A Kelowna farm has won a bronze medal in a national competition and been awarded a $5,000 grant.
Among the almost 2,000 entries, the Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm tied for third with several other small businesses across the country in this year’s Canadian FedEx Small Business Grant Contest.
“We’re pretty excited,” said Andrea McFadden, owner of Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm.
“We’ve been at this for years, so we’ve been able to perfect our practices.”
The contest recognizes 10 small businesses from across the country annually and provides the businesses with support and financial resources to help them break into local and global markets.
Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm’s dedication to innovating the farming industry to keep it sustainable for the future is their selling point for investors and customers, said McFadden.
“Sustainable farming is going to be the way of the future,” she added.
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Our eight-acre piece of farmland is our livelihood, and we make every effort to preserve, restore and improve it through sustainable farming practices 🌿 • We control weeds with barrier cloth and practice integrated pest management, eliminating the need for chemical sprays • The majority of our plants are drought-tolerant and require minimal irrigation • Our pond encourages and sustains our garden's unique biodiversity • Our plants bloom in waves, providing food for pollinators throughout the season • All leftover plant debris, sample tea cups, lemonade cups and gelato cups and spoons are composted on-site ⠀ Interested in learning more? Our guided, drop-in farm tours run daily at 11:30am and 2:30pm 🌻
Their products are grown without harmful sprays and harvested by hand.
They’re accented by sustainably sourced, organic and fair trade oils, butters, essential oils as well as other products.
All of their products are tested on family, friends and staff, “but never on animals” and are all farmed by hand, McFadden noted.
There is no machinery involved to farm and harvest.
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At our farm, inspiration abounds from the land around us, the herbs we grow and the valley we are fortunate to enjoy every day. From planting to harvest to distillation, our passions are rooted in tradition… ⠀ ✅ Hand made⠀ ✅ Locally grown⠀ ✅ Small batch Interested in learning more about what we do and the products we make? 🌱 Join us for one of our daily drop-in tours at the farm or register for one of our fun, hands-on workshops! More details on our website (link in bio)
One of their newest additions, that McFadden said probably won the judges over, is their newly imported biodegradable wood chip containers from Finland.
She said her farm is the first in Canada to use this equipment.
“They believed in our story,” said McFadden, who had to send in a video as part of the application process. “They all felt like they visited the farm. We aren’t even videographers. We are farmers.”