Foxfire Farms is located near gorgeous Gardom Lake, just south of Salmon Arm, British Columbia. It’s a treasured location and is absolutely ideal for growing vivid, vibrant vegetables.
Who We Are
We are a small, family-run farm that is dedicated to providing fresh, sustainably-grown, nutrient-dense, flavour-packed foods to individuals and families in the Shuswap and North Okanagan. We go out of our way to provide the absolute best for our customers and often end up choosing to do things “the hard way” rather than make compromises that sacrifice the quality of the food that will end up on your table.
Meet the Farmer
The heart and soul of our farm is Richard. After nearly two decades in neuroscience and pharmaceutical research, Richard left the medical world to provide a different kind of healing: one that stewards the earth, that champions health and well-being for the whole body, that builds relationships across a community, that contributes and supports a vibrant local economy, and that provides deeply nourishing food to those who live locally.
Richard earned his Permaculture Design Certificate after studying with Jesse Lemieux and has harnessed the power of swales, compost tea, and the fattest earthworms you can imagine to do the heavy farm work ever since.
(Ironically, his post-graduate work way back when involved studying neurons in earthworms – all 243 of them!)
Where does the name “Foxfire” come from?
“Foxfire” derives from two particularly intriguing sources:
First, there is a particular fungi in some forests that naturally emits an eerie glow or bioluminessence, known as “foxfire.” Stories of seeing foxfire can be traced as far back as ancient Ireland, where it birthed the lore of the “will-o’-the-wisp,” and ancient Japan, where powerful magical foxes at times carried glowing balls of “foxfire” through the forest.
While we don’t have any phosporescent fungi on our farm, we thought it a fitting symbol for the natural processes we harness to build rich, fertile soil and maintain the plants in our gardens and greenhouse.
And second, as long-time educators and pedagogues may remember, there was a project in the American deep south and Appalachias in the 1960’s and 70’s that valued “experiential education” for its students, called “The Foxfire Project.” One particular English teacher brought this “experiential education” to life by directing his students to interview local people on the history and practices of daily life in the Appalachias.
The students became so involved in the project that they elected to write and publish a magazine with their articles and interviews at the end of the semester, and that magazine was the first Foxfire magazine (the magazine in various forms has continued to be published up to the present day).
Those early stories in the 60’s and 70’s helped inspire the resurgence of “simple living,” of returning “back to the land,” and of returning to old, time-tested methods and skills for everything from making soap to blacksmithing.
While we at Foxfire Farms are firmly rooted in the modern world, these old ideals still ring true:
…We purposely keep our farm small so we can produce multiple crops synergistically, simultaneously, and grown in ways we consider ethical and excellent.
…Our gardens are tilled by hand with a broadfork so the weight of the tractor doesn’t compact the soil and so just the right amount of subsoil is disturbed.
…Richard hand-crafts our weeding tools rather than buying them from the farm supply. (And you should see his hand-carved wooden spoons and kitchen tools – they’re heirloom-quality! Swoon…)
…We harness the natural instinct of chickens to scratch and pigs to root to dig up the gardens and loosen the soil at the end of the season (which also has the added bonus of them doing the work to mix in the manure so we don’t have to do it…)
Needless to say, the general ideals of the Foxfire project certainly mirror the ideals we want reflected in our farm as well.
Are you certified organic?
No, we are not certified organic, BUT – that’s on purpose.
The methods we use not only meet nearly every criteria required to become certified organic, but surpass them.
However, for our scale (which, as described above, is purposely kept small), it is prohibitively expensive to obtain and annually maintain that certification.
We most certainly applaud our colleagues who have gone through the extensive and laborious process to become certified organic and we certainly appreciate how much easier it makes for customers to rest assured that the food they purchase meets their criteria for quality when it is labeled as “certified organic,” but at this time, we have purposely chosen not to pursue that route.
Rest assured, every bit of produce you purchase from Foxfire Farms is non-GMO and chemical-free.
Why do you use the fortissimo symbol in your logo?
Our family is fueled by music and the fortissimo symbol represents the joy, the fervor, and the fortitude with which we seek to live life and do business. There is often music of nearly every genre pouring from the windows of our home on any given day and it’s not uncommon for a dance party to break-out in the living room after dinner.
Music is part of our heritage, too.
Kresha, Richard’s wife, is a classically-trained opera singer (as is her father before her) and she’s a former flautist.
Richard is the extremely cool yet rare type of singer-songwriter who prefers playing harmony on the bass rather than melody on the guitar.
(Although you can find him playing his guitar regularly throughout the day, too – these days since there’s a toddler in the house, there are a lot of renditions of Raffi’s “Baby Beluga” and a handful of original songs giving homage to the two-year-old’s favourite machine, the tractor.)
Of our four children, one is a budding violinist, one longs to take up the clarinet, the piano, AND the drums, one can’t decide whether she expresses herself better through the bass, the cello, or through dancing (currently, her passion is for the latter), and one just wants to create rhythm with whatever stick or baton he can find and sing at the top of his lungs.
So since “ff” represents not only the music with which we fill our lives, but can also signify “Foxfire Farms” or “Faber Family,” we felt it was a fitting symbol in our logo.