As a farm and as a business we understand the importance of conducting ourselves in a sustainable manner. Sometimes when we have our head down working we forget to let you know some of the different things that we are doing to be responsible stewards of the land and the community around us. In this newsletter, I am going to highlight just a few of the measures we take to care for the things that have been entrusted to us.
We grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on our farm. As a result, we are able to use our own fresh grown produce to serve as lunches in our Cafe, as baked goodies in our Bakery and canned into delicious preserves. For example, right now any strawberries from our field that are past their prime are taken to our Cannery where we freeze them to use for strawberry jam in the winter months. This means that there is no waste, no packaging that would come with berries if we bought them, zero food miles, and extraordinary flavour! The largest scale example on our farm is our apple production. We only sell apples that we grow ourselves, and when in season, we use them in our bakery to make pies and much more, we freeze them to make apple butter in the winter, and of course we make gallons upon gallons of cold-pressed apple juice. Any apple that is considered “Extra Fancy” is sold fresh in our store. The ones that are too small or too big, that have marks from hail or sunburn, or that are misshapen or scabbed get turned into apple juice. Again, there is literally no waste; after we have squeezed every last drop of juice out of the apples we give the excess pulp to a local rancher who feeds it to his cattle.
Using our own produce is not the only way we cut down on our environmental impact. Out in the fields our farmers are working hard to take care of the soil we work. Everyday, the manure that the farm animals produce is scooped out of the barn and shovelled under the trees by hand. Of course, we don’t have nearly enough animals to spread over every acre, so this spring we brought in 25 dump truck loads of cow manure from the Coldstream Ranch to spread in our fields and under our trees. This adds needed organic matter and nutrients to the soil which helps to build the soil structure up and enable it to hold moisture.
Reusing things like boxes, tubs and buckets is another simple, common-sense way that we cut down on packaging. For instance, the ice-cream that we buy to make our real fruit ice-cream cones comes in big three-gallon buckets. Instead of throwing out those buckets, or even putting them in the recycling, we choose to reuse them for all kinds of things. We fill them with apples that are peeled, cored and chopped for the bakery. We use them in the fields to pick peas and beans into. The bakery uses them to store pre-measured ingredients in for easy food prep. There is no end to the way that things can be used over and over!
These are just a few examples of ways that we as a farm and business make an effort to be responsible. If this topic interests you there is more information on our website. Look up our Sustainability Statement to read about more of our practices such as trickle irrigation, crop rotation, plastic mulches and more. We are always striving to be more efficient, economical and sustainable.
For the family,
Rachel Davison (4th generation)
Part of our sustainable farming includes using natural fertilization for the apples trees.
Fresh and delicious Okanagan cherries are now available in our market for purchase. From a small basket to a 20 pound box, they are perfect on their own or try them in a new recipe such as Rachel's Dark Chocolate Cherry Scones.
Try Rachel's Dark Chocolate Cherry Scone Recipe!
NEW! Join us for our Summer Evening Picnic & Tour, on Friday, July 5th from 5:30 pm- 7:30 pm. Let us prepare a made-from-scratch picnic dinner for your family while you enjoy a warm summer evening in the orchard. Pick up your pre-ordered meal and we will take you for a tour in the evening hours. To register, click the link below and make sure to reserve your spot before 6:00 pm on Thursday, July 4th.