Hatch + Hype

Community Is Everything – Big Rock Ranch 

The scenic 147 acres of Big Rock Ranch has been in Robin Hunt’s family since the 60’s. Hergrandparents purchased the lott near Buffalo Creek, attracted to the large rock face…
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The scenic 147 acres of Big Rock Ranch has been in Robin Hunt’s family since the 60’s. Her
grandparents purchased the lott near Buffalo Creek, attracted to the large rock face that exists on the land. The relief of land is a superb short hike to its highest point, giving a memorable view over the entire property. The land has been used for farming for almost 60 years, in some respect. Her grandparents had an 8th of an acre which they kept chickens on and grew fruit trees.

Robin’s childhood is sewn into this soil, spending hazy dappled days picking carrots and
collecting eggs with her grandma. Leasing her grandparents’ land, and her trajectory in reaching the many accomplishments of 2023’s iteration of Big Rock Ranch were never a given, and always hard fought for.

Their status as an agricultural pillar of the 100 Mile House area, and indeed Cariboo region as a whole, is forged from years of learning the land, learning the needs of her community and learning about herself. A previous life saw Robin working as a photographer’s assistant, before then transitioning into TV commercial work with props, and then into film work with props, which she still partakes in during the agri-off season.

Spells in farm setups on the Sunshine Coast, Squamish and almost buying land in Enderby in the Okanagan, with her then partner Johan, have sharpened her focus. Her passion is quite clearly rooted in her wider community’s access to healthy wholesome produce, with involvement in CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture Systems) for a number of years. It was a mentorship program and in particular the farmers’ markets that have been crucial, and still are, in evolving her operation to today’s success story.

Mentoring And The Markets

The Young Agrarians program was instrumental in giving Big Rock Ranch the start it needed,
here they were given a mentor; a leading agricultural figure in the BC agri-community, who then led them through various agri-business building practices. Their mentor also crucially put emphasis on how farmers’ markets were a priority in bringing everything together, an imperative starting point.

With this top of mind, their debut to the South Cariboo Farmers’ Market at 100 Mile House came in 2016. Here, every Friday, they still sell delicious crops of heirloom tomatoes, beets, cucumbers, peas, lettuces, carrots and much more.

The markets also remain the best means of gaining insightful feedback for the team of four. For example, in their first year of attendance they grew golden beets, multi coloured carrots and romanesco broccoli, all crops that saw success on the coast, only to find that these were eschewed in the north. Their sowing next season therefore followed suit. It’s also, Robin excitedly explains, the ability to meet the community firsthand that’s a huge part of what Big Rock are trying to achieve. An importance on firsthand means to illustrate and educate where food comes from, (not just a box- store shelf), instead outwardly gleaning to people, especially children, the farm to fork journey and how local food security works.


What’s on the horizon for Big Rock Ranch?

Providing produce for more grocery stores – they currently sell in stores in 100 Mile House, Quesnel and Kamloops. More CSA involvement – their vegetable box delivery program has expanded to reach the whole region. Perhaps a move to a cooperative farm model that engages the indigenous populace.

One thing’s for certain Robin and her team are very-very busy making positive change in the local community!

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