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Tasty Acres is a certified organic farm. The owners, Pim and Mary-Ann van Oeveren are both horticulturists, with degrees from Holland and Canada. In 1994 they moved from Holland to Canada. Over the last 21 years they've worked and taught in their field of expertise, which is horticulture. Pim is a fruit-, vegetable- and tree grower, and certified landscaper. Mary-Ann is a teacher in fine arts, a certified florist and an avid cook.
After having lived and worked for several years in the Lower Mainland, BC they moved to Alberta. From 2005-2014 they owned and operated a garden center, tree nursery, U-pick farm and tea house between Didsbury and Olds called The Blooming Fields. Although both of them enjoyed their work there, they yearned for more time to focus on what they really want, which is living of the land and growing wholesome food without pesticides.
In 2008 the Blooming Fields started to change from traditional growing practices to organic growing practices, but growing was only part of their daily work, since running the tea house and the garden center took up much of their time. In 2014 they had the opportunity to sell their property in Alberta and move to a more favorable growing climate and landed in Salmon Arm, BC, where they purchased a certified organic farm.
It is their dream to grow plants organically and to work the land sustainably. During 2015 they restructured the farmland and started to plant a variety of edible plants. The farm is conveniently located within Salmon Arm city limits, but at the same time is in the ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve). The farm is surrounded by the gentle slopes of Larch Hills and Mount Ida, and the cooling waters of Shuswap Lake.
Growing organically means keeping the soil as healthy as possible, knowing that healthy soil produces healthy plants; healthy plants in turn are less prone to diseases and bugs. It is a complete circle. For fertilizer they use compost, and goat manure.
Organic growing doesn't mean that you don't intervene when you have a problem with bugs or fungi. It means you don't spray harmful chemicals. Instead you try to find out the root of the problem and act in a wholesome way. Bugs are usually trapped with bait, i.e. a molasses mixture with spinach derivative, which the bugs like better than the fruit. So, if you see them spraying the trees, don't assume they are cheating, but realize that they are spraying the trees to protect them against infestation using a harmless concoction.
Weeds are a totally different game. No spraying! Just hard handwork! Luckily Pim has invented various weeding machines that he pulls behind his little tractor. You often find him early in the morning riding between the rows of plants to get rid of all the nasty weeds. The weeds that are close to, and in between the plants have to be removed by hand.
Pim and Mary-Ann love to share their knowledge with other people. During the winter Mary-Ann teaches floral design classes in her beautiful her studio at home. The rest of the year she speaks and demonstrates for garden clubs and other interested groups. Pim is planning a pruning class for early 2017. They are also part of a local farm tour, which takes place Sunday, June 25 2017. It is a self guide farm tour, where the public is invited to see for themselves what it means to operate a farm.weeding.