Qwal̓ímak Nlep̓cálten Farm Visit

Posted on Thursday, 7 April 2022 under Stories

Qwal̓ímak Nlep̓cálten (Mosquito Garden) is a market garden aimed at providing food security for the Lil’wat Nation, growing a variety of vegetables using organic and sustainable practices, and providing training and education around growing and preserving food. The farm is on traditional Lil’wat lands near Lillooet Lake, BC. A member of our BC Seed Security team recently visited the farm to connect about variety trials and food and seed sovereignty initiatives.

Shannon Didier, Qwal̓ímak Nlep̓cálten’s Agricultural Manager, took on the project in 2019. What started as a field of strawberries and potatoes is now over 4 hectares of mixed vegetables, fruit trees and beehives. In a few short years, the farm has expanded rapidly in both infrastructure and crop variety.

Over the past three growing seasons, Didier and the team have learned an immense amount and improved their processes and efficiency in an organic minimal-till system. The farm has expanded rapidly in both infrastructure and variety of crops grown.

Qwal̓ímak Nlep̓cálten sells Harvest Boxes (CSA), participates in the Whistler Farmers Market, and supplies local restaurants, including the Hwy Cafe and Town Square, with fresh greens during the growing season. There are also plans to connect the farm with a proposed shared commercial kitchen space in the community. The commercial kitchen space would allow the farm to preserve some of their crops, such as canning tomatoes and pickling cucumbers.