The Farm

crop rows

The soil is something out of a farmer’s dream all thanks to the historic floodplains that have naturally deposited nutrients over countless generations giving us a pure foundation to grow our produce.

Old Meadows Organic Farm

is a certified organic farm and market located at 4213 Gordon Dr. Kelowna, B.C. right next to the H2O Center and Capital News Center. Our farm is situated on a gorgeous 3.5 acre parcel on the Thomson Heritage farm, the roots of which extend back over 100 years of farming on this land.

The soil is something out of a farmer’s dream all thanks to the historic floodplains that have naturally deposited nutrients over countless generations giving us a pure foundation to grow our produce. We in turn respect this amazing farmland by adhering to the highest organic standards and farming practices to work in an everlasting partnership with nature.

Our Mission Statement

At Old Meadows Organic Farm we aim to provide the community with the highest quality food that is grown using the most sustainable practices. Our ultimate goal is to be a self-sustaining farm that requires little to no inputs in order to function. By using a balanced approach we will be able to produce enough food to feed the local community while actually improving the land we farm on. We believe that it is up to us farmers to lead the way in sustainable practices and we hope to inspire other to do the same.

Our Process

We believe in full-circle holistic approach at our farm. To us growing food is more than just planting seeds and applying water and fertilizer. We understand that nature is a complex system. The plant has a direct relationship with the soil it is growing in and without healthy soil the plant will not grow to its full potential. As farmers we also fit into this relationship and it is important that we play a responsible role.

We incorporate many different practices based on Farmer Jeff’s approach to sustainable farming. Our practices have been modeled after many different types of farming in a way that suits the land we farm on, the produce we grow, and the values we hold. We believe in growing the safest food possible and for that reason we have chosen to farm organically.

We are Certified Organic and that means we take every step necessary to ensure that our community can enjoy the best produce possible. We are Anti-GMO and we do not use harmful pesticides or herbicides on our farm. You can rest assured knowing that the food we grow is as natural as can be and we follow strict guidelines as to how our food is grown. We are certified by PACS

How do we fertilize?

As an organic grower we need to put a lot of thought into how we maintain the nutrient levels in the soil. If a certain crop is continually grown year after year it will drain the soil of particular nutrients and this will lead to future problems.

We follow tried and true traditions by incorporating crop rotation on our farm. This practice involves growing each crop in a new location every year based on a designed pattern. This allows the soil to effectively take a break and reduces the chances of disease or pest infestations. Also by strategically growing certain plants together they can work in harmony to benefit each other while improving the soil conditions. We call this companion growing.

At our farm we produce our own compost onsite from the waste growth of previous years. This allows us to control the quality and reduces our need for outside inputs. We also grow Nitrogen fixing crops and green manure crops on our farm to enhance soil productivity while adding organic matter to the soil. This is very sustainable and an effective way to make Nitrogen available for the plants without the need for fertilizers.

When we do want to directly enhance the soil we have quite a few options but we choose to stick to a few basic inputs depending on the crop. The one thing you can count on with organic is that we do not use anything synthetic, anything applied on the farm is natural.

These are our common sources for adding nutrients back into the soil:

  • Compost
  • Fish fertilizer foliar spray
  • Natural granular fertilizer
  • Seaweed foliar spray
  • Straw
  • Woodchips

How do we deal with pests?

shoot on bamboo

When a harmful pest is detected our initial defense is to try and eliminate them on site.

There are many different approaches when it comes to insect invasions. Traditional farming would require one farmer to take a generic poison and apply as needed until the pests have been eliminated. This approach does not work in balance with nature and will cause harm to beneficial insects and may even contaminate the soil. We believe that there are other ways to deal with the challenges that nature brings.

We know that if there is a breakout of a certain pest that must mean there are imbalances in the environment that creates a favorable situation for them to thrive. This is where we take a time sensitive approach and look at all factors. Are we growing the same crop in the same location year after year? Is our soil healthy and properly balanced? Do we have beneficial insects present? These are just some of the questions we ask ourselves in order to make an informed assessment.

When a harmful pest is detected our initial defense is to try and eliminate them on site. If we see a horn worm on the tomatoes we squish it right there, if we see cabbage moths flying around we grab our butterfly nets and we get some exercise catching as many moths as we can! It’s such a simple and effective approach, but it will only solve part of the problem.

If an invasion gets out of control and begins to cause excessive damage to crops we go to our next line of defense, topical sprays. These are the main topical solutions we use, don’t worry they are all safe and approved for organic farming!

  1. Safers Soap – Non chemical – Made from potassium salts of fatty acids
    This is only applied prior to a rainfall when an insect outbreak is out of control
  2. Pyrethrum – All Natural – Derived from Chrysanthemum Flower (we even grow the Pyrethrum flower on our farm)
    This is only applied prior to a rainfall when an insect outbreak is out of control
  3. Vinegar – Its natural 20% vinegar for weed control around the perimeters and walkways

When it comes to weed control we have a few ways to handle them. Typically we try and pull any weeds we see as they grow, but sometimes they get out of control. For example, If thistles get out of control our only option is to apply vinegar on a hot day. For other varieties we may take a propane torch and quickly scorch the outside waxy coating of the weeds which will kill them off. Eliminating weeds from the soil is a process that can take up to decade to resolve and is a constant battle. Once removed the key to keeping the weeds from returning is to maintain a cover crop that protects the soil from being exposed to new seed.

Year after year by improving our soil conditions as well as applying strategic crop rotation and planting regimens we hope to create an ecologically diverse environment that encourages beneficial insects. This in turn will allow us to reduce the need for topical applications and reduce our overall dependence on outside inputs.

Local Support

In Kelowna we are so fortunate to have so much local support for agriculture. Whether it’s the amazing amount of sunshine or the gorgeous fertile soils, or just the magic of the Okanagan, we are able to grow some world class produce. From the crowds that continually fill up the farmers markets, to our own loyal customers that enjoy our market, to the restaurants all over town, Kelowna is the place to be!

Thanks to the amazing local Chefs and Vendors for their commitment to locally sourced sustainable produce we have been able to form partnerships and work closely with:

Bonfire Grill @ The Cove Lakeside Resort

Hotel Eldorado

Old Vines Restaurant @ Quail’s Gate Winery

RauDZ Regional Table

Seasons Harvest

Sunset Organic Bistro @ Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Urban Harvest Organic Home Delivery

Waterfront Wines

Thank you to the following for additional support:
COEDC – Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission
Tourism Kelowna
Dunsmoor Creative