By Brennan Phillips
Special to the Western News
Meet Your Farmer: Starvation Flats Farm
Throughout the summer, the Penticton Western News has been offering a closer look at the many different farmers and vendors who make the Penticton Farmers’ Market what it is.
With summer behind us, and a chill starting in the air, this week will be the last of the Meet Your Farmer’s segments.
For our final segment, we take a look at the organic Starvation Flats Farm, located in Keremeos, and a staple of the Penticton Farmers Market.
“We’ve been an organic farm since 1982,” said Dave Caswell, current owner and operator of the farm. “In fact my dad, Terry Caswell, was one of the founding members of the farmers’ market here.”
In addition to helping establish the Penticton Farmers’ Market, Terry Caswell also served as one of the board members of the Certified Organic Associations of BC for a number of years. During this time, he worked with the COABC for setting out the guidelines for certification for organic products in B.C.
The Caswell family has spent years following the ideas that helped shape those guidelines, turning a barren patch of land into a flourishing organic farm.
“My mom and dad bought the farm in the early 80s and it was basically raw land at the time. It was a gravel island in the Similkameen river, cut off a hundred years ago by railway construction. It went from a gravel and cactus desert to a rich, lush over the course of 30 years of hard work and irrigation.”
The farm produces a wide variety of crops, from beets and carrots, to peppers and tomatoes. The tomatoes in particular are sold both freshly picked and prepared in a salsa. Every week Dave Caswell can be found in Penticton, ready to go with his crops for the Penticton Farmers’ Market.
“We’ve always got a full spread of veggies and everything fresh picked for you ,” said Caswell. “But there’s also like 25 or 30 other farmers here, and everyone is working super hard, getting up at four o’clock in the morning to bring you fruits and veggies that are fresher and better than any you’ll get anywhere else in the world.”
Salvation Flats Farm and the other farmers and vendors that have been featured in the Meet Your Farmer segments can be found downtown Penticton every Saturday until the end of October.
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