Earth Temple Gardens
Earth Temple Gardens are breathtakingly beautiful certified organic market gardens in Argenta and Meadow Creek stewarded by Michael Silver. Michael aspires to grow vegetables for four seasons following ecological practices that will sustain and enrich the land for future generations. He is passionate about growing food for his neighbors and strengthening connections in our community. Michael is also passionate about cultivating veggies that are particularly well suited to our Kootenay climate and preserving the biodiversity of lesser known varieties. Michael is a generous soul with a huge smile and humble heart and we deeply value our relationship with him. At the Kootenay Co-op we are fortunate to enjoy Earth Temple veggies ranging from fresh herbs, crunchy snap peas and beautiful lettuces early in the season, to unique and delicious root crops as the season grows on.
Who is the farmer at Earth Temple Gardens?
Michael Silver, with the help of an amazing farm team. Michael says with a smile, “I may have had the hairbrained idea to start this farm, but none of it would be possible without my farm family!”
The crew includes Martin who has worked with Earth Temple for over five years, Nikola who has worked with Michael on and off since he began farming, Jenna, Beth, Matt, Anna and Louis. Fun Fact: Beth, Jenna and Louis are all former Kootenay Co-op employees.
Michael also noted his deep appreciation for the inspiration and encouragement that he receives from his family, including his Mom, Dad, brothers and his son, and from his friend and long-time local farmer, Vince McIntyre.
Where is your farm located?
I rent land in both in Argenta, where I live, and in Meadow Creek.
What do you grow?
Four Season Vegetables.
How would you describe your farm operation?
Our gardens are a place for me to create and to connect with our community through growing local vegetables that are well suited to our climate. We are committed to producing high quality, nutrient-dense organic vegetables in the most sustainable way possible to nourish our local communities and bring people together at the table. A major emphasis in our food production is on growing varieties of vegetables which are naturally suited to our climate, thereby preserving local diversity while helping to build healthy communities and local food resiliency.
How long have you been farming?
2018 is my sixth year farming as Earth Temple Gardens. Before I started my own farm I apprenticed with amazing Argenta farmers, Vince McIntyre who still farms traditionally with horses, and Gary and Inana at their long vibrant Tipiland Farm market garden.
What motivated you to start?
I have always enjoyed being in gardens and working with plants. For me gardens are a place of inspiration. I also enjoy good food! When I was a child, I enjoyed time spent at the farm of my great uncle, a man who at the young age of 100, continues to be a source of inspiration.
What are some of your greatest joys?
Spending time with my son, being outside, gardening, skiing deep powder snow.
What are some of your greatest challenges?
Spending time in front of a computer doing business stuff. This is the other side of the farm that nobody told me about, but it is also very important.
What is your vision for your farm?
To keep learning, improving, and adapting. To produce ecologically sustainable nutrient dense vegetables in our changing environment – this in and of itself is an ever-changing craft. To allow the farm to be fluid and change where it is called to in all four seasons. And to have lots of fun while it’s all happening!
Why is local food important to you?
To me, local food = Taste, community and creating culture together.
If you could deliver a message directly to Co-op members/customers, what would it be?
Thank you for supporting your local farmers. When you see a different type of local vegetable in the Co-op I encourage you to try it. You will likely find the adventure rewarding, and you will help support local biodiversity and climate adaptation in the process.