Land access is an issue due to high prices making it inaccessible for farmers to purchase parcels of land to grow food. This is creating barriers to expanding the local food production in our region.
Community Farms in the CRD
A community farm (aka incubator farm) is a multi-functional farm where the land is held "in trust" for community rather than owned privately. A community group or co-operative governs the land use agreements, and agricultural uses of the land are shared by a community of farmers. Often the primary focus of a community farm is local food production using sustainable agricultural practices. Land holders, land managers, and farmers work together through mutual agreements.
A 6.6-hectare (16.6 acre) farm, established in 1897 extending in a narrow strip from Wallace Drive all the way to the waterfront on Saanichton Bay. In 2003, the he property was officially transferred to the District of Central Saanich for use as public parkland. In 2012 an initiative to establish agricultural uses on the Newman Farm was started with the Farmland Trust Society. Farmlands Trust volunteers now grow a variety of fruits and vegetables for donation to Our Place for meals for the homeless. They donated $16,005.00 worth of produce (a variety of squash, turnips, beets, apples and plums) in 2016! They have also teamed up with a local farmer to develop a small sheep operation on the property.
Read updates about the farm on the Farmland Trust website here
Haliburton Community Organic Farm is a publicly-owned farm within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The farm was saved from development by a group of concerned citizens and the District of Saanich, who purchased the land. The Farm is now being developed as a community and educational certified organic farm. The farm is 4.09 ha (approximately 9.3 acres), and is located on the south side of Haliburton Road (741 Haliburton Road) in Cordova Bay, which is a neighbourhood in Saanich, BC. Today it is a thriving community farm, one of 14 community farms in Canada, 7 being on Vancouver Island. There are 6 separate businesses operating under the umbrella of the Haliburton Community Organic Farm Society.
Learn more about Haliburton here
Contact information: email@example.com (250) 658-0758
The Burgoyne Valley Community Farm, a 62-acre parcel of farm land in the Agricultural Land Reserve, located at 2232 Fulford Ganges Road is the first manifestation of that vision. This property has been continuously farmed since 1887 and was granted to the Farmland Trust for the benefit of the community in exchange for a zoning amenity in 2013. The Farmland Trust board, in collaboration with farmers, families and other organizations, is bringing the farm into its full potential to produce food, increase biodiversity and pollination, and protect species and waterways for the long-term benefit of the community. Organic practices are a high priority.
Learn more about Burgoyne Farm here
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the past five years a group of farmer wannabees have been volunteer stewards of TLC The Land Conservancy's 13 acre farm that was generously donated to TLC by Norma Lohbrunner, who along with her husband Joseph farmed and cared for the land. Over the years we have cooperatively grown as "the Homesteaders" raising the majority of our own produce to support our families. Now with the help of Vancity Community Foundation, the land has transferred to Farm Folk City Folk and we are now the Lohbrunner Community Farm Co-op.
Learn more about Lohbrunner Farm here
Contact information: email@example.com
Our vision is for Sandown Community Farm to operate an 83 acre food hub and learning centre on district land in North Saanich, BC that will demonstrate that a shift to a robust, regenerative, regional food system is possible. A community of individuals, organizations and academic institutions will collaborate to promote and attract a renewed agricultural interest in North Saanich to benefit all regional farmers. We will do this in meaningful partnership with, and work towards reconciliation with, local First Nations communities.
Learn more about Sandown here