Parastone announces a growing development in Fernie

The Montane project will give families an opportunity to learn about (and participate in) how food goes from farm to the table.

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The historical barn will be a central part of the Montane community educational farm development.

This historical barn will be a central part of the Montane community farm development. — Photo courtesy Parastone

Parastone construction company in Fernie, B.C. recently announced the development of a new residential community called Montane Fernie. But this is not just any type of development: Montane Fernie is designed to tie together history, accessibility and the rich fertile soil of Fernie into a community educational farm program. 

Simon Howse, general manager and CEO at Parastone, said the Montane project will set aside 16 hectares (40 acres) of the 267 hectares (660 acres) of land being developed for agricultural and farm purposes. Montane will have chickens, sheep, goats, bees and pigs. Residents living in the development are invited to take part in the farming.

“Everyone will have the opportunity to participate in the program,” said Howes. 

A real working farm

However, not every resident is required to be involved in the caretaking of the animals or the community garden. 

“Lots of people like the idea of fresh eggs or knowing where their honey or fresh vegetables come from,  but they don’t necessarily want to do the work,” said Howse. “Here's an opportunity. You can do all the work if you want, or you can just dabble in it and still enjoy the benefits of knowing where it came from."

The Montane project will give families an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of living in a small town but still appreciate and participate in the education process of how fresh food gets to their tables.

“Kids have lost touch of where their food comes from” Howse said.

Howse admitted that he was a little hesitant about the idea of a community farm in the beginning of the planning stages. “However, everyone has been really supportive about it. That’s what they love about (the project),” he said.

Parastone's vision for land is community-oriented, and the project will use Montane's barn as a focal point in the community. 

Howse said, "We are looking to plan activities and events in and around the barn to leverage the great space."

Construction began on the Montane project August 21, 2014. Its 73 sites of varying sizes will be on the market near the middle of September. 

Kimberly Shellborn

Kim is the editorial coordinator at Koocanusa Publications. She recently returned to the Kootenays after 15 years in Spain, where she taught English and got to know the food and wine regions of the country. When she’s not writing or taking photographs, she can be found showing her husband and two children all the backcountry trails that she longed for while in Europe. View all of Kimberly Shellborn’s articles

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