Our first two baby goats of 2021 have arrived safely. Amy gave birth to two healthy kids. Penny and Calypso are also due to kid this week. They get lots of love and attention.
photos of Maya and Bryn with baby goat (yet to be named)
As promised, here’s Part 2 of the introduction to Kingfisher Farm Market:
Why do we farm?
What do you love about farming?
Every spring as a new season begins, I marvel at the miracle of seeds carrying all that life – and I’m excited again to see those first green shoots popping up. To be a steward of that process brings me a lot of joy and satisfaction! There are so many skills and so much background knowledge needed to bring a farm to life. There are complex ecological interactions, not to mention business, accounting, communications, mechanics, construction… Farming is a life-long journey of learning and even after 16 years I’ve got a long way to go. This excites me!
Why were you drawn to farming?
I have always loved working with growing things, even as a young boy I wanted to learn how to create the conditions for plants to flourish. As a kid, I built a compost bin and tended grapevines in our city yard. As a younger adult, I searched for a “vocation” that felt like a fit to me. I wanted to do something in my life that contributed to the well-being of the earth and all her inhabitants. Farming was something I could do that combined my passions for food and for growing things. It has felt like a hopeful way to build community and to bring healing and life to a small part of the earth. It continues to feel life-giving for me personally, even on those crazy days when there is a lot to do!
I am a person who really roots down where I am. During our time in East Vancouver, we were deeply connected to the people and the neighbourhood and when we moved out to South Surrey I wondered what would tether me. The vegetable farming all felt like Paul's thing (as he had been farming on this land since 2005) and I kind of like to have my own thing. Karin and I purchased a dairy cow and we learned the rhythms of farming; I spent my first few years here loving the practice of shoveling manure, milking, fencing and helping out with the vegetable farming as I was able. The flowers started as a hobby for me but I was pulled into the art of growing and designing them as I increased the amount I grew, learned what other farmers were doing and saw that I could possibly earn a living from flower farming. I have always been drawn to facilitating spaces of community engagement and connection so when the idea sprouted of hosting a market here at the farm, I was all in. I loved that we could connect with the neighbours and provide access to the beauty of this land and to healthy, tasty food. And here we are, 10 years later - farming and loving it.
Our market and garden share space with the residents of Kingfisher Farm. We are a group of families who co-own and choose to care for this 10-acre plot of land together. When we moved here in 2011 there were 11 kids under the age of 13 years old - now our youngest kid is 14! Many of us, before purchasing the land as a group, had strong connections with A Rocha (a local conservation organization that used to be located on this land and can now be found on 192 and 16th). It was important to us to continue to find ways to care for and preserve this piece of land (with forest, wetland and fields).
Paul and I (Angela), are the farmers here. We are often joined by farm-mates to help with weeding, or a building project, or when we need extra hands to spread compost! Other residents here at the farm work primarily off-site (at least pre-COVID). We felt drawn to living in this way; moving towards interdependence in a culture that often tends towards isolation and independence. We seek to be a place of hospitality and care for the earth that we have been entrusted. It’s in this place that our little farm produces oodles of veggies and flowers for the neighbourhood to enjoy. We are so grateful to be located at the mouth of this neighbourhood where folks value the roadside vegetable stand and look forward to Tuesday markets. Kids grow up running out to see the goats and farm market customers learn the value of knowing their farmers.
Paul has cleaned up the maple sap buckets. It was a good harvest this year and the shelter was filled with the aroma of warm maple sugar as he boiled it down on the fireplace for days. It's one of our winter rituals. One of those things that Paul does for fun; connecting us with the rhythms of the season.
And now the days are lightening. I can hear the song of the frogs getting louder in the clear, dark evenings. The tulips are all pushing up through the frost covered earth, daring winter to come back. My kids are itching for spring break and a chance to run barefoot down to the river and use the tents they received for Christmas gifts. I know you are restless to eat fresh vegetables again, grown of this land. First will come the rhubarb and the sorrel, the asparagus and the nettles. As we wait for the soil to dry out, for seedlings to germinate; we will be attentive to the signs of spring.
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