Much like the bees pollinating the spring flowers, the listing of a large portion of farmland in Central Saanich this week has people on the Saanich Peninsula abuzz.
Earlier this week, all 384 acres of Vantreight farmland were put up for court-ordered sale, but Ian Vantreight and son Ryan say they are continuing business as usual at the farm despite what they call yet another hurdle in the family’s farming history.
“Yes — Ryan and I are facing another challenge but we’re continuing on business as usual at the farm with the daffodil harvest and the spring plantings,” Ian said Friday.
“The listing of the properties by the bank and my brother is just one more hurdle that we need to find a way to get over.”
Ian continued on to say that he and his son have hopes to keep the property in the family despite the listing of the property by the HSBC Bank and his brother Michael. The property was listed for sale once previously in 2005 before Ian became the sole owner after buying his brother out.
“Right now Ryan and I are trying to formulate a plan on how to deal with the listings and we are hoping to come up with a solution in a few weeks or so. What we hope is to have farm operations continue on for generations to come,” said Ian.
The listing for the properties from Cushman & Wakefield Global Real Estate Solutions has the total cost of properties tallied at $20.4 million which includes a 32 acre section of land bordering North Saanich that had already been zoned for a 57-home residential development.
“The fact of the matter is, HSBC and Mike have chosen to list the land. What we need to do now is find a way to deal with that,” said Ian.
“Of course it would be ideal to keep all the land but if we need to look at having a reduced number of parcels then that’s what we need to look at.”
Look for more in-depth coverage on this story in Wednesday’s print edition of the Peninsula News Review.