Your new local food guide and online directory 

Introducing you to the local food economy and the inspiring people behind it! 

Grow Arrow Lakes is here to support our local farms, growers, producers, grocers, farmers’ markets and all the other wonderful people and businesses connected to agriculture in the Nakusp and Arrow Lakes region. 

From small-scale veggie farms and medicinal herbalists to honey producers and roasteries to wineries and craft cideries – we’re here to build a strong local food economy centred around sustainable practices and healthy local food.

We’re here to help connect you with the food you eat and the people who grow it, produce it and provide it. We’re all about creating opportunities for local food businesses to thrive!

Check out our new local food guide and support your local farms, producers, grocers and markets!

Download The Food Guide

Fruit trees, veggies and a whole lot of fun-ghis

That’s right, as a result of our unique climate, Arrow Lakes has a bustling wild mushroom industry. The wet and fertile climate is perfect for mushrooms to thrive, and we love seeing community members combine their passion for hiking the backcountry with exceptional foraging skills. 

Locals not only offer mushroom foraging education, they also provide delicious wild mushrooms for our community, encouraging discussion and preservation of our delicate wild spaces. 

When it comes to veggies, we’ve got all the staples including garlic, potatoes, carrots, beets, cabbage and so much more. We also have fruit trees in abundance!

Food security and access to healthy food in our wild and remote region

The Nakusp and Arrow Lakes region is unique. With inland ferries to the west and the north, and a long winding road leading down the valley to the south, we are far from major highway routes. As many of our residents understand, this affects both food access and food prices. 

Recent global events have moved the topic of food security to the forefront. Because Arrow Lakes is removed from every major highway that connects the region to its closest major cities, food transportation to Arrow Lakes can be limited. 

We dare to dream. Having a thriving local food economy can help put concerned minds at ease, knowing that local healthy food is accessible in our region regardless of what is occurring globally. 

Grow Arrow Lakes aims to encourage and support local food production and distribution so that when delivery trucks arrive at the end of their route to drop off goods in our region, they can be restocked with Arrow Lakes produce and products to distribute widely when it leaves.

Years ago, our agriculture landscape was forever changed but we are now working to rebuild and reclaim our identity as a thriving food producing region in British Columbia. Thanks to the many farms and producers in our region, and the dedication of many local organizations, the work has already begun.

Check out the Grow Arrow Lakes Online Directory

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Meet Our Farmers

Fraser’s Market

Certified Horticulturists Lynn Shortt and Jeff Fraser have a passion for all things food, and a firm belief that self-sufficiency in the form of food production is a possibility for all. They began farming in the mid 1990s when they had the realisation that the food they grew themselves was significantly higher in quality than anything they could find in the stores. They started off raising registered Highland cattle and then expanded to become a full mixed farm.

The pair opened Fraser’s Market with the goal of supplying fresh, farm grown produce, and interesting plant material to area residents. They quickly expanded their offerings to include coffee, baked goods, preserves and locally-made products, because who doesn’t want to sip coffee and munch on treats while they shop for veggies and gifts?

A licensed food trailer was next on the list and takeout meals were added to the growing selection of food-related offerings. The menu and selection of meals and products at Fraser’s Market is constantly expanding, so folks can expect to find something new every time they visit. Everything offered by them is created in BC, with a strong focus on locally-sourced food and products from in and around the Arrow Lakes region.

Lynn and Jeff take great pride in offering products they can stand behind. If they aren’t the ones growing, cooking and preserving an item, they can proudly say that they personally know the maker and creator. They remind us that by continuing the practice of farming food and selling it locally, the skills and techniques can be passed down to younger generations. 

“Besides being tremendously rewarding, farming and then selling locally, ensures that skills and techniques can be passed along to other generations,” says Lynn. “Farmers are educators of a different type, we are honoured to be able to share our knowledge and encouragement with those who visit our farm market.” 

Frase Market’s dog-friendly farmstand is staffed Thursday to Sunday from 12-6pm. They accept cash, debit and credit cards, and there is a lovely seating area for visitors to relax.

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Nakusp East Farms

Nakusp East Farms’ owner Carlee Hughes has made it her mission to raise heritage breed animals with the highest quality of life. By raising heritage-breed animals on open pasture and treating them with dignity, she can deliver the most flavourful and nutritious meat one can find – incomparable to any meat products found at the grocery store. 

Carlee started running her farm full-time in 2021 but she’s been hobby-farming all of her life, raising chickens, turkeys, pigs, cows, horses and rabbits. She graduated from Fairview College’s agricultural department in 1999 and gained professional experience by working on commercial pig farms in Europe and on BC’s crowded lower mainland. Carlee was appalled at the way these highly intelligent creatures were (mis)treated, and she decided to realise her dream of raising livestock in a natural setting with honour and respect for their lives. 

Carlee feels that those who choose to eat meat should know where the food comes from and that the animals are raised with love during their time on Earth. 

Her farm offers pork, chicken, turkey, eggs, garlic and a selection of produce. Microgreens are a recent addition to the farm and the garlic patch has expanded significantly, now with over 2000 bulbs in the ground for this growing year. Carlee is working towards providing a CSA box program this summer, and a new small hatchery this spring so there will be lots of baby birds on the farm!

Visitors are welcome to call ahead, tour the farm and experience for themselves how happy the animals are. One of Carlee’s favourite things about farming is sharing the joy of connecting with animals with others, especially children. A petting zoo is in the works for the future, hoping to open in the summer of 2023 or early 2024.

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Wild Earth Medicinals

Clinically-trained herbalist Sherri Mariash created a small-batch botanical medicine business six years ago, Wild Earth’s Medicinals, whose foundation is rooted in honouring the ecological, social and spiritual aspects of nature. With over 10 years of experience, Sherri ethically and respectfully gathers and grows much of the plant material used in her products on and from the wild land surrounding her off-grid home, amongst the cedars of Arrow Park. Her line of herbals includes tincture formulas, single plant extracts, topical balms and botanical beauty products. 

After experiencing a healing crisis where plant medicine played a vital part in her recovery, Sherri was inspired to educate herself about plants and their medicinal virtues. Wild Earth Medicinals combines Sherri’s education, experience, clinical practice and direct perception into one holistic approach. She practises informed, ethical harvesting by limiting any harmful effects to the surrounding ecosystem – ensuring the highest quality of medicine possible. 

“I am truly inspired by Nature and the profound healing which I have received & continue to receive directly through plants,” says Sherri. “I am called to create herbal remedies for others to experience measurable healing and develop a deeper connection to the Natural world.” 

Sherri continues to expand Wild Earth Medicinals’ product line by adding new plants and creating new formulas. In early June, she will be hosting a multi-day medicine making workshop focusing on bio-regional plant identification and uses and medicine making.

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Burton City Cider and Pomona Gardens

After realising the climate in Burton was perfect for planting orchards, Barbara Ross and husband Alan purchased an old farmstead in the area. They started some gardens, planted fruit trees and each fall they would test a new batch of homemade cider. What began as a hobby and treat for family and friends transformed into a year-round way of life after Burton City Cider opened its doors to the public in 2016, offering refreshingly crisp, dry ciders for everyone’s enjoyment. 

Their farm also hosts beehives and offers fruit, veggies, lamb, honey and cider for sale. On Saturday evening visitors can enjoy live music while sipping the cidery’s delicious beverages. 

Barbara has a lifetime of experience serving on the boards of several organisations and now brings that broad view and bigger-picture strategic thinking to Burton City Cider as manager (and beekeeper!). Alan happily traded in his office chair working as a corporate lawyer for the skid steer seat and now serves as orchard manager and sheep flock master for the cidery. 

Barbara’s favourite part of running Burton CIty Cider is the satisfaction of seeing others enjoy the products! 

Burton City Cider is open to the public throughout the year on Thursday from 3pm and Saturdays 12 – 4. Summer hours are Wed thru Sunday 11 -5 and Thurs – Saturday till 9. Live music on Saturdays!

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Bush Berry

Environmental responsibility is the foundation of Christine Riediger’s loose leaf tea company, Bush Berry. Bush Berry is a female-owned Nakusp-based company that was founded in 2014. As leaders in the compostable packaging industry, they have eliminated all plastics from packaging and shipping. All packaging is made from 100% backyard compostable material. 

The teas are organic and ethically sourced from small family-run farms. They are blended without any added flavours or preservatives. Quality is key at Bush Berry, this becomes apparent after the very first sip. 

Christine uses her background in horticulture and herbalism to inform her tea-making process, and Bush Berry is proud to offer an extensive selection of crafted blends, healing wellness teas and locally foraged items. Christine’s passion and love for nature is the driving force behind Bush Berry. She loves the freedom of working from home to run her business which allows her to be at home with her three children.

“I love creating something natural and healthy that comes from plants and our beautiful earth,” Christine says. “Connecting with suppliers, farmers and customers makes my job even better!”

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Fire Valley Farm

At Edgewood’s Fire Valley Farm, healthy food and sustainable practices go hand-in-hand. All animals on the farm live the way nature designed for them – on open pasture and minimal supplementation with hormone-free, non-GMO feed in the winters. 

Fire Valley Farm offers pork, lamb, turkey and chicken as well as livestock sales. All of the animals with the exception of the chickens are born right on the farm. Owners Rick and Maria Olson did their homework and planted crops for their pastures that they knew the animals would thrive on. They choose heritage breeds that have fewer health issues than factory breeds. The processing is done at licensed abattoirs. 

The Fire Valley pigs are all Berkshires and Berkshire crosses. Berkshire pork is known for its texture and flavour – some call it the ‘Wagyu of pork’. Rick and Maria have started selling Hogget (yearling lambs) as well as expanding their existing livestock sales. 

In addition to setting up at the Nakusp Farmers Market, Fire Valley is happy to announce that they will now be at the Wednesday Nelson Farmers Market and some Saturdays as well. New Denver and Vernon markets are on the list of possibilities this summer as well. 

Offering heritage breeds raised in open pasture farmed the way you would have seen a century ago – Fire Valley Farm brings timelessness and quality to the Arrow Lakes region local food movement.

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HomeGrown Market & Juice Bar / HomeGrown Farms

Having a small-town health food store packed with locally-produced products, comes with immense benefits. One hugely impactful benefit is the contribution to local economic resiliency. HomeGrown Market & Juice Bar in Nakusp is proud to say that many of its produce, grocery, flowers, body care, tincture and artisan gift items are made or produced right here in the Arrow Lakes region. This guarantees a circular economy and the economic wellbeing of Arrow Lakes citizens. 

Owners Mickey Wojnarowski and Brendalee Morgan have been in the food biz for a long time. The original store opened its doors in 1976 and when the time came to change ownership, Mickey and Brendalee welcomed the opportunity to steward the store. They wanted a chance to offer their combined experience and background as a way to give back to the community that has given them so much. What drives them is having the ability to provide access to real, whole food and connecting food producers within the community.  

Mickey and Brendalee are bringing their vision of having a local community ‘food hub’ to life. They work towards helping producers identify gaps in the market where they can be successful. Food and health are a focus as is creating and maintaining connections throughout the region.  

HomeGrown Market & Juice Bar is hoping to introduce a weekly food box program by the end of 2023. Delivery throughout the Arrow Lakes region is being considered as well – making healthy food more accessible to locals. 

Since 2014, Mickey and Brendalee have also been operating a fruit and vegetable farm, HomeGrown Farms, that produces plums, apples, pears, hazelnuts, blackberries, blueberries, currants and vegetables. Mickey and Brendalee started off looking to grow food mostly for themselves, but production quickly expanded so that they could start stocking the store with their produce. 

“We love the work and literally seeing the fruits of our labours,” Mickey says. “It’s so important to know exactly what goes into our food.” 

Homegrown Market storefront is open Mondays to Saturdays from 9:30am – 6pm and Sundays from 10am – 4pm. Stay tuned for an upcoming grand opening/expansion celebration!

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Bee Happy Burton Community Garden

The Bee Happy Burton Community Garden was born out of initiative to strengthen the food system in the rural community of Burton.  Arrow and Slocan Community Services in partnership with the Burton Community Association has brought to life the free community garden; offering education for all ages, a place for human connection, access to nutritious food, a food sharing program and a commercial space to preserve and sell food to the Burton community.  Through hard work, generous donations and the passion of all those involved it has grown from a mere concept in 2022 to a tangible reality in 2023.

Bee Happy offers defined plots providing dedicated gardeners with their own personal spaces to cultivate and tend to their plants.  In addition, as part of their goal to increase access to nutritious, locally grown food, Bee Happy has created the “Grow a Row” program where community members grow a specific crop to donate to the local food bank.  2023 Project Coordinator Tina Knooihuizen had the pleasure of welcoming the students of the Burton Elementary School to lend a hand in planting pumpkins, squash, potatoes and sunflower seeds.  With many students returning to watch their efforts grow the enthusiasm and sense of community surrounding this space is evident.

As an acknowledgement of the indigenous territory the garden sits upon, Bee Happy has dedicated space to indigenous growing, foraging and gathering techniques.  The three sisters planting practice is demonstrated and a section for locally found, edible and medicinal plants complete with educational signage is included.

Complementing the Bee Happy garden, the Burton Community Kitchen has also expanded and will have a new commercial refrigerator, gas range, oven hood fan and stainless workstation.  This space will allow community members the opportunity to learn and try food preservation processes and observe demonstrations free of charge.

The garden, food pantry and community kitchen is making a marked difference to the community of Burton. Mary Isaac, a Bee Happy gardener says, “I just love being able to visit the garden and enjoy the flowers and herbs as well as the vegetables.  What a pleasure to visit this beautiful and welcoming space.  I come to pick tomatoes for supper and leave feeling peaceful and happy.  We are so blessed to have such a magical place in our community.”

The Bee Happy Burton Community Garden is possible due to a long list of volunteers, monetary and in-kind donations.  A true example of a wonderful community coming together.

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McCormack Farm

Nestled in the picturesque Valhalla Mountains, McCormack Farm in Burton is an embodiment of adventurous spirit, innovation, and sustainable farming practices.  For 120 years, the McCormack family has cultivated the land, transforming it into a thriving farm featuring grass-fed beef, pastured pork and eggs, blueberries, walnuts and hazelnuts.

With three generations living on the property, Ron, Lori, Forest, Laurel and Sequoia all work together to create a harmonious balance between agriculture and the environment.  Through regenerative farming they focus on building the soil health, actively regenerating and nurturing it for future generations.  A walk through the farm shows ducks, chickens, turkeys and even cows roaming through the orchards, embracing silvopasture; a practice that combines tree cultivation with livestock grazing.  The farm is not merely about producing food.  It’s about fostering a deep-rooted connection to the land, a shared commitment to sustainability and a vision for a bountiful future.

The McCormacks’ most unique aspect of farming is their inability to sit still, a characteristic that fuels their constant experimentation.  This adventurous spirit and willingness to embrace new crops will continue to expand their offerings and adds excitement to the harvest.  Forest, living up to his name, is always on the lookout for new tree varieties that will add to their already successful and diverse nut harvest.

McCormack Farm’s legacy is not just about producing food; it’s about fostering a culture of curiosity, experimentation and a shared commitment to sustainable agriculture for generations.

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Valley of the Springs Winery

Valley of the Springs Winery is owned and operated by the Scott family and is located on a ridge with breathtaking panoramic views of Nakusp and the Arrow Lakes Valley of British Columbia, in an area renowned for its natural and developed hot springs.

Pioneering commercial grape growing in the Arrow Lakes Valley, proprietors Jody and Brenda Scott added grape vines to the property as a landscaping idea. That landscaping idea sparked a movement that would see the establishment of the Arrow Lakes Grape Growers Society.

Data collected from test plots and data loggers proved that the area is very well suited for growing niche crops like grapes. Turns out that the Arrow Lakes Valley’s hot summer days and cool crisp nights create a unique terroir and an ideal climate to produce grapes for delicious and aromatic handcrafted wines.

Valley of the Springs is the only winery in the Arrow Lakes Valley. Estate-grown grapes as well as other locally-grown grapes are used in their wines. The grapes are grown with organic farming practices and are herbicide-free.

In addition to the vineyard’s normal releases which include their two-time gold medal winning white blend called Vista, they have a 2022 Kerner waiting to be released in April and is sure to be a hit with customers. Valley of the Springs looks forward to continuing their tradition of hosting many live music events at the winery, taking part in the long-time tradition of celebrating the summer months with fellow community members. Stay tuned for the upcoming schedule on their website.

Brenda and the team love to be an active part of a movement to re-establish Arrow Lake’s vibrant farming heritage.

“We have a love of this land, community and valley,” says Brenda. “Honouring the farmers of the past, Valley of the Springs Winery is committed to bringing customers an experience that affirms our field-to-glass vision.”

Valley of the Springs Winery and tasting room are open to the public May-October, Wednesday to Sunday, 11am – 4pm

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