It is a similar story of many who relocate to the Okanagan-Similkameen, they came to visit and found a place to stay forever.
With backgrounds in science and archeology Yve Kosugi and Morris Holmes decided to switch gears to live a life with no boss and no commute. To live life well and sustainable off of the certified organic farm in Cawston, is the passion behind Farmers Dotter Organics.
“It is a great lifestyle. It is a lot of hard work. I think there is a lot of romanticism about farming. It is a pile of work, but for me it is a worthwhile lifestyle because there is tradeoffs for everything you do. Being able to provide people with healthy food and I can feel good about the way I’m treating my land and how it is produced,” said Kosugi about why she decided to take up a new career path in farming.
The seven-acre certified organic garlic farm has grown to now include a wood-fired bakery on the property to make naturally-leavened sourdoughs and the couple are currently in the process of building suites for vacation rentals. While the bakery portion of their operation is not certified organic, they do bake with certified organic ingredients whenever possible.
The couple’s original intention in moving to the Similkameen was to help Kosugi’s brother on his farm. They found their own piece of property and now produce about seven tonnes of garlic every year, on a four-year rotation on the land.
You can Farmers Dotter fresh-made bread, garlic and garlic scape salt at the Penticton Farmers’ Market among other locations in B.C., Alberta and Ontario. Kosugi said spending time with other farmers at the market is her favourite thing.
“The (Penticton Famers’) market is so great because, well its been here for 25 years, and the market rule is the person that you see behind that table has to be the producer, the maker, the baker, the craftsperson … it gives the customer that connection,” said Kosugi.
“You can ask questions, you can get that dialogue and for people that are interested in where their food is coming from it is really critical that they can converse with whoever did it.”
Kosugi said every time you spend your money with a local farmer it is a vote for change.
“Every time you open up your wallet and pay for a product or service you make a vote. Yes, sign as many petitions as you can, lobby as much as you can, fight against the multinational food and chemical companies but, real and substantial change only occurs when you change somebodies bottom line. Take away or add to their profits and you will get noticed. Vote with your wallet.”