Seed to Culture | Life, love and fermentation
Christoph Miles and Jill Miners. Photo | Abby Wiseman
Jill Miners had given up on finding love in the city, so she did what so many people dream of and packed her bags, moved Lillooet to become a farmer.
She didn’t think there would be any single farmers living in the 2,300 person community not known for its thriving singles scene, but in love, it just takes one.
“I thought I was going to be a spinster for the rest of my life,” said Miners. “I didn’t think there would be anyone single in Lillooet and, at that point, I didn’t really care. I just wanted to do my own thing.”
Soon after her move she met Christoph who had been toiling in his farms on his lonesome for a few years.
“When you are a farmer you don’t really have a social life – it’s sun up to sun down,” said Miners. “Both of us understood that and had the same work ethic and drive. It’s the only way to have a relationship”.
It didn’t take long for the two to get together and within a few months of dating, they took an even bigger leap by starting their fermented food company, Seed to Culture, becoming partners in life, love and business.
“I thought what could go wrong? Well, everything actually, but it felt right so we went for it,” said Miners.
Miners background is in microbiology and conservation. She had been living in and out of Vancouver for years, living in Agassiz while working in fish conservation and experimenting with fermentation.
She moved back to the city after five years of country living and decided that urban life was no longer for her. A friend of hers sold her on Lillooet, so she took a year off and starting farming at One Love Farm.
When the year was up she decided to give up her former career and commit to becoming a farmer and fermenter full-time.
“My options were to go back to my job, which I still loved, in conservation work or dive headfirst into this and see what happens,” said Miners. “It’s definitely scary, but for me, it feels better than doing something that I only kind of love.”
The result is some of the freshest sauerkrauts, beets and pickles around, which has made them very popular in Lillooet and at farmers markets in Vancouver.
“We have a lot of support from the people of Lillooet and we are blown away with the business we get from that small town alone,” said Miners. “A lot of it comes down to people who remember it from their childhood. People from Eastern European upbringings love it.”
The two hope to get their ferments into local stores, but Miners, being a scientist, wants to test as many variations of her products as possible at the markets before honing in on the official line up.
As far as giving up city life is concerned, Miners has no regrets. Farming isn’t easy, but sun up to sun down, she’d rather be working the farm with Christoph.
“I’ve never worked so hard in my life, but it makes me happy and I’m glad I took the leap of faith,” said Miners. “I didn’t think I’d find love in Lillooet but it goes to show that you never know what can happen.”
You can catch these lovebirds at upcoming Vancouver Farmers Markets in March. Check out their website for upcoming market dates.
Lillooet? Pick up some Seed to Culture ferments.
Seed to Culture Retail Shop
107 7 Ave, Lillooet, BC V0K 1V0, Canada
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