The Farmers at Fraserbench
But...I thought that we are retired! So...how can we be operating a small farm? This question pops up often, especially when it feels like there's too much to do. A few moments later, after a look around at the beautiful land, with absolutely no noise but the birds, we know why we farm.
Soda Creek has been our home for over twenty years. We prefer to grow most of our own food so this place was chosen as it is located in one of the best agricultural areas in the region, a microclimate on the Fraser River benchland. How could we not try to make a small income from land that we have proven to be productive?
We come from very different backgrounds. Charlie grew up in the Sierra Nevada Mountain foothills in California and in 1963, moved to Canada to run his own ranch just east of 150 Mile House, B.C. He had worked with mules as a packer supplying high mountain camps in Yosemite National Park, then hired on as ranch help, and did some logging. He's been a competitive team roper in rodeo and flew his own Cessna 182. What a skill set he has! In our rural setting he has to be our water and waste systems manager, electrician, carpenter, mechanic, firewood man, equipment operator......
Lynda moved from Vancouver, B.C. to this area in 1973. Various teaching positions in the Cariboo-Chilcotin rural schools gave her a broad look at the huge region of central British Columbia. In her final position, she taught senior Biology and Chemistry classes in Williams Lake, B.C. so has the background to slog through books and articles about the theory of the aspects of farming. She operates our seedling nursery, tries to keep up with new technological developments, creates value-added products, and manages the marketing.
Together, we get our hands dirty in the field nurturing and harvesting our crops at Fraserbench.
Our latest venture is to start an apple cider vinegar factory using our own fruit and the old fashioned Orleans Method. What a great life!