The Salt Spring Island Farmers’ Institute has donated $50,000 towards building The Root. This is a significant contribution to the Farmland Trust’s fundraising goal, which is now down to $510,000 thanks to the generous donation by the Farmers’ Institute.

“The Salt Spring Island Farmers’ Institute fully supports the leadership role the Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust is taking in local food production, and we are pleased to donate $50,000 to the Farmland Trust for the Root, a very worthwhile agricultural initiative,” says Bruce Marshall, President of the Farmers’ Institute. “This project meets our goals to sponsor community projects that promote agricultural education and infrastructure. The project also responds to the recommendations and priorities outlined in the Salt Spring Island Area Farm Plan.”

“We are so grateful to the Farmers’ Institute for their donation to The Root. Their support really means a lot in our community, and I hope it will encourage others to support this amazing advancement in local food production on Salt Spring,” says Salt Spring Farmland Trust President Patricia Reichert. 

The Root:

The new building will include a licensed teaching and processing kitchen and temperature-controlled storage for local produce. This certified Food Safe kitchen will be available to farmers, small scale food processors, individuals, and community organizations. Training programs such as chef certification, and food education programs for youth, families, and the community at large will be a focal point at The Root.

A permaculture food landscape will demonstrate food production in a changing climate. The Farmland Trust is working with the Community Energy Group to incorporate the latest strategies for renewable energy and energy conservation into the design of the site; there will be solar energy, a water catchment system, and vehicle charging stations. 

Residents can help by:

1. Make a donation right now at www.ssifarmlandtrust.org. Or donate by cheque: payable to SSI Farmland Trust and mail to P.O. Box 738, Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2W3. The Farmland Trust will issue tax receipts for donations over $50.

2. Host a Gathering Place dinner party from now to the end of October. Discover and share local food. Raise money. More at: www.ssifarmlandtrust.org.

The Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust

The Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust is intent on increasing food sustainability on Salt Spring Island. It is a community non-profit organisation managed by a volunteer board. 

Along with The Root initiative, the Farmland Trust owns and operates a 62-acre property at 2232 Fulford Ganges Road known as The Burgoyne Valley Community Farm. The “Farm” offers fine valley farmland for lease to farmers as well as three acres dedicated to The Shaw Family Community Gardens. These Gardens are comprised of 77 garden plots for Salt Springers to grow their own food, and another 19 plots for Community Services’ Harvest Food program.

For more information

Patricia Reichert, President, Farmland Trust                                                                                                                                     

PHOTO: At The Root site, Farmers’ Institute President Bruce Marshall presents $50k cheque to SSI Farmland Trust President Patricia Reichert. Back row left to right: SSI Farmland Trust Board Members Trish Robitaille, Mike Lakin, Larry Starke