Jon Scott and the team at Chuckleberry Community Farm grow a variety of nourishing crops, but it’s their certified organic microgreens that have made them famous at the Kootenay Co-op. These superfood microgreens are packed with vitamins, proteins, beneficial enzymes, antioxidants and other healthy nutrients. (Check out the Chuckleberry website for details and sources.) Chuckleberry is a unique community farm composed of like-minded residents, interns, woofers, and volunteers. This community farm grows food not just for physical nourishment, but for relationship development, for personal growth, and for the building up of community resiliency.
Read on to learn more about this vibrant True Local supplier!
Where are you located?
On top of Mount Chuckleberry in Beasley, BC
What do you grow?
The crop that primarily supports the farm is microgreens. We grow three kinds of microgreens year- round: sunflower, pea, and daikon radish shoots. In the summer, we commercially grow Genovese basil, seasonal varieties of squash, zucchini, spinach, and Jerusalem artichokes.
We also grow Goji berries, blueberries, blackberries, Haskap berries, Seabuckthorn berries and raspberries on over 500 terraced berry bushes. We also have volunteer huckleberries and Saskatoons growing everywhere.
We also have a thriving people growing ecosystem at Chuckleberry, with built-in support for the personal development of all our farm staff including breakfast sharing circle and weekly Emotional Intelligence trainings.
Can you tell me what a “people growing ecosystem” is?
Yes. This environment acts as a support for people to more deeply rest into themselves while experiencing an interconnectedness with others that’s supportive, meaningful and safe. It is the warmth, safety and relational intelligence of the environment that naturally catalyzes people’s personal growth.
Interesting! Can you tell me how you’d describe your operation?
Chuckleberry is a community of inspired and ever changing individuals endeavoring to live their lives productively and sustainably. Here at Chuckleberry, we are dedicated to sharing in the fruits of a life lived consciously.
We work together to operate a largely off-grid farm with an” annualized geosolar greenhouse” that provides microgreens and produce to restaurants, retailers, and ski lodges from Creston to Naksup, and throughout the Okanagan Valley!
Our “annualized geosolar greenhouse” is a 2,000 sq ft Earthship heated by a 24,000 cubic foot heat sink that is heated by a 800 cubic foot solar collector.
**psst, I had to look up what an “annualized
geosolar greenhouse” is and this is what I found on Wikipedia.
How long has the Chuckleberry community been in Beasley?
The community has been established for sixteen years.
Have you been farming all that time?
No, we’re in our seventh farming season.
What motivated you to transform into a farming operation?
The motivation to become a farmer came through a mystical vision of a future that required an immediate and radical shift in how I was living my life. A highly productive, sustainable farming operation that counteracted regional food scarcity, combined with a simple and deeply conscious lifestyle, offered an appropriate container for the shift to take place.
What are some of your greatest joys?
Seeing the delight in the faces of our staff with the emotional, psychological and spiritual evolution that is naturally catalyzed in them by our farm lifestyle.
What are some of your greatest challenges?
I find the greatest challenge to be navigating the financial aspects involved in supporting this farm community and microgreen operation.
What is your vision for your company?
The vision for Chuckleberry is to continue to generate a place of thriving abundance blossoming on many levels. We endeavor to maintain a local high-quality food production system, while inspiring the personal growth and ever-deepening development of all those involved.
We intend to continue offering workshops on sustainability such as our two gardening workshops coming up soon on May 20th and June 3rd.
This year we are offering a 30 day retreat opportunity for individuals seeking an in-depth transformational therapeutic journey while learning to grow their own nutrient dense organic food.
Why is local food and local purchasing important to you?
Local food is the most basic underpinning of a sane, natural way of life that supports healthy and self-empowered communities. Local food systems encourage meaningful local relationships, allowing people to learn to depend on their community for nourishment. The ecological and health impacts of post-harvest produce transportation are enormous, and can’t compete with our same day harvest-to-market model at Chuckleberry.
We are pleased to be able to contribute to our local food system by providing super nutritious and earth-conscious produce to the Kootenay and Okanagan regions and we hope to inspire others to support local food production and purchasing in the process!
If you could deliver a message directly to Co-op members/customers, what would it be?
Buying local is a powerful way to cast your vote in creating a stronger community that is more sustainable, with greater food security.
Organic farming combined with a conscious, relational lifestyle can provide an unparalleled opportunity for people to live a simple enriching, growthful and meaningful life together, that is connected to the earth, right here in our own community.
Thank you, Co-op shoppers, for supporting this life that we love here at Chuckleberry. If you would like to learn more about sustainability in food production, off grid systems and healthy community relations, please check out our sustainable workshop schedule on our website!