First Generation Organics was founded by Katherine Vreugde, Kirsten Liebenberg, and Janine van Fram.
Now owned and operated by Katherine Vreugde, Janine van Fram, and Nancy Prober.
All farmers met through KPU's Farm School Program!
Janine's favourite farm activity is identifying all the beneficial insects that help improve our organic practices at the farm!
Janine is a first generation organic farmer. As a suburban kid, she grew up dreaming of farms and the great outdoors. These passions were rekindled for her during her studies at Douglas College. The realities of globalization, large-scale agriculture, food and water security issues, and the consumer economy inspired Janine to examine her own impacts on the world. She set out to help her mom with community gardening projects, volunteer at small local farms, and get involved with the Surrey Urban Farmers’ Market (SUFM). Soon she was elected to the Board of the SUFM, and then elected President the following year. In 2014 she put her event-planning and customer service expertise to the test by co-founding the Surrey Skill Share Fair, an annual community event providing a supportive space for neighbours to share knowledge and skills. In 2017, she decided it was time to experience the process of growing food. Now, having completed KPU’s TFS program, Janine feels ready and well-equipped to begin farming. Her passions for community development, food security, and stewardship of the natural world have supported her many volunteer and employment pursuits over the years. She strives to build lasting connections between farmers, communities, customers, and businesses, and she advocates for a shift toward sustainable food systems and resilient local economies. Her long term goal is to run a social enterprise farm based around environmental stewardship and education. When not on the farm, Janine enjoys Highland dancing, hiking and canoeing, creating art, and taking nature walks.
Katherine's favourite farm activity is harvesting cut flowers and making bouquets for the markets!
Katherine is a first generation organic farmer who grew up in the Lower Mainland of B.C. and never intended to become a farmer. Farming was not in her immediate family history and the notion of eating “organic” was not a subject discussed at home. In early adulthood, Katherine became aware of the issues surrounding industrial food system and its impact on the health of the individual and the environment. These issues were in the back of her mind as she began to think critically about food being consumed in her own household. In the meantime, Katherine earned her Bachelors of Business Administration from SFU in 2011 and gained her CPA designation in 2015. After a decade or so of working behind a desk as an accountant, the timing was right for a break and in 2017, Katherine completed the KPU TFS program. The farm school program was something she wanted to do in order to explore new interests and it confirmed her love for growing veggies and flowers while getting her hands dirty! She is thrilled to be contributing to local food security through organic farming practices and wants to encourage others to think critically about where their food comes from.
Nancy's favourite farm activity is finding ways to incorporate permaculture and regenerative practices around the farm!
Nancy is a first generation organic farmer. Growing up in Winnipeg in the 1980’s, Nancy thought farmers were men on tractors growing hundreds of acres of commodity wheat. While she was always curious about farming, she did not see herself in the popular image of farmers at the time. Instead, she fed her interest in growing things by gardening and eventually growing food in a community garden plot. She followed her curiosity into a psychology degree and was working as a psychologist for over a decade when she started to notice that something was missing in her life. She started to deepen her connection to the natural world with hiking, studying eco-psychology, completing a permaculture design certificate, and volunteering on a community organic farm. As she became more aware of the inter-connectedness of all life on this planet, the need to be a part of the local food system became stronger; what’s more inter-connected with the natural world than growing healthy food in way that regenerates the land? Fortunately, she stumbled upon the Tsawwassen Farm School where she learned how to run a small-scale organic farm and then spent her first year in their incubator program as co-owner of YOLO Organic Farm. With many lessons learned, in 2019 she is joining the FGO team. She is looking forward to growing organic veggies and flowers for the local community, while also contributing to the health of the land that sustains us.
HONORARY FIRST GENERATION FARMERS
Kirsten's favourite farm activity is transplanting seedlings and watching them grow!
Kirsten is a first generation organic farmer. Kirsten was born in South Africa and lived there until she immigrated to Canada with her family at the age of six. Kirsten had no exposure to farming growing up. Her interest in food and the sustainability of food systems developed at a young age, and was encouraged by her father who was a passionate vegetarian and a well read environmentalist. Kirsten has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of British Columbia and has completed the TFS Certificate Program from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Kirsten became a first generation organic farmer for the simple reason that she believes our children's futures depend on it. She is an active participant in creating a more sustainable food system for future generations and passionately promotes the sustainability of the world’s most cherished resources: soil, land, water, and the biodiversity of living organisms. Kirsten encourages all farmers and consumers alike to source locally, grow locally and eat locally.
At the end of the 2018 growing season, Kirsten welcomed her first child, Henry, into the world. For 2019, Kirsten is taking a step back from the farm, but has plans to open up a seedling business in the near future!