Kettle River Farm
Kettle River Farm is a small family farm in Grand Forks BC. Stewarded by Owen and Nancy and their three children, Kettle River Farm is a labour of love and is dedicated to organic practices. They supply your Co-op with beautiful certified organic fruit and veggies including spectacular melons and corn on the cob in the late summer. As the weather turns colder they supply great fall and winter keepers including squash and onions so we are brimming with wonderful local options well into the winter.
Who are the farmers at Kettle River Farm?
Owen Broad and Nancy Gabrielse. Also, “we are lucky to have three wonderful helpers on our farm,” says Nancy, “Liam, Clare and Ivy have learned from the dirt up what goes into each crop, namely lots of love, labour and time.”
What do you grow?
Certified organic onions, squash, melons, corn, garlic, peppers, and tree fruit.
How would you describe your farm?
We are a small family farm dedicated to organic practices, lying along the banks of the Kettle River. “The Kettle River infuses our whole farm,” says Nancy, “giving us rich river- bottom soil, replenishing the aquifer and nurturing all sorts of wildlife including beaver, herons, kingfishers, eagles, owls and rainbow trout. It is also a beautiful welcoming place to cool off after a day in the field. We have left several acres of Ponderosa Pine forest in its natural state along the river.”
How long have you been farming?
Since 2000 when we moved from Vancouver to Grand Forks.
What motivated you to start?
A desire to do meaningful work that contributes to the overall goal of a sustainable food system. Prior to moving to Grand Forks from Vancouver, both of us had connections to farming – Owen grew up on a large farm in the Peace country in Northeast B.C. Nancy had many fond memories of time spent on her grandparents farms in the Fraser Valley and Eastern U.S. We craved a rural life for ourselves and for our kids and believed strongly in the organic farming process.
What are some of your greatest joys?
Hearing people say… “that’s the best I’ve ever eaten!” Enjoying a good harvest after months of prep and growing. Having the entire family working together to plant or weed or harvest. We really love the lifestyle of farming – working where you live, eating good organic food, feeding our family straight off the farm, working outdoors.
What are some of your greatest challenges?
Dealing with nature’s weather curve balls.
Why is local food and/or local purchasing important to you?
We like knowing our customers and appreciate getting direct feedback. As well, we would rather not send our food great distances so we can reduce the impact of transport.
If you could deliver a message directly to Co-op members/customers, what would it be?
Keep supporting local farmers – because of your purchasing choices we can function as a small farm. Thank you!