Don’t turn your back on farms

I come to you today as a war horse, an ancient one, but still with smoke puffing out my ears and fire from my nostrils.

I come to you today as a war horse, an ancient one, but still with smoke puffing out my ears and fire from my nostrils. This business of selling off farm land to be used to grow houses instead of food makes me weep with frustration. Once the farm land is built on, there is no turning back, it is lost forever as far as agriculture goes, but I suppose the municipality can see lovely fat taxes just over the horizon if the land is filled, in the near future, with houses.

Money, money, money. How I hate what it does to otherwise reasonable, caring individuals. Please, Central Saanich, don’t let this happen! Daffodil fields forever!

I’m now climbing down from my high horse and becoming once again, a simple gardener, living in a condo for Pete’s sake. But, oh my, I am having a hard time accepting what seems to be taking place on this glorious piece of the world, the Saanich Peninsula.

I know I don’t live in Central Saanich, but you don’t have to live there to love it and its glorious productive farms. For those of you who don’t care, please take a drive down Central Saanich Road, and see the land full of flowers, soon to be filled with cabbage, broccoli and other edible delights.

It is breathtakingly lovely.

I don’t have a clue how much the Vantreights expect to get for this beautiful land but maybe if we got together we could buy it and deed it to the Cental Saanich municipality, who could then lease it to young people who want to spend their lives farming.

There are young people who, in spite of all the business and scientific opportunities available, still want to raise food crops, to be farmers and caretakers of this good earth.

Perhaps if we were to buy it and make it public land, we could save it from a fate worse than death. Although I am a widow, living on a small investment income, I will gladly send Central Saanich a thousand dollars to get the ball rolling but we’ll need lots of financial help unless we can persuade to Vantreights to sell it to us at a bargain price.

How about it? Would the Vantreight family consider waiting a few months to allow us to raise the necessary money?

This is not just a request, it is a plea, uttered humbly on bended knee.


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