Our Family Farm
We are Nigel and Laura Francis. We have been in love for twenty-one years, gardening together for sixteen, and market gardening for eleven. Since 2O14, we have been tending organic vegetables, herbs, and fruit on our own land – Cartwheel Farm.
We are working to build a farm that feels right for our time and place… and for our family. We grow on a small-scale with joy and attention to detail. We farm to cultivate health, justice, freedom, beauty, and contentment. Our two kiddos and farm dog are trusty companions.
We practice community-supported agriculture. Most of what we grow feeds our own community – friends and neighbours who value the food we produce, as well as how and why we garden. Each year, we share our harvest with 150+ families in our area and to local cafes and restaurants.
We proudly attend the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market as often as we are able. Being part of the vibrant and evolving Creston Valley food system inspires us!
How We Grow
We strive to grow delicious and nutrient-dense food with ecological integrity. We keep a bio-intensive market garden. In 2023, we grew 140+ varieties of vegetables, herbs, and fruits. We select the varieties we grow for taste, nutrition, and beauty. We test and feed our soil so that what we grow is truly nourishing. We work a few little fields, rotating crops and resting land from year to year. We practice minimal tillage and work mainly with hand tools. A conventional greenhouse and seven high tunnels help to extend our growing season. We are in the midst of building two insulated eco high tunnels that will allow us to shift towards year-round production.
Our land was farmed organically for two decades before we started growing here. Today, everything we grow is certified organic through the Kootenay Organic Growers’ Society (KOGS #88). For us, growing to organic standards is about caring for the health of our family, our customers, and the planet. Going through annual certification and keeping our farm and our records open for inspection is about accountability and transparency.
We respectfully acknowledge that Cartwheel Farm rests upon the ʔamakʔis Yaqan nuʔkiy – the traditional and unceded territory of the Yaqan nuʔkiy people (Lower Kootenay Band). This farm is in a place that the Yaqan nuʔkiy have called home since time immemorial. We are deeply grateful to be present here. We seek to express that gratitude by farming with reverence for our neighbours, those who came before us, and those who will follow.