Three hard-working women, one shared vision of creating community all about farm.
Bees, Flowers, Food. And Honest Hard Work
Butternut Buddhas was founded in April 2015 when Joni Cooke volunteered her labour for two farm friends and fell in love with the mission of growing organic food. Along side of the simple mission of making hyper-local fresh food available to a wide audience, Butternut Buddha strives to cultivate a sweet productive oasis for others to visit where they learn farm skills and and enjoy getting their hands in the earth. Now Butternut Buddha has expanded to almost a full acre of vegetables on rich black earth on Byrne Road in Burnaby. The three acre parcel is called “Big Bend” and is 1/3 market vegetables, 1/3 apiary (Neighbourly Bees), and 1/3 flowers (Late Bloomers Flower Farm) — three separate farm businesses run by three bad-ass women farmers. Along side our own farming missions, we have an umbrella vision of cultivating a beautiful space to share and teach farming skills and bee keeping. There are currently nine vegetable planters for public use on the land, and lots of the folks from neighbouring businesses across the way come down to eat their lunch at picnic tables, in amongst the flowers.
Joni Cooke is a yogi and shiatsu massage therapist and is currently semi-retired from that work in order to farm. Gardening has been a constant theme throughout her life, working at a young age alongside her mother in flower gardens, as well as working on orchards and vegetable gardens on100 acres up in Lillooet, and on 4 acres down in New Mexico. Her passion for farming is based as much on providing high nutrient fresh food to her family and friends as it is in contributing to local organic food security.