Sandown an opportunity

With the average age of farmers at 56 years, we need more farmers and we have to find creative ways to give young farmers access to land

Re: Don’t compete with farms, PNR Dec. 13. Most of the farmers and market gardeners I have spoken with are in favour of the Sandown proposal and I, as a market gardener, am one of them.

The letter-writer states “In my view, we simply do not need a community farm. We have enough farm land.” I wonder what his criteria is? The 2006 Ministry of Agriculture report B.C.’s Food Self-Reliance – Can B.C.’s Farmers Feed a Growing Population? indicates that one acre is needed to provide food for one person for one year. North Saanich has 1,226 hectares being farmed. That means we are only farming enough land to feed 2,339 people. If you include Sidney, which has no farmland, then we are farming enough land to feed only 11 per cent of the population of the two municipalities. That’s not including the larger community that the letter-writer wants to add.

The Ministry of Agriculture report adds “to maintain the [2005] levels of self-reliance [at 48 per cent] through to the year 2025, farmers will need to increase production by 30 per cent over 2001 levels. The increased production will be concentrated on the land that has access to irrigation – land that is typically near the urban centers.”

Food security is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of government. When the Sandown proposal first came to light, many young farmers came to North Saanich council indicating a desire to lease the land, saying they could not afford to buy farmland here.

With the average age of farmers at 56 years, we definitely need more farmers and we have to find creative ways to give young farmers access to land. The Sandown proposal provides that opportunity.

Bernadette Greene

North Saanich

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: BC Children’s lottery offers luxury downtown Victoria home as a prize

The Choices Lotto has luxury homes across the province

Island teen climber seizes last opportunity to qualify in 2020 Olympic games

Brennan Doyle, 16, heads to L.A. for Pan American Climbing Championships

University of Victoria profs take home prestigious national teaching award

Brent Mainprize and Edōsdi–Judy Thompson recognized as a 2020 3M National Teaching Fellows

Victoria modular housing complex built to house homeless Indigenous women

Spa’Qun, or ‘Flower House’ will provide shelter and cultural support

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay Victoria man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Alleged shoplifter caught on camera at Sidney boutique

Staff at Cameron Rose Gifts seek the public’s help locating woman

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

UPDATE: Lockdown lifted at Nanaimo high school following threats

Nearby elementary school was in hold-and-secure

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read