Kildara Farms: Feast of Fields 2014 | Win Tickets!

Kildara Farms is a family run, certified organic farm located in Deep Cove on the Saanich Peninsula. Owners Daphne and Brian Hughes, along with their two sons and daughter generate an abundance of field vegetables, apples, strawberries, eggs and flowers and their largest crop — salad greens. In addition to the gardens, the Hughes’ operate 12 greenhouses and tend roughly 600 apple trees on the 30-acre property.

Purchased in 1987 the Hughes’ started out thinking they’d buy a little piece of land, raise their kids and grow healthy food to eat. Now it’s a full blown working farm that produces, packages, and sells up to 1600 bags of salad greens a week. They have 399 laying chickens, 700 roasting meat birds, and at the end of summer take the culls from the apple harvest to make some 1000 litres of organic apple juice.

“It just got out of hand,” laughs Brian. “We are more than busy you could say.”

Kildara Farms (FOF Event location)

Born and raised in Ireland, Brian grew up in County Kildare (Kildara is the Gaelic spelling) with a father who was a cattle dealer. They had a small acreage with pigs and gardens. It was in his blood, you could say, to live off the land while raising animals and a family. It wasn’t until after working for 20 years in commercial real estate that Brian and Daphne finally decided it was time to get back to the land and raise their kids on the farm. Fortunately, Brian’s years in real estate gave him a keen eye for knowing a good buy; the property is prime in location (south facing, gently sloping and with ocean views). It took a few years of hand clearing and milling the timber to have the family home and barn built.

The Hughes’ have worked hard to maintain healthy, productive crops. This includes crop rotation, intercropping, companion planting, mulching and using diversity in the crop varieties. I told Brian I was attempting corn in my own garden this year, and he quickly suggested I poke a few bean seeds in at the base of the corn stalks which will naturally support the beans. The “kitchen garden” as Brian calls it has everything from scallions to sweet greens to fava beans, all growing amongst each other.

Daphne and Brian Hughes

Recognizing the importance of a healthy ecosystem, the family has taken care to protect and encourage natural plant growth and beneficial bird and insect populations. By allowing hedges and flowering shrubs to flourish on the property boundaries, indigenous species can also thrive. The apple seedlings (now full grown and very productive) all came from one tree single that is still standing today; the famous old English Bramley apple.

“We got the stock from a Czech man living on Lesquiti Island. He probably brought the cuttings with him from England. It’s the best cooking apple in the world” says Brian. “Ask any English person, and they’ll know about the Bramley apple.”

Kildara Greenhouse
1955 Tractor

Kildara Farms produce is available year round at Thrifty Foods and Market on Yates. During the market season they can be found selling greens, produce and homemade apple juice at Moss Street Market. They offer a weekly Food Box program for pickup at the farm too. Weddings and special events have been booked solid for the last few years since Sarah started her own business as an event planner.

Win Tickets To Feast of Fields HERE

This year Kildara Farms is hosting Farm Folk City Folk’s 17th annual Feast of Fields event on September 14 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. You can find tickets online here.


Contact Info:

Kildara Farms
11293 Chalet Road, Sidney, BC
V8L 5M1
Phone: (250) 655-3093

Website: Kildara Farms
Facebook: kildarafarmsorganic

Written By:

Holly Brooke is a true B.C. gal. Having lived on the west coast most of her life, except for several years in the Kootenay's where she canoed and fished and lived in a tipi, she's very much at home outdoors and in the kitchen. ...

Comments are closed.