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The Farmers

Robin and Johan are partners in life and farming, and operate Big Rock Ranch together. They are lifelong learners, and you can often find them attending conferences and courses in the off season to increase their knowledge and skills to increase food security in the region. 

Robin grew up in Coquitlam, BC where her mom always kept her busy in their home garden, however, she fell in love with farming and the natural world during the summers she spent visiting her grandparents’ farm (now Big Rock Ranch). She learned so much from her grandparents about gardening, biodiversity, and conservation, as well as her love for horses. 

Johan grew up in Apeldoorn, Netherlands (Holland) in a rural community surrounded by farms. His passion for food and agriculture started when he met Robin in Squamish and moved onto the farm she was living on in 2016. 

They started a small egg and vegetable CSA in Squamish, but soon wanted a farm of their own. In 2016 they moved to the family farm in Buffalo Creek where they’ve been farming ever since.

The Farm

Robin and Johan live and work on the 148-acre ranch, and share the property with Robin’s grandma, two awesome farm dogs, a flock of laying hens, two lovely horses and 2 honey bee hives. 

They sell their produce, eggs and meat at the South Cariboo Farmers Market and to local restaurants/grocery stores from Spring to Fall every year. They also offer a Farm Share (link), which can be pre-purchased at the beginning of the season. 

Big Rock Ranch uses low-till methods on the farm to keep the soil biology intact, apply lots of compost to feed the soil and to help reduce weeds, have 3 large greenhouses that are used to extend the growing season, do cover cropping in between plantings and mulch around the beds to aid in water retention and soil run off.

The Products  

Big Rock Ranch offers a large variety of vegetables, such as leafy greens, micro greens, herbs, mushrooms, root vegetables, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and more! For fruit, we offer apples, strawberries, saskatoon berries and soon to be blueberries. Our free range heritage chickens produce eggs and our bees produce some lovely honey. 

 

Awards and Accomplishments

  • Voted Best Resource-Based Business from the 100 Mile House Chamber of Commerce in 2017, 2018, and 2019
  • Winners of a lifetime membership of Jean-Martin Fortier’s Market Gardener’s Master Class
  • North American Pollinator Partnership Association Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Award 2019
  • Bee Friendly Certified Farm with the North American Pollinator Partnership Association
  • Completed the environmental farm plan through the BC Ministry of Agriculture
  • Host students in the Thompson-Rivers University sustainable ranching program
  • Host a yearly Sunday Funday fundraising event (2019 it was for Big Brothers, Big Sisters)
  • Host an annual Farm to Fork long table dinner featuring local producers 
  • Work alongside our regional agrologists to support and initiate food security
  • Robin is involved with many organizations such as Young Agrarians (Regional Coordinator), the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association (Regional Representative), the South Cariboo Farmers Market (President), NAPPA (bee friendly farming committee member) and Sprout Kitchen (Food Hub committee member)