, feed our community truly healthy food, and make a small but important change in the world.
What are some of your greatest joys?
I really love connecting with customers through food–sharing recipes and ideas and getting feedback. I love hearing about amazing meals that people have made and discovering new creative ways to prepare the produce we grow.
What are some of your greatest challenges?
Probably work-life balance. However we both love working outside, and our farm borders the river. So even though we work long hours we get to do so in an environment we love, and we try to take frequent dips in the river!
What is your vision for your farm?
To continue discovering and growing new and exciting varieties of veggies. To produce really high quality and truly nutritious food for our community. To get better and better at what we do and always keep learning.
Why is local food and/or local purchasing important to you?
Local food is fresh and nutrient dense for eaters and also enhances a healthy environment. Our farm has been a constant reminder of how farmland interacts with our local environment and ecosystem. We feel honoured to watch each season go by on our farm and see the many creatures that pass through and share this land with us. Supporting ecologically conscious local farms helps preserve green spaces, wildlife corridors, and maintains a healthy countryside. For us, our community’s support for local food has been especially important, because it has allowed us to sustain wonderful jobs for both of us on the farm.
If you could deliver a message directly to Co-op members/customers, what would it be?
Gratitude. We are so grateful that people appreciate our food and that they have helped create real and fulfilling work for us in our community. We could not do what we do without our community’s support.