Read the story behind Black Fox Farm & Distillery
As third generation grain farmers from Leask, Saskatchewan, founders Barb and John Cote were destined to cultivate the land.
John Cote and Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote
Black Fox is about taking our passion for agriculture and sharing it with you. We are third generation farmers that have farmed, studied, consulted and participated in agriculture on five different continents. On our ag journey, we have been recognized as Saskatchewan and Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers, by the national and provincial Institutes of Agrology and the Saskatchewan Ag Grads Association. We are alumni of the Canadian Agricultural Lifetime Leadership program and Nuffield Canada.
For us education, creativity, and responsible stewardship are the pillars that make up the foundation of our business. We wanted to produce items that we could sell directly to the customer, that linked the soil on which it was grown to the product that was created, that was genuine, authentic and that customers could become a part of.
Our non-traditional farm produces award winning spirits and flowers. We are proud to grow the ingredients that go into our bottles and we have created the largest cut flower farm on the prairies. We host tours, events and festivals so we can share our farm with you.
We hope every experience you share with Black Fox is exceptional, familiar, and entirely unique
- Barb & John
Black Fox - The Name
We are all familiar with the red fox so common on the prairies; a black fox is a member of the same family but a rare colour variation. A number of years ago, we were fortunate to have a black fox spend the summer in and around our farmyard at Leask. He would sleep nearby and scamper off when we headed out in the morning. One time we watched him play with another red fox in the field. A common sighting but with a twist. Our new farm is built on the same concept, something so familiar on the prairies, yet entirely unique. Something natural yet transformed by a black fox.
At Black Fox we combine traditional methods of farming with modern technology to utilize the land as efficiently as possible. The way we treat our valuable resources has a direct impact on our ability to feed ourselves in the future. As good farmers we know and respect this.
We are not organic; rather utilize the best agronomic practices from all production systems available to us to become as efficient and sustainable as possible. We are very cognizant of each step that we make in production and weigh its impact on the ecosystem and people involved. We utilize a mulch system when planting, incorporate minimum tillage practices, use cover crops and crop rotation strategies.
The entire farm uses state of the art drip irrigation systems to minimize water usage and we have implemented a bio filtration system for runoff water through a series of marsh ponds before it eventually enters the South Saskatchewan river.
In planning our distillery, it was important to us to conserve as much water as possible and reduce our waste output. We use geo-thermal cooling systems, reuse nearly 95% of our water, spread our spent grains and fruit back onto our orchards and flower fields as compost fertilizer and even our organic cleaning solutions are reused to improve our soils. We strive to work with the land to reach its greatest potential and leave it better than we found it for future generations.