OUR VIEW: Growing is only the beginning

Who will take over the farms of the Saanich Peninsula?

Who will take over the farms of the Saanich Peninsula — and those all across Vancouver Island — once the families operating them now reach retirement age?

Will it be their children who wish to carry on with the tradition of farming they were brought up with — or will it be a new or existing farmer looking to start a new life or help maintain an existing operation?

Or will a farm be bought up by a real estate developer with different ideas for the land?

Those are some of the issues facing people as they looked to the future of Island agricultural production at a farm succession planning workshop held March 7 at the Farmer2Farmer conference at the Saanich Fairground. Those attending the session are concerned real estate pressure and a lack of action to see local food production take off whole-heartedly, could prevent the continued farming of appropriate land.

One of the biggest obstacles to farming, they say, is the cost of either buying land or leasing it. By valuing the land in the same way as we value real estate, price barriers go up. And unless people are willing to pay a little more for local food, the costs could keep people out of agriculture.

That’s where farmers need public support. Facing such challenges, it’s going to take grassroots action to maintain local farms. Governments can tout the efforts of local producers all they want, but it’s regular folks who need to follow through.

Cheap food, however, is too tempting for many people — especially when faced with higher prices in almost every other staple we rely on.

It all comes down to a shift in values and a concerted effort to help maintain local food supplies through policy and through action.

 

Just Posted

Algae bloom at Elk Lake prompts CRD advisory notice

Reappearance of blue-green algae lethal to dogs a constant concern for water quality

B.C. historian helped Viola Desmond make it on the $10 bill

Merna Forster of Oak Bay petitioned for years for a Canadian woman to be honoured on currency

Third rink needed immediately at Pearkes, say users

Only four ice pads for Saanich, Victoria groups

City of Victoria looks for emergency shelter options amidst bed shortage

My Place considered for tier-2 shelter during harsh weather

Vikes ready for Queen’s in Game 1 of national men’s rugby championship

From mid-terms to national championships, it’s a rugby life

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Good Food Summit plants seeds for food security

The Good Food Summit runs Nov. 22 and 23

POLL: Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

The Christmas lights are twinkling and holiday music is playing in local… Continue reading

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Most Read