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Welcome!

Welcome to Stone Meadow Gardens, a little flower farm nestled in the heart of the Kootenays, and where we call home. We specialize in growing cut flowers of all sorts and do it with passion and gusto. Our respect for the land guides our philosophy and we farm with great thought and care for the environment as well as our community. We love flowers because their beauty just makes you feel good, it’s as simple as that. And the only thing that makes it even better is getting to share their beauty with you! 

THE FARMERS

Carl & Sarah Kistner

The farmers at Stone Meadow
Although Carl was born and raised on Vancouver Island and my roots are in New Hampshire our common love for the mountains brought us to the Kootenays and our shared fondness for gardening and farming brought us together. 
We founded what is now Stone Meadow Gardens five years ago but really the journey to get here started long ago. Read our story below!
Now we're into our fifth season of farming here and couldn't imagine doing anything else. It's a fulfilling lifestyle that allows for constant learning and growth. We embrace the challenges it brings along with the satisfaction of seeing our hard work come to life and flourish (usually!) right before our eyes!
Some fun facts about us:
  • We love mountain biking and are trying to find time to do it more!
  • We play a game of cribbage every morning while we're drinking our morning coffee
  • Carl is a whiz in the kitchen and prefers cast iron whenever possible
  • We love listening to the CBC (nerds!)
  • We can always find the money for a new gardening book
  • We love to  go tubing in the nearby Slocan River and try to do it every week in the heat of the summer (after all it's just too darn hot to farm in the afternoon sometimes- am I right?!)
To learn more about the farm and our farming practices, scroll down!
Carl fell in love with gardening when he rented his first house in Rossland and found a spot to start building a garden. He loved the freedom of growing his own food and the joy he got from watching the tiny seeds he planted flourish and grow. He started having dreams of someday having his own farm, but soon realized he needed more material to nourish that soil and learned how to make compost. Little did he know that seeking out a good source of locally produced compost would start him on a long journey.
 
It began with starting his own contracting business and later evolved into developing and running the composting program for the regional district for over a decade. All the while, starting his farm was still in the back of his mind, and through that hard work he has eventually able to buy what is now our farm. For many years he continued his contracting business running heavy equipment and started to build the farm. He raised a variety of livestock, grew garlic and potatoes and hand-milked a couple dairy cows. 
Meanwhile, I caught the farming bug over 20 years ago when I was invited to spend a summer helping a friend work on a small organic farm in New Mexico. The summer quickly turned into fall and I was hooked. I decided to drop out of school and stay... for five years! This is where I first fell in love with growing and working with flowers. After all it seemed like the perfect marriage of art, my passion at school, and my new-found love of growing and working in the soil. In a little valley along the Rio Grande I had the chance to learn from some great growers and neighbours. My 85-year-old neighbour taught me how to use traditional acequia irrigation by using a shovel to channel water where I wanted it to go in order to grow the best chiles, while another neighbour and experienced market gardener introduced me to the benefit of intensive, small-scale farming. In the winters I helped out the neighbouring seed farm, Seeds of Change. The serendipity of landing in NM started me on a road that I had never even once imagined would be my path and passion in life.
Over the years life brought me many opportunities to continue learning in different fields of agriculture including time on an organic cattle ranch, working with small orchards and operating my own market garden. Eventually life's winding path led me to northeastern Washington where I met Carl. We quickly found out that we lots in common and the rest is history, so to speak!
 
We didn't waste any time and jumped right into building the farm we had both started dreaming of so many years ago. Now, years down the line, we found that we truly make a great team. We both appreciate and respect the other's expertise and let whoever is best-suited take the lead for each project. Together our skills cover a lot of bases and we're happy we've had all the experiences in our past to help make us the people we are today. Now we're excited to keep learning and growing together for many years to come!

THE FARM​​

We farm on about 2.5 acres in the zone 5 climate of southeastern BC. We're surrounded by mountains and are lucky to be tucked into a narrow valley along the Kootenay River. 
Our season can be relatively short, so we rely on the use of our greenhouse, high tunnels and lots of row-cover to extend our season as long as possible. 
We plant nearly everything from seedlings that we grow here on our farm in our small propagation greenhouse that we heat with wood. This gives us control over the quality of our plants and enables us to put out only the best, strongest, healthiest plants in our garden. 
We believe in using simple, organic  farming techniques with our main focus on nurturing and building healthy our soil. After all, that's where it all begins! We use tools such as a broad fork and power harrow to minimize soil disturbance and are focusing more on developing a solid cover crop program to nourish and fertilize our land and the microorganisms that live within it. We love this land and we love farming and we are  striving to make it healthier than when we started.
 
Our Instagram Feed features lots of photos of life on our farm:
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