Agriculture + Farming

Agriculture is an important economy of the Lardeau Valley.  Not only does it provide employment, but food security in this highly remote region is critical.  A strong eat-local culture, favourable farming environment, and community and regional support are assets.  Distance from markets, cost of supplies, finding seasonal labour, and access to affordable/available land are noted challenges.  

There are a number of market gardens, and the advent of Farm Gate and Farm Gate + licences mean that there is good opportunity for small scale meat producing businesses in the area.  There is currently higher demand for local, humanely raised meat than there is supply.  

Where you can buy food grown in the Lardeau Valley

Lardeau Valley Sunday Market

Kaslo Sunday Market

Nelson Farmer’s Market

Meadow Creek Store

Cornucopia, Kaslo

Front Street Market, Kaslo

Kootenay Co-op Grocer, Nelson

Resources for Farmers

LINKS with support from RDCK has been providing annual supports to the farming sector since 2017.  Contact us for more information.

Kootenay and Boundary Farm Advisors

Young Agrarians

CBT Basin Business Advisors Program

Central Kootenay Food Policy Council

Lakehead & Beyond Produce History

In 2009, a group of Lardeau Valley community members pulled together to form Lakehead and Beyond Produce, a not-for-profit society that set out to help rebuild the strong, healthy agricultural & horticultural economy our valley once knew.  With uncertainties over what land would be available to begin and a multitude of ideas being bantered about, a noticeable gap in the market for a CSA program steered Lakehead toward its first opportunity.  (CSA- Community Supported Agriculture, is a program where community members can buy a share of the farm’s produce.  The share is purchased at the beginning of the season, and in return, the shareholder receives a weekly box of the freshest, naturally grown, seasonal produce over the growing season.  For more information visit http://lakeheadproducts.webs.com

In 2010, the Lakehead board members leased approximately 2 acres of land in the heart of Meadow Creek.  Volunteers worked together to fence the property, prepare the land, and build the first greenhouse.  Garlic went in that autumn and a further array of crops went in the following spring.  One full-time and two part-time workers were hired, CSA shares sold quickly and the first year proved to be a success. Lakehead was a flagship for increasing the awareness for the necessity of building local, sustainable food sources.

During its existence, Lakehead provided the local primary school with learning opportunities through visits to the farm throughout the season, provided farm tours, conducted a management project for the invasive thistles, created a hub for practical advice and help to locals wishing to work and create an income from their land, and Lakehead also explored creating a seed potato industry in the valley.  Lakehead also accumulated an array of farming implements including but not limited to a grain combine.  This equipment is available for use by all local farmers.

In 2011 a permanent home for Lakehead was found, and the vision to provide the Lardeau Valley with an agricultural & horticultural resource hub has come closer to becoming a reality.  Thanks to amazing support from some incredibly generous local community members, a 20+ acre site in Meadow Creek was purchased, and Lakehead has a long term lease.  

In 2021, Lakehead and beyond disbanded.  The land that was secured in 2011 has been leased to Earth Temple Gardens and the farming implements are stored there for community use upon request.