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.
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, three lovely horses and 2 honey bee hives.
They sell their produce and meat at the South Cariboo Farmers Market and to local restaurants/grocery stores from Spring to Fall every year. They also offer a Veggie Box (link), which can be pre-purchased at the beginning of the season and is delivered striaght to your door.
Big Rock Ranch uses low-till methods on the farm to keep the soil biology intact, apply lots of compost and organic fertilizers to feed the soil, 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.
Big Rock Ranch offers a large variety of vegetables, such as leafy greens, micro greens, herbs, root vegetables, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and more! For fruit, they offer apples, strawberries, saskatoon berries and soon to be blueberries. The free range heritage chickens produce eggs and the bees produce some lovely honey. Depending on the year sometimes you can find Big Rock Ranch’s lovely pastured, free range heritage chickens available at the South Cariboo Farmers Market.
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 (Director), NAPPA (Bee Friendly Farming Committee Member) and Sprout Kitchen (Food Hub Committee Member)