Bounty of the Land


Deep in the heart of our plot of land, was a hay meadow. Sun drenched, thick with grasses as tall as me and hemmed in by wild rose and alder. For three decades or more it’s been abandoned. In recent decades the odd pot grower harvested a cash crop and decades before the meadow probably housed animals as evidenced by a collapsed stock fence and rotted gate. Perhaps a century before that pioneers felled the huge Douglas fir trees and cleared the land with oxen.

Our land is in BC’s celebrated but threatened Agricultural Land Reserve. A foot of rich black soil with the potential to provide a good deal of food security and to sever many of our slavish ties to the ecology destroying industrial food system. It’s perhaps our most prized resource.

The first day we owned our land in August 2013, our retired organic farmer neighbour John brought over his tractor and brush cut it. A scant 10 months later and we have 200 metres of deer fencing up. With Karen drawing deep from the well of her Russian peasant genes and under the daily tutelage of our neighbour, she’s transformed it into an immense organic food garden.

Nine rows wide, each 45 metres long, four in cultivation this year and room to expand. Squash, pumpkins, corn, basil, dill, Swiss chard, beans, potatoes, radishes, zucchini, camomile, lettuce, kale, rapini, borage, strawberries, amaranth and cabbage. Next year, all that plus raspberries, blueberries, garlic, onions, apple trees and whatever else our taste buds desire and Karen’s hands can nurture.

Tonight we feast deeply from the bounty of the land. It’s yummy out there!


Our new neighbour mowing our meadow on our first day as landowners August 2013

Before (August 2013)


After (June 2014)


IMG_7166 IMG_7165

What the hell is wire worm?

What the hell is wire worm?


The holy trinity of Latin America - maize, beans and squash

The holy trinity of Latin America – maize, beans and squash

IMG_7126 IMG_7087

The Master and the Apprentice

The Master and the Apprentice


Mia cooks in the garden

Mia cooks in the garden


Borage – yummy flowers

7 thoughts on “Bounty of the Land

  1. Rob and Karen,
    You’ll certainly have to pass you wisdom onto my sin Braden, as he is taking the first sties to planting a garden on our acreage!. Looks absolutely amazing! Enjoy!

    • Hi Jo-Anne

      Ha, you flatter us! We are real neophytes, learning by doing, which seems to work (so far). Come for a visit, we’d love to see you or maybe we can catch up in the Okanagan this autumn.

  2. Nice job you three!!! So exciting! LOVE the companion planting 🙂 First time i’ve seen this in a large scale garden. See you guys soon future neighbours 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s