Vale Farms was started in 1975 by Michael and Charlotte Ruechel, who immigrated to Canada to farm in this great country. After clearing and draining a large portion of the undeveloped land, it slowly molded into a very diverse farm and became a conventional beef ranch. Sadly, Michael had a serious riding accident on the farm in 1991, which left him needing 24 care since that time. Their 4 children, Julius, Emily, Charles and Lorna, became involved in the farm activities at an early age. They all contributed to the growing and shaping of the farm in their own way.
Today, Charlotte, her daughter Emily and her son-in-law, Don Hladych, together with their 3 daughters, are continuing the farming tradition. The farm transitioned into organic in 1999 and started direct-marketing their 100% grass-fed beef at Farmers Markets, Stores and Restaurants. A sheep flock was added to the beef operation in 2005, adding organic grass-fed lamb to our products. Today, Vale Farms predominantly sells at Farmers Markets in Kelowna, Vernon and Various Vancouver area markets, as well as our farm store.
In 2006 Don and Emily started the Cedar Bridge School on the farm, a Waldorf-inspired Preschool and Kindergarten with a home-schooling component.
In 2008 Lorna and her husband Chris Church started farming “next door” and are producing pasture raised, organically fed pork and certified organic chickens and turkeys.
In 2015 Chris and Lorna officially registered their farm as Grassy Gnome Acres. Their products are available through our marketing company Vale Farms Grassroots Ltd.