In 2021 the OFTP was gifted a 36-acre East Kelowna working farm property from a local resident who wished for her land to be farmed sustainably for community benefit.

As a charitable organization focused on increasing equity in our local food system, we are so thankful for this one-of-a-kind opportunity to steward a piece of land with community benefit as our guiding principle..

Historically, the farm was used for pasture raising sheep and cows, growing fruit trees, as an agritourism business and community gathering place for feasts and festivals. We are excited to learn more about the history of the property and the families that have stewarded the land. 

Today, the property has a heritage house, which is run as the Mission Creek Country Inn. Dave Semmeink, co-owner and operator of Lentelus Farms rents a second home located on the property, as well as several grazing fields and pieces of infrastructure used to run a regenerative animal husbandry business.

The farm is also host to the Milpa Comunitaria Kelowna, a local gardening group that focuses on healing ancestral wounds by learning about traditional food systems to connect/bridge knowledge intergenerationally. The group comes together to cultivate and harvest food and medicinal crops, and to host communal meals and other community events.

Several areas of the farm are wilderness areas, such as the Rumohr and Mission Creek riparian areas, and a forested wetland zone located in the middle of the property.

Looking Ahead

This farm means a lot to the OFTP. After 12 seasons of serving the community, this will be our first official place to call “home.” Our small team has primarily run virtually and has worked with community partners and volunteers over the years to store our equipment and occasionally access cold storage. This beautiful farmland will provide a space for us to settle into, and a place from which we can run all of the programs that we offer, It will be a space where we can plan and offer more programming, explore social enterprise opportunities, cooperate and collaborate with other businesses and community organizations already on the land, and work with other partners in the community to build a community farm. These big plans are not going to happen overnight – we’ve got a lot of dreaming, planning, and fundraising to do!

We want to honour the land and be thoughtful about how the farm evolves. We want to think about the environmental and social needs of our community that can be supported through this farm. Our next step is to work with a team of consultants to develop a comprehensive Master Plan for the farm that will guide infrastructure development and land use. With careful planning, we are hoping to eventually develop a sizable community farming program, as well as an orchard project, farm store, office, community gathering space – among other things! When we are ready, we look forward to working with a diverse group of community partners to make our new farm truly representative of the community’s needs.

All current and future land draws on sustainable and regenerative principles. This includes conscious water use, protection of sensitive ecosystems, cultivation of biodiversity, active soil building, working towards a no-till growing system, cover cropping, crop rotation, and choosing to not use chemical inputs on our farm plot.

In 2022, we brought the equipment that we use in our produce rescue, community farming, and collaborative harvest programs to the new farm location. In 2023, we will be farming a small plot in one of the front fields for our community farming program alongside the Milpa Comunitaria Kelowna. We Look forward to welcoming our volunteers to come and get involved! If you are interested in helping out, you are welcome to join our volunteer mailing list here.

Okanagan Fruit Tree Project Society
PO Box 22001
Kelowna, BC
V1Y 9N9

Registered Charity #
819840778 RR0001

We acknowledge that we are situated on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan People. We recognize, honour and respect the presence of Indigenous people, past, present and future.

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