Nika Guilbault – Wild Valley Farmz
While Nika isn’t worried about which came first, chicken and egg sales are the foundation on which she is building her agri business.And the Agriculture and Art Program is helping her discover creative ways to do that.
“This program is helping to open so many doors; it is helping me to remove boxes and think outside the box,” she says, noting she is responding to the public’s growing preference to eat locally grown and produced food. “I’m very hands-on and I love working on the farm, but I am finding the computer and administrative work quite interesting too.”Nika’s goal is to raise food on a small to medium scale. While the current mainstay is the sale of eggs, which Nika delivers throughout the Shuswap on Tuesdays, pork and beef sales are planned.
Meat chickens are being raised for sale and baby chicks are also available. As well, Nika says she will be working meat sales in tandem with her mother who raises sheep on her farm.
“We are planning to offer mixed boxes and will have farm gate sales.” she says of her Turtle Valley farm. “Future plans include building a huge food forest providing berries and other fruit.”
Despite the long hours required to run the farm, Nika says she is happy her desire to provide good food for her family is being expanded to other families. Contact Nika by email @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Justine Atwood – Los Lobos Artisans
Justine and friend Kara Hamblin, who founded Los Lobos Artisans, create small-batch chocolates and confectionary. The women are both trained pastry chefs with a passion for producing sweet treats such as salted caramels and macarons from the highest quality ingredients.
“We use cocoa and caramel and try to limit the use of additives,” says Justine. “Kara’s specialty is craft truffles.”
The women have been investigating local flavours such as Salmon Arm’s Canadian Barley Company Mo’mugi organic tea, and are planning to add chocolate bars to the product line.
Justine and Kara participated in the grand opening of The She Shed Market, an enterprise created by another Agriculture and Art Program participant – Monique Cusson.
“One of the best things about the program is the inclusiveness of being able to talk about things that are different but very much the same in terms of creating a business model for success, specifically geared to food production and artisans,” says Justine, who calls the networking opportunities amazing and very helpful. Email Justine and Kara @ email@example.com.
For more information on this and other Tsuts’weye programs, visit www.tsutsweye.ca