Tierra Del Sol is literally a blossoming business on Valley Road. The family-owned farm, which features fresh-cut flowers, dried decor and berry orchards, is the result of a leap of faith by Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote and her husband, John Cote.
“We were grain farmers in Leask. We decided to try our hand at doing some direct marketing. Being an hour away from the largest city in the province is kind of tough,” said Stefanyshyn-Cote. “We bought this land three years ago. It’s extremely scary and it’s got its moments. We have been accused of having farming ADD.”
Both Stefanyshyn-Cote and her husband have deep roots in agriculture; they both hold degrees in agriculture and were recognized as Saskatchewan and Canada’s outstanding young farmers. They use this knowledge to their advantage at the new farm. Tierra Del Sol uses a covered-mulch bed system that ensures an early germination, which means the growing season starts as early as June with peonies. There are more than 8,000 gladiolus of every colour at the farm. They are available for special events and at markets in Saskatoon.
“The advantage of this move is the direct payoff. We get to meet the customer,” said Stefanyshyn-Cote. “When someone hands flowers they just bought to someone who is totally unsuspecting in front of me, it is just so heartwarming to see. I have to admit the joy of the flower business has been one of the unexpected things that came out of it.”
Stefanyshyn-Cote has been treated to another surprise at Tierra Del Sol, which led to another opportunity for their farm.
“I’m looking out my window and I already see the pumpkins,” said Stefanyshyn-Cote. “We are going to set up for a festival at the end of September. There will be fun and games and pumpkins and entertainment. And it will be a community event that we’re just gearing up for right now.”
Currently, visiting Tierra Del Sol is by appointment only. But Stefanyshyn-Cote said there will be a change in the near future.
“We are setting up a retail facility here at the farm. We would just as soon sell out of the farm here. The farmers’ markets in Saskatoon have been really good to us, but it’s a lot of work to pack up and take everything there and then bring it all back.”
It’s only going to get busier for the up-and-coming farm. With the berry orchards blooming, Tierra Del Sol is in line to be the third distillery in Saskatchewan. In fact, the concrete for the distillery centre was poured last week.
“We will be creating whiskey, gin, vodka and flavoured liqueurs. We’re hoping that eventually we can tie in our grain-farming roots with agri-tourism. Come see the grain being grown if you’re interested. Come harvest the grain, distill it and bottle off your own alcohol at the end of it,” said Stefanyshyn-Cote. “Then you can label it and say, ‘I was part of that.’”
For now, the focus is on Valley Road, the pumpkin festival and bringing the distillery to life. Stefanyshyn-Cote said her family is ready for the changes to come.
“We’re looking forward to working with our neighbours to make Valley Road a destination. People can come and spend time at our place, then carry on to Crickle Creek, then the Strawberry Ranch and then maybe the Berry Barn and all those businesses that are down there. This is such a unique area. And it’s so close to the city. We see a lot of potential for this being an area where people can come and enjoy the day and really make a good outing of it.”
To learn more about Tierra Del Sol, visit tdsfarms.biz or call 306-955-4645.