Market Innovators: Lentelus Organics

Words By Bobby Herron
Photos By Jenn Dykstra

In these days of shifting consciousness around food production and consumption, it’s encouraging to meet a young person with a fresh and inspired approach to farming. The rigors of such an enterprise require dedication, skill, and a solid work ethic. Add a holistic approach, and you have today’s Comox Valley, sustainable, small-scale farmer.

Dave Semmelink comes from South Africa with a tradition of family farming behind him. His new business on Minto Road is named Lentelus Organics, which in Afrikaans means Spring Joy. The name comes from his late philosopher/farmer grandfather. Dave’s dad is a certified organic farmer, and he manages and consults on several of the largest organic vineyards in the Okanagan. Dave himself has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Conservation from UBC.

Dave’s present focus is on producing affordable and delicious meat from happy, healthy pigs. He grows fodder crops to ensure that what his pigs are eating will be nutritionally beneficial, and will also result in a very tasty, marbled product. And his approach is part of an overall sustainable practice that benefits us all.

“I’m also working on leased land with portable infrastructure, a model that allows young farmers to invest in machinery and equipment and get a start in the agricultural field. The Comox Valley is the new frontier of sustainable agriculture on Vancouver Island, and I feel like there is tremendous potential for this type of agriculture in our community. We have healthy, vibrant farmers markets and many restaurants promoting and using our products. I’ve traveled and worked all over BC and have always been drawn back to this Valley of fertile soils and welcoming community,” says Dave.

Look for Lentelus Organics at a Farmers’ Market near you, and chat with Dave and/or go to www.lentelusorganics.com for further information. I look forward to sampling some of Lentelus’ products and sharing them with my family. Buying local just tastes so good.