Nestled in the backcountry of Mission, BC, Miracle Springs Farm has been quietly raising high-quality trout for 40 years. Only a short, yet scenic 20-minute drive from Lepp Farm Market, we recently took a little field trip to meet the farmers who now supply us with Steelhead & Arctic Char.
The property is home to a sizeable artesian spring from a confined aquifer that redirects into flow-through-waterways where the fish live. The temperature, a cold 8 degrees Celsius year-round, means that the meat on their fish is always firm and sweet.
Miracle Springs uses a combination of Flow-Through Water Raceways (seen here) and Recirculating Aquaculture Systems. The water comes from the natural springs, so there is no need for water treatment. Before the water flows back into nature, it is filtered three times to eliminate anything which may be harmful to the surrounding wildlife (fish poop!). That means not only is their farm non-ocean impacting, it’s also non-wildlife impacting.
Much like our own farming practices, they do not use routine antibiotics or added growth hormones.
“We believe in good farm practices, giving the fish lots of oxygen-rich water and room to swim. That produces a high-quality product. Because the fish are raised in such cold water, they may take a little longer to reach market size, but the high quality makes it worth the wait.”
Though this farm is small, it has everything it needs to self-sustain, including a trout hatchery. The lineage of every fish is carefully tracked within the farm; then, the best specimens are selected for reproduction. Since trout only spawn in the Autumn, they’ve even designated a section of their farm for photoperiod. This environment mimics the daylight hours of spawning season, encouraging spawning more frequently throughout the year.
This very short supply chain is a strength that is proving to be incredibly important during this uncertain time.