Klippers Organics

Posted on Tuesday, 2 February 2021 under Engaging Eaters Featured Farmers

Nestled in the south Similkameen Valley, Klippers Organics Farm is finding new ways to share their local, seasonal produce with the community. Founders and operators Annamarie and Kevin Klippenstein create a cultural experience for guests at their restaurant, Row Fourteen. Visitors are surrounded by five-acres of Certified Organic land that supplies the restaurant’s seasonal, plant-forward menu; exemplifying the meaning of fresh farm-to-table.

“The food is coming in every day because there’s a need. You can actually take the food, cook it, deliver it to the table, and explain to them where it’s from,” says Kevin.

Row Fourteen is an educational opportunity on local gastronomy for both staff and patrons. The Klippenstein’s work closely with their chefs to ensure seasonal harvests supply their culinary vision for the restaurant.

Annamarie says, “Now is ordering time. I’m going through all the seeds and introducing them [chefs] to seed catalogues and asking; what is your wish list, what do you want to cook, what do you want to wow people with this year?”

open wooden grill full of vegetables

Photo courtesy of Klippers Organics

Guests are encouraged to order for their table collectively if dining within your ‘bubble’. Sharing dishes helps create a sense of community and opens a dialogue about local produce.

“It gets people lit up, being able to taste the same thing rather than go into a restaurant, everybody ordering their own but nobody else can really experience it with them,” says Annamarie.

The Klippenstein’s believe in organic, sustainably sourced food. Using simple ingredients from their land, Annamarie says herself, Kevin, and their team focus on creative ways to incorporate produce-rich dishes into their line-up to counter misconceptions of what vegetables can be.

“I think when people come into the restaurant they go, “oh, we don’t like beets.” Then when we cook them and they say, “oh my gosh, I’ve never had beets like this.” So it’s one of those things, introducing people to a different way of cooking,” she says.

For Kevin and Annamarie, it is important to invest in and create connections with their community to convey the benefits of local, sustainable food systems.

“There’s often a bigger reason why people don’t eat as many vegetables as they should be. And it’s often they just don’t know what to do with them,” Annamarie says.

Wide angle photo of the exterior of a restaurant with greenery in the foreground

Photo courtesy of Klippers Organics

The farm continues to supply Row Fourteen throughout the winter. Annamarie says crops are harvested daily, while many more are preserved and stored cold, dry, and in cellars. “People say, “so these carrots are from you guys?” I tell them we harvest them fresh for the restaurant on a weekly basis kind of thing. Or they ask, “where do you store the squash?” I say, see the big packing house across the street? That is our storage for products that we sell.”

Kevin continues, “When people come into the restaurant, whether it’s the hostess, the server, whoever, they all get the story that you are on Klippers Organics Farm. That’s the whole philosophy behind the restaurant.”

“We explain to them where they are and where the food is coming from. You don’t get that from a lot of restaurants,” he concludes.

Since its inception, Klippers Organics has been mindful of waste management. Annamarie says although many farms have recycling or composting programs for excess produce, much of that is a consumable product. As part of their efforts to reduce waste, Klippers Organics has created products, such as cider and peach jam, that will be available in a future store located on the property.

Row Fourteen is accepting reservations now and has a number of procedures in place to keep their staff and guests safe during COVID-19.

Read more about Klippers Organics and Row Fourteen.

Banner image courtesy of Klippers Organics.