Earth Apple Organic Farm was founded in 2011. Shirlene Cote (former sole proprietor) and Michael Nyberg (formerly of New Mountain Farm 2011-2019) merged their businesses and lives in 2020. The two farmers put together have 20 years of experience growing organic vegetables, some fruit and nearly 6 years experience raising hens on pasture for eggs.
We are shareholders of the Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-operative, a land co-operative, in Abbotsford, BC, which is a beautiful 50 acre property with much wildlife and natural waterways that meet with the Salmon migrations of the mighty Fraser River that we reside alongside. The coyotes and snakes, mice and rabbits, owls and hawks, eagles and newts, frogs and herons, native plants and much much much more all interplay with us and we do our best to work humbly within the natural cycles and ecosystem that we are a part of here.
We acknowledge the traditional ancestral unceded shared territory of the Sumas First Nation and Mastqui First Nation. These two First Nations are part of the Stό:lō Nation. The Stό:lō people have lived in the Fraser Valley for 10,000 years. It is for this reason that we acknowledge the traditional territory in which we reside and grow food.
We believe in growing sustenance food and we subsidize our love of labour by growing some other fun things too like cut flowers and salad greens. We have some passions in particular that become evident in viewing our fields. Farmer Mike has a healthy obsession with garlic and Farmer Shirlene sure loves her potatoes. They grow carrots and peas, rhubarb and berries, kale and chard, onions and beans, tomatoes and eggplant, squashes and melons, and a few other things in between. All together we grow around 40-50 different types of crops all certified organic on a cultivated area of about 6 acres.
We are proud of the work we do and it is evident when you bite into some of our quality produce found at the farmers markets we attend, our CSA program and the sweet and savoury morsels you find at local fine dining establishments. We are committed and dedicated to feeding healthy food to local communities, acting as stewards and caretakers of this sacred and beautiful land and to one another in love and life.
Read More About Our Farmers:
Farmer Shirlene Côté
Hi, I established Earth Apple in 2011 with a penchant for potatoes and an urge to use my hands and be outside more. Since graduating with a BSc (U of Guelph) and then a MEd (SFU), I worked in the non-profit sector for several years on social and environmental justice projects. I taught a variety of science-based and outdoor recreational classes in Canada, the US and South America. It was while working for a large climate change research institution (an alliance of the four largest universities in BC) that I felt I could contribute in a way that suited me better. Something that would serve local communities and would allow me to do my part in building resilience and finding sustainable ways to fulfill some of our most basic needs as humans. I left Academia and pursued small-scale farming, market gardening… call it what you will. I can’t imagine any other life. Despite farming’s never ending hardships, huge life commitments and relatively low earnings– its the sound of birds singing in the morning; the smiles of people visiting us at the farmers markets excited for the bounty; the smell of freshly turned earth or the scent of a freshly picked carrot, strawberry or rose; the strength I feel in solidarity working side by side with other farmers; the apprentices that carry on the skills & knowledge acquired here to forge new small farms; and the dreams, hopes and plans of how we can always do things better keep me married to this vocation. Shirlene joined Glen Valley in 2016 and currently sits on the board of GVOFC.
Farmer Mike Nyberg
Michael Nyberg has been farming on Vancouver Island as New Mountain Farm for nearly a decade. He maintains a strong community of friends there and even still maintains a patch of garlic in Cobble Hill. He worked through university landscaping for the city whilst obtaining a degree in International Development at the University of Calgary. He followed his heart to the Island and found many new loves, but mostly in growing food where he started his business, New Mountain Farm (from the Swedish translation of last name: Nyberg). He became a well-loved member of the Halliburton Community Farm in Victoria, BC where he farmed for 8 years and served as a board member. Halliburton Community Farm is community-supported, certified organic, educational farm. His passion for human relations, good communication and community living was fed through his experiences at Halliburton and with community living. The decision to move to the mainland was a difficult one, but the draw of farming with his lady love and proximity to his family won him over. With a strong interest in how we are all connected, community, growing food (especially garlic) and taking care of the land that feeds us– he is a tremendous asset to Glen Valley and eaters of the lower mainland. Want to geek out in conversation over garlic? Farmer Mike is your man.
Read more about our community:
Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-operative
The Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-operative (GVOFC) is a group of 50 individuals who have come together with the goal of sharing, owning and operating Glen Valley Organic Farm. The Co-operative’s members come from a variety of backgrounds, including conventional and organic farming, education, law, project management, marketing and group facilitation. The Co-operative uses a consensus model of decision-making, ensuring that all members have a voice.Our farmers steward 50 acres of fertile loam, woodland, and wetlands plus several homes and outbuildings on our farm just east of Fort Langley, BC on the south shore of the Fraser River. We seek to feed and educate present and future generations by co-operatively holding, stewarding and sustainably farming our land.Three businesses currently operate on this land – Close to Home Organics and Earth Apple Organic Farm are the organic produce businesses that operate Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) programs and sell at local Farmer’s Markets. Helping us with our pollination needs on the farm, we have a group of shareholders called the Delphic Hive acting as our on farm apiarists.