Red Lion Organic Farms is a fourth generation, certified organic, Doukhobor heritage farm, located just outside of Salmo. Red Lion supplies the Co-op with a beautiful array of fresh produce ranging from potted herbs early in the season, to stunning lettuces, root crops, and garlic. They are particularly proud of their spectacular Romaine. One of this farm’s specialties is Brassicas, and they supply us with stunning Cauliflower and Broccoli. We are thrilled to have these True Local Brassicas in our store, because they have traditionally been difficult to grow and source in our region. However, the tenacious young farming team at Red Lion have harnessed their unique microclimate and combined talents to bring us an abundant and delicious local source of these vibrant vegetables!
Read on to learn more about this great True Local Supplier!
Who are the farmers at Red Lion Organic Farms?
We have an amazing team of Farmers headed up Gabrielle Clement.
Red Lion Organic Farms is owned by Walter Berukoff, who is part of the fourth generation of Berukoff’s to steward this land. He and the amazing group of young farmers he employs have recently restored the farm to preserve its rich cultural heritage and provide high quality healthy food for our community.
What do you grow?
We grow a diverse array of crops including potted herbs, garden starts, broccoli, multi-coloured cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, radish and beets and much more.
By focusing on great varieties for our region and organic growing practices we are able to supply our customers with delicious, healthy locally grown food.
Our farm’s traditional focus has been on growing incredible garlic. We love garlic and all things garlic, scapes, culinary garlic and of course, seed garlic.
How would you describe your farm?
Red Lion Organic Farms is an organically certified heritage farm located in the rich soil of the Salmo Valley .
The Doukhobor farm has been in the Berukoff family for four generations and has recently been restored to preserve its rich cultural heritage. Our goal is to provide high quality, healthy soil and food for our communities and to tell a story in honour of the people who once resided on this land. The Berukoff family have been lovingly restoring this farm, with the addition of an orchard, a vineyard, pigs and chickens.
Something that we are very proud of is our ability to provide full time sustainable farming jobs to local people. We all love and care about the stewardship of this land and it shows in our produce.
How long have you been farming?
The Berukoff family greatly influenced this valley and we seek to continue that tradition with Red Lion Organic Farms. We want to maintain the farm’s history and legacy, and to share the beauty of this place with rich organically grown produce.
Our amazing team brings decades of experience to our farm, from organic farming practices, to horticulture methods, to expertise with machinery, and knowledge of community building. We all work together to create not only great food but a great place to learn and share knowledge.
Our greatest strength is the combined knowledge of our team, so we asked them to answer the following questions:
What motivated you to start?
Gabrielle (Head farmer): “I love eating and knowing where my food comes from, being outside and working in dirt. Farming feeds all of this.”
Woody (Farmer and Heavy machine operator ): “ I grew up on an organic farm and have always been passionate about good farm practices.”
What are some of your greatest joys?
Fawn ( Farmer and Chicken raiser): “Some of my greatest joys are being a part of a very hardworking team and being outdoors all day. I love the wholesomeness of growing food and raising animals”
Kayla (Garlic Lead Farmer): “That every day I learn new things, and working on a farm that has good heart.”
Sierra (Farmhand): “I love gathering and washing vegetables from the Market Garden. I enjoy the beauty of the produce and the camaraderie of working together.”
What are some of your greatest challenges?
Gabrielle: “Trying to make sure that your crops ripen as planned and working around the weather.”
Rosie (Farmhand, Marketing and Sales, Orchard Worker): “Competing with organisms who want to utilize the same resources we do. The diversity, hands on approach and proactive management principles associated with pest management on an organic farm is inspiring.’
What is your vision for your farm?
Gabrielle: Creating a diversified farm, focusing on organic practices and improving the soil for many generations.
Carla ( community builder): My vision is that our farm leads the way in the revitalization of organic farming in our region. I love that we are employing locals and partnering with local businesses to create more food security for our region.
Why is local food and/or local purchasing important to you?
The Salmo Valley has an incredible cultural and natural heritage. Our soil and our farm are steeped in history. It is important for us to support the community around us. Food grown locally using heritage methods, keeps the benefits and richness of our soil in our region.
We love supporting our local community by providing jobs and by working with other local organic farms. We have been able to combine our purchasing power and work together to create education and interest in the importance of local organically grown food.
If you could deliver a message directly to Co-op members/customers, what would it be?
Our region is unique in the world, with incredible soil, a great growing season, and caring people. Growing our own food in this region is the best was to support healthy living and reduce our environmental footprint. Getting our hands in the soil is a great way to heal ourselves. All people regardless of ability flourish when they work on a farm.
We are putting great love and care into what we grow. It brings us a lot of pleasure to grow food for our community and we are extremely grateful for the local support and interest in our farm and produce.