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Our Story

The Problem

This is a picture of Katie on the ferry to Vancouver Island. Home of our local farmers market and for the organic farms of Heart and Soil Organics - offering Nanaimo and the world fresh, organic food via the Cedar Farmer
Heart & Soil began with an idea given to Katie by an elderly man she met on a ferry. He was cycling from the Haida Gai to Vancouver Island to meet with members of the Department of Environment to express the tragic suffering of the land up north.

He said that he'd witnessed trees dying from acid rain, and that the land was slowly becoming un-farmable. He spoke to Katie about how the ferry had become the main source of food import, and how all food now takes three days to reach the Haida Gai. He expressed his deep concerns about food security, peak oil and implications as to what would happen should the ferries stop running.

He urged Katie to start farming locally, on the island, noting that Vancouver Island, which only produces 5 percent of it's own food, was at the same risk. Something deeply resonated with her and she carried that feeling of care and concern with her for the rest of the day.
he'd witnessed the trees dying from acid rain

The Agreement

a picture of Katie and Dion, with Dion holding up some fresh organic leafy produce, grown locally in the Cinnabar valley of Nanaimo, BC on Vancouver Island.
Relating back to Dion they decided that they were ready for a challenge. Both Katie and Dion care deeply for the environment and have often wondered what they could do to make a difference. Growing local, organic produce seemed such a perfect fit for them that they were surprised that they hadn't thought of it before. After the excitement of the idea they contacted local farmers who were selling at the markets to inquire about the feasibility of such a project; convinced that a viable business could be made, while helping the environment, and addressing local food security issues, they decide to go all in. The simple, down-to-earth, way of living, and making a living, was a great appeal to them both.

First, they knew they needed to find land to farm and were grateful when Dion's Father, Robert, and his partner Anna offered some of their land in the Cinnabar Valley in Nanaimo for them to use to grow organic vegetables, erect a greenhouse, and help in starting the farm. It all fell together when Betty Pepper offered early inheritance money so that they could begin gathering all the necessary tools needed to start this farm. With the enthusiasm of those who have no idea what challenges they would face, they began.
The simple, down-to-earth, way of living, and making a living, was a great appeal to them both.

The Result

a picture of Katie and Dion, with Dion holding up some fresh organic leafy produce, grown locally in the Cinnabar valley of Nanaimo, BC on Vancouver Island.
Dion and Katie worked hard; really hard, harder than they worked in their whole lives. Everyday that was not pouring rain (and definitely some that were) they dug, raked, shoveled, and planted, preparing for the market in May.

They poured their hearts into the soil; and through this process of hard work the began to reconnect with the land. Hands dirty, their hearts full of love and appreciation, they knew they needed to call their farm Heart & Soil Organics.
They poured their hearts into the soil...