Food sustainability means more than just lots of local food. It means protecting the environment and ensuring ecological diversity. It means the preservation of heritage seeds and the promotion of seed saving. And it means a stronger more vibrant local economy.
In the longer term Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust are looking to establish community food sovereignty and to play our part in ensuring a sustainable local food system across the region. We are one of many communities in the region that are making local food a planning priority. A whole group of agencies, including Island Health, is creating new opportunities for people to learn about good food and nutrition. Some of this group plus many others, including school districts, are connecting farms and schools and are helping children learn more about good food with hands-on school gardens and cooking. [if you want to read more check out www.crfair.ca] Local governments are taking food sustainability seriously by placing agriculture, farmland protection and increased food production on the top of their strategic priorities.
The goal is to move away from dependence on the industrial food system that is putting people and animals in jeopardy and is contributing to the destructive forces of climate change. The vision of a vibrant local food system includes more farmland in production, protection of farmland for future generations, the protection of indigenous foods on land and water, and infrastructure for handling and shipping local food within the region. The SSI Farmland Trust is part of a collective effort to make this vision a reality, to create a new generation of people who are knowledgeable about the food we eat—when it’s in season, how to grow it, how to prepare it, how to eat a balanced diet, how to treat livestock humanely (no more chickens growing in boxes and no more animals going to feedlots), and how to be a part of the movement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions simply by eating locally.