An Ontario couple is starting a sheep farm in Kelowna, with help from the community. - Credit: Contributed

Creating a community-based Kelowna farm

There’s room for market gardening, there’s room for a beekeeper and small fruits and other people…”

An Ontario couple is bringing the term “farm to table” to the next level.

Kevin Morin and his partner, Cecilia Hogan, are creating a cooperative farm within the community. The pair is leasing land on Ceres Circle Farm, a 37-acre sheep farm which is currently under transition to a land trust by the BC Foodlands Cooperative.

A lot of people who are into farming are in their fourth or fifth generation while Morin said they are basically starting with nothing.

“It’s like a farmer left and everything is set up for us to go in,” he said, adding there has been talk about leasing or buying equipment from the previous farmer.

According to Morin’s website, “a trust would ensure that the land of Ceres Circle Farm is preserved in small-scale, diverse agricultural production, enabling access to land for new farmers like us while supplying Kelowna with local and ecological food.”

The farm is close to Kelowna and close to a bus stop, so the aim is to have a community garden, guest speakers talking about issues surrounding agriculture, and canning and fermenting workshops, said Morin.

“There’s room for market gardening, there’s room for a beekeeper and small fruits and other people will come lease land from there in time. Even without a facilitator, the community garden is a space for sharing.”

Morin has experience with running a community garden and has a goal of getting people interested in local foods.

“Having more small-scale, diversified agriculture that is closer to cities and consumers is not only more accessible but is healthier for the planet too.”

Morin is finishing his culinary degree at the Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute, while Hogan attended UBCO as a nursing student and worked on a neighbouring farm.

He hopes to have a board of farmers created and to start workshops next fall. He also aims to have the garden available next year.

The couple is currently crowd-funding for their sheep flock, with reward-based donations.

As of Thursday afternoon, more than $3,600 has been donated to the campaign.

To get involved email Morin at kevinemorin@gmail.com or online at https://www.wayblaze.com/fundable_projects/help_purchase_sheep/.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


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