Saving our own seeds is a significant part of our farming operation. We save seed for ourselves, to seed year after year, and to sell, mostly through Salt Spring Seeds. It is another way that we can be self-reliant and it is beautiful to see the whole life cycle of the plants that we grow. Our seed saving passion began with only a few varieties of lettuce and greens. After experiencing the power and ‘seed to seed’ cycle we were inspired to add and trial more and more varieties each year.
Now we save many varieties of snap and shelling peas, heirloom tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, lettuce, salad greens, beets, green beans, dry beans, radishes, scallions, onions, leeks, winter squash, flowers and herbs. We are continuing to grow new and interesting varieties and expanding our seed stock. We grow varieties that do well in this climate and that we love for their flavour, beauty and abundance
Wwoofers are an integral part of farming here at Stowel Lake Farm. Our wwoofers do a variety of jobs in the gardens including transplanting, harvesting, watering, mulching and, of course, weeding as a trade for room and board. We hope that along the way our wwoofers glean a little bit of knowledge, skill and appreciation of organic farming. We have been so fortunate to have had all of our wwoofers over the years. It has been amazing to meet so many folks from all over the world. We appreciate the hard work and the fresh energy that new people bring to the farm.
Get an overview of the Wwoof Program and register as a Wwoofer today.
Good animal husbandry is a shared core belief in our community. Our animals have clean, dry places to live, have plenty of pasture to roam and eat organically grown grain and hay.
We raise both layers and broilers. We sell some of our eggs but mostly enjoy them ourselves as they are rich and delicious. Our broilers have a large outside area to scratch and walk in. Growing our own chicken lines up with our philosophy of eating food with the least food miles possible. It is a fair bit of work and commitment, but worth the effort both for the quality of food and experience that we get to enjoy.
Our llama and alpacas provide us with their manure through the winter for our compost – an important part of growing vegetables! We often have cows that we raise for beef and also contribute to our manure supply for the garden.
In 2015 we had pigs for the first time in many years. We raised four pigs who were integrated into our garden rotation – opening up new areas, digging up gardens that were in between crops. We loved having pigs around and are planning for more this coming spring.
Presently our animal family consists of (many!) chickens, 2 alpacas – Niva & Santana, and our llama – Spike.
Apprentices are a huge part of our successful farming operation and join us for 3 months at a time during our main growing season (April to October). Apprentices are exposed to all aspects of our farm operation from seeding & transplanting to planning & crop management. Presentation for farmers markets and seed saving are also a big part of our program. Our apprentices experience living in our dynamic community and retreat centre. We accept two to four apprentices per year.
Please contact us if you are interested