Linking emerging growers, farmers, and food producers with opportunities to grow.
We are committed to developing infrastructure and fostering relationships that build our long term food sustainability within a vibrant and healthy community.
Once upon a time Salt Spring Island was a breadbasket. Changing demographics over the decades dramatically shrank local food production, so that today Salt Spring farmers produce just 6% of the food we eat. The Salt Spring Farmland Trust is working to change that equation by fostering initiatives that support growers and landowners in cooperative partnerships for the good of the community as a whole.
The Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust is dedicated to promoting local food security so we can develop the kind of locally resilient, food secure community we know we can become. To get there, we know we need more farmers to grow more food so that everyone has access to local food year round. To accomplish this goal, we are helping to protect farmland for farming, building infrastructure for food storage and processing, and are actively working to bring more of Salt Spring’s rich, arable farmland into food production.
Between 2005 and 2011, Salt Spring Island has seen a 30% increase in production of vegetables. This is a trend we at the Salt Spring Farmland Trust want to see continue. Since 2013, the Farmland Trust has brought 60 acres of farmland into new and increased production. We are excited to be working with farmers, family growers and community service groups to develop local resilience and a strong farming economy on Salt Spring Island.
Who We Are
Research to establish The Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust Society was started in 2008. It was incorporated as a Society in 2009 and received charitable status under the Income Tax Act in 2011.
Our constitution was created to facilitate a diversity of strategies such as the purchase and leasing of farmland, education and training, sustainable farming practices and to enhance the island’s capabilities. The Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust Society believes that the values we hold and the work we will do will serve this greater community as well.
The purposes of this Society are exclusively charitable and are:
- To promote agriculture on Salt Spring Island and Southern Gulf Islands by acquiring, managing and leasing land for farming.
- To educate farmers and the public on the benefits and practices of locally produced agriculture.
- To develop and maintain community gardens on Salt Spring Island for the benefit of the community.
What We Do
Our goals are consistent with the existing agricultural zoning regulations, the Salt Spring Island Area Farm Plan and the Official Community Plan. The Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust offers a model that islanders, the surrounding Gulf Islands and the Province can feel proud to support.
We are actively building The Root. The site is on Beddis Road. It will provide quality controlled storage for local farm produce, a fully-equipped processing kitchen for new value-added products and a point of distribution for large quantities of local food year-round. This facility is the first of its kind in the region and will be a model for small and medium-sized communities across the province. Check out its many important features (pdf).
We also operate the Burgoyne Valley Community Farm, a 60 acre parcel of land in the Burgoyne Valley that is rented to farmers to produce chickens, eggs, garlic, and market vegetables. Learn more here.
For smaller scale production and family gardens, we run the Shaw Family Community Gardens, also in the Burgoyne Valley. We lease 96 (20 x 50 ft ) family garden plots for $40.00 per year. Learn more about this project here.
Whether you are a farmer looking for more land on which to produce food, a family needing space in a community garden, or a landowner looking to lease your land for food production, the Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust can help you get started.
Our partners at Salt Spring Island Community Services have been very busy at our Burgoyne Valley Community Farm.
This great video shows the power of community partnerships in fostering food security — and healthy families — on our island.
Do you have a passion for farming?
Is land too expensive for you to buy?
Are you interested in pastureland, garden acreage, orchards or livestock buildings?
To find out how to access acreage at the Burgoyne Valley Community Farm, click here.
To find out how to get a space in the Shaw Family Community Gardens, click here.
To learn more about Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust farmland leasing options, click here.
Our fall began with two fundraisers involving the exuberant and charming Graham Kerr “Galloping Gourmet”. Graham was a guest at The Salt Spring Form at ArtSpring, and gave a great talk mixed with life’s anecdotes and the importance of locally based food and working...read more
In November, Lana Popham, the Minister of Agriculture and Adam Olsen our MLA paid our island a visit to congratulate us on the award of $100,000 grant from the province’s Rural Dividend Program. They toured the Farm Land Trust’s Burgoyne Valley Community Farm, and the...read more
Join us on Saturday, February 10th at the Farmer’s Institute from 10:30am-11:30am for a presentation by Dan Jason on how the Seed Sanctuary at the ROOT will work, and how you can become a “seedperson”. Seed saving is easy, and rewarding in so many ways. Even a little...read more