3 Crows Farm is nestled in the town of Cranbrook, British Columbia. Urban farms come with their own set of challenges, but there’s plenty of opportunities as well. 

The 3 Crows urban farm began in 2010 out of need to operate outside of typical working hours for flexibility to best support the family. Now, farmer Christian Kimber operates market gardens on several plots of land throughout the City of Cranbrook, manages a team of staff, attends 2 local markets, and supplies microgreens for a dozen local restaurants.

Partnerships between 3 Crows Farm and restaurants came about around 8 years ago, with several establishments in the Cranbrook & Kimberley region using the microgreens and lettuces of 3 Crows Farm. “Several local restaurants really appreciate the quality and availability of local produce, and the local effort,” says Christian. This requires a weekly delivery, based on restaurant need, as the microgreens are produced year-round. 

Another local partnership? Cheers! The Heidout Restaurant in Cranbrook, home of Fisher Peak Brewery, partnered with 3 Crows Farm and supplies him with spent brewing grain to compost. Through trial and error, Christian discovered how to successfully integrate brewery waste in his operation. “First time I took the spent brewing grain, I just threw it right in the compost, threw some dirt on them and walked away,” says Christian. As it turns out, brewery waste blocks out the air circulation of the soil, interfering with transplanting, and needs to be systematically integrated in. “Some lessons you learn the hard way.” After the initial kinks were figured out, Christian now regularly uses the leftover brew mash to build his soil, closing the local waste loop to grow food. 

Overall, Cranbrook is a good place to produce market vegetables. “The farmers markets are incredibly well attended, and the restaurants are happy to work with us – even though I know it’s a pain in the ass – they put up with our rubbermaid bins and spiders that come crawling out anyway. They make it a joy.” 

Find 3 Crows Farm at the Cranbrook Farmers Market on Saturday, the Fernie Farmers Market on Sunday, and restaurants throughout Cranbrook and Kimberley. 

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