A Conversation with Linden Lane Farms
Let’s start with the basics. Please tell us your farm name and your location?
Linden Lane Farms
The Carr Family
3850 Krestova Road, Krestova, BC
Interview submitted my Matthew Carr
What kind of farm do you run?
Linden Lane Farms is an expanding farm specializing in horticulture. We produce certified organic and KMG (Kootenay Mountain Grown) certified vegetables, small fruits and vegetable transplants. Our farm also features a plant nursery for edible and ornamental plants during the spring. Our 150 acre farm currently has 4 acres in cultivated production.
Our family has grown organically on the land since purchasing the farm in the 1970’s, with recent re-certifying (PACS 16-786) for our produce and transplants. Linden Lane offers more than 60 different crops over the course of the season, with many crops having multiple cultivars to provide a variety of different shapes, colours and flavours.
We utilize three main production practices: protected culture, plastic-culture and intensive minimal till. Our fertility program involves the application of our own composted manures and the growing of green manure/cover crops to continue to improve our soils, utilizing natural soil building processes. As the farm has grown, we have begun an ecological farmscaping project to provide more habitat for natural beneficial organisms and improving the microclimates in each field. The farm is also home to cows, goats, sheep and poultry for our personal use.
The farm is managed by me, Matthew Carr. I have two certificates in Greenhouse Management and Horticulture Field Crop Production, and have been working through my 3rd year of a Horticulture Science degree at the University of Saskatchewan. I started building Linden Lane Farms in the summer of 2011, before graduating high school in 2012. My sister Lynnea has increased her role in the farm over the last few years and contributes through her hard work ethic, which keeps me focused. She is responsible for the majority of the planting work done on the farm. My parents Andrew and Kari, operate the farm during the early spring and fall when both Lynnea and I are still away at University, on top of their other full time jobs, I should add. Both sets of my grandparents help out as much as they can, providing advice, market setups, deliveries and other essential jobs that keep the farm running smoothly. During past seasons we have hired part time employees to help during the busy parts.
This season, we are looking to hire at least one full time farmhand to join our team! Overall the farm has become a very family oriented operation.
As farmers, why do you do what you do?
Farming organically has been important to our family since we began farming. Providing locally grown, fresh, nutrient dense produce to our community is our goal. We do this through a variety of organic and ecological practices that will allow our land to continue to produce food for many future years. Going to university away from home has opened my eyes to the relatively low food security of many developed communities; it was very difficult to find the luxury of great food products that I had been accustomed to having grown up in the Kootenays. This has inspired me and our family to grow and provide this service for our local community.
Plants have also been a passion of mine since I was a young boy. My main inspiration was in grade 11 when learning about plant propagation, which sparked my interest into the cellular level of plant growth and development. This lead to a project propagating ornamental shrubs, which was followed by vegetable and fruit production. Since those early years, I have continued to further my education through university, touring farms and accessing the online farm community. This education has kept the farm progressing and innovative by combining modern technologies with older traditional practices.
Where can we find + purchase your products?
Our products are available in Nelson at the Wednesday Downtown Local Market, Saturday Cottonwood Market, Kootenay Co-op. We also operate the Thyme Saver CSA program for Castlegar, Nelson, Slocan Valley and (hopefully) Rossland-Trail residents; offering weekly boxes of fresh, in-season produce grown on our farm. We have seasonal markets which include the Spring Plant Sales & Festivals and our October Thanksgiving Market. We are looking to open a farm stand in Krestova for the 2018 season as well. Please check out our website for event dates.
What else would you like people to know about your farm?
Thank you to everyone that has helped us to develop as a farm business! Your support has not only let us farm, but helped Lynnea and I through University to further our educations. Our CSA program is becoming an important part of our farm business. The CSA has become an important source of income in the early spring, after a winter of studying away from home. With our CSA support, we are able to purchase seeds and supplies for the growing season, and also improve our infrastructure to produce more food for the Kootenays. This year our goal will be to build a well-needed, new washing/storage building to allow us to meet the needs of the community for years to come.
Through the support of our returning and new CSA members, we hope to accomplish this goal for this season! If you are interested in investing in our farm while receiving weekly boxes of our amazing produce, please contact us through our website.
Follow us on social media! We work hard to try to expose the behind the scenes work it takes to run the farm while showcasing the great products we create!
Farm Contact Info:
CSA signup: www.lindenlanefarms.ca/join-csa