Thalia Thiessen (Farmer T)
Growing up in the Kootenays - especially in my family's household, I became acquainted with the soil real quick. Connected to home grown, homemade food. And it really stuck. Even with my time living in cities I had an endless search for what was local and wholesome.
I have spent the last (almost) 10 years as a Chef. Bright, nourishing, local and refined was my mantra. Now, stepping out of the restaurant industry, food is taking a different form. It is starting with the seed.
I love wandering outside before the flowers have woken up, before the sun peaks over the mountain. It's such a magical time of day. So fresh and sacred. So quiet but so alive, buzzing with energy. Such a beautiful soft light and it's just me and the vegetables! I let out a sigh and say a good morning to all of the intricate and amazing drops of nature. And I ask myself - what could be more fulfilling than sharing this with my community?
It really is incredible what magic nature has to offer to get us through each season of life. We just need to take the time to learn and tune into what we can do to live more simply and connect ourselves to the land that surrounds us - nourish it and let it nourish us. We need to notice, be kind to and love the land because in the end that is what is going to save us. I am really excited to be a part of that by bringing it to your doorstep.
And yes my dog's name is Tomato.
Born and raised amongst the farmlands of Ontario, my journey of learning to work with food and the land began at an early age and has followed me all the way through my career as a Chef. Having nearly 20 years experience in restaurants - from Montreal to Nelson BC, my passion has led me to marvel at the beauty of mother nature and all she has to offer. A part of me has always known that one day I would take the knowledge, experience, and creativity I have learnt as a Chef and transition it back to the roots.
The forest is where I feel most at home. After living in Nelson BC for the past eight years, these woods are where I spend my spare time - foraging and exploring with my dog, Blu. Whether it is hiking to the high alpine nettles or chasing the seemingly chaotic map of mycelium paths – the forest offers an endless bounty of food and medicine. There is a simple satisfaction in the humbling beauty of being able to bring your local community theses foraged wonders from their own backyards.
Canning, fermenting, and preserving has really become my focus. Being Canadian, the importance of working with each season and preparing for winter means survival. After becoming Head Chef at Nelson’s Pitchfork Eatery, over 4 years ago, I was given a blank pallet to create. With that creative freedom, I was able to build upon and express my passion which was a rare and encouraging opportunity. This opportunity, along with being given free range to work with as many local suppliers as possible, has helped me solidify my love and vision for food.
Like the chaotic yet, perfectly symbiotic path of the mycelium leading me through the forest - my life journey has led me back to the soil - partnering with Thalia to piece together Kootenay Corner Gardens, a sustainable food source and future for our community.
I can’t wait to see what mother nature has in store for us.
Just a couple of Chefs who can't stay in the kitchen
Thalia and Josh worked together at Pitchfork Eatery in 2019. Josh is the Head Chef at this incredible farm to table restaurant in Nelson BC and Thalia worked as the Sous Chef. During the year that they were in the kitchen together, they connected on things like the sacredness of local, organic, sustainable food, on the concept of community, and sharing what that encompasses by means of farm to table - whether that is through the restaurant or starting in the soil.
When Thalia left Pitchfork to slowly cultivate a farm, Pitchfork supported Thalia and bought vegetables and fruit from her all season long. While Josh is still turning the wheels at Pitchfork, he decided to step back a little this year and get his hands dirty in the garden.