Food Blogger

From our families to yours

Peppergrass is a staff and farmer owned cooperative food hub. That means our first priorities will always be quality food, a robust and resilient local food system and a healthy work environment.

We share a passionate love for the East Kootenays. We share a drive to stay connected to the sources of our food. We also share a drive to spread knowledge through our food community on what works for our region to produce the highest quality food products possible.

We are so happy to share all this with you!

The leadership team

Kye Kocher
President & Farm Community Manager

Kye started farming 10 years ago in southern Alberta. He spent 7 years of that time developing a farmers' cooperative to bring local, organic foods to the Calgary region.

In 2019, Kye moved with his family to Jaffray to start a new farm, Corner Veggies Farms. He brings a wealth of knowledge on farm and retail practices. We are so glad to have him!

Ken Ivens

Ken has been a volunteer with the store for several seasons preparing the food for the boxes and the store. He is also enjoying a 18 year plus career at the City of Cranbrook.

Rebecca Randall

Rebecca was the first investor for a local, organic food delivery service in the East Kootenays back in 2016.

She has a keen eye for administration organization and financial management, managing our finance area.

Shelley Vaters

Why we love sustainable, local food

  • Locally grown food is full of flavor. When grown locally, the crops are picked at their peak of ripeness versus being harvested early in order to be shipped and distributed to your local retail store. Many times produce at local markets has been picked within 24 hours of your purchase.


  • Eating local food is eating seasonally. Even though we wish strawberries were grown year-round, the best time to eat them is when they can be purchased directly from a local grower. They are full of flavor and taste better than the ones available in the winter that have traveled thousands of miles and picked before they were ripe.


  • Local food has more nutrients. Local food has a shorter time between harvest and your table, and it is less likely that the nutrient value has decreased. Food imported from far-away states and countries is often older, has traveled, and sits in distribution centers before it gets to your store.


  • Local food supports the local economy. The money that is spent with local farmers and growers all stays close to home and is reinvested with businesses and services in your community.


  • Local food benefits the environment. By purchasing locally grown foods you help maintain farmland and green and/or open space in your community.


  • Local foods promote a safer food supply. The more steps there are between you and your food’s source the more chances there are for contamination. Food grown in distant locations has the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping and distribution.


  • Local growers can tell you how the food was grown. You can ask what practices they use to raise and harvest the crops. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about that food.


What is Peppergrass?

Peppergrass, is an annual plant that grows from a single taproot. It is in the Brassicaceae (mustard) family and it earned its name for the pepper-like flavour.


The entire plant is edible. Young leaves can be used as a potherb, sautéed or used fresh in salads. The young seedpods can be used as a substitute black pepper. The leaves contain protein, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C. The flowers can be tossed into a salad and the roots. This entire plant can be put into a food processor along with turmeric, vinegar, miso, garlic, and salt to make wild mustard. Collect roots, wash them, crush them and add vinegar and salt you have a horseradish substitute.

Peppergrass is resilient, tenacious, and peppery,
just like so many of the people in the East Kootenays!