HELEN LANG: Keep farmland for farmers

If we can keep this lush farmland for farmers, not house builders, I’ll die happy, says Lang

I was really delighted to get a pleasant phone call from Ian Vantreight who wanted me to understand their reason for attempting to sell some of their land. He is, he assured me, still very much a farmer and keen to keep their land in agriculture and that the land the family proposes to sell is not really arable, as it is rocky, rather than being good soil.

I’d like an unbiased opinion on this, if such is available.

As they say in Finland (or is it Denmark?) “I’m from Missouri.”

People age and get increasingly tired (I know all about this) and if an opportunity arises where they can sell, and retire, its hard not to jump at it. But land is too valuable to lose it to development.

I have sent my cheque to Central Saanich municipality to start a fund to buy this wonderful land and keep it for future farmers. I can’t do it alone, so please do help. I sent my cheque for $1,000 to the administrator for Central Saanich municipality. The address is Central Saanich Municipal Hall, 1903 Mt. Newton Crossroad, Saanichton, B.C. V8M 2A9. On the back of the cheque I wrote: “Not to be cashed except to help buy the arable Vantreight property that is to be put on the market.”

I suggest you do the same.

I’m not rich, live on my old age pension, plus some small investments, in a pretty modest way.

A sceptical friend asked me, “What’s in it for you?” The answer is, “Protecting farm land for the future. This is very important to me.” The rude reply might be, “I’m putting my money where my mouth is.”

I’m not trying to earn a medal, just trying to do something worthwhile during my lifetime. If we can keep this lush farmland for farmers, not house builders, I’ll die happy!

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.