The Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust receives $50k from The Farmers’ Institute for The Root

The Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust receives $50k from The Farmers’ Institute for The Root

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

 

SSI Farmland Trust breaks ground for The Root and launches fundraising campaign

SSI Farmland Trust breaks ground for The Root and launches fundraising campaign

Salt Spring Island, July 12, 2018 – This week the Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust begins construction of the new local food centre The Root at 189 Beddis Road, and officially kicks off The Root community fundraising campaign.

 “If you love eating produce and foods from Salt Spring Island and would like to see even more available all year long, and if you care about making the Island more food self-sufficient and would like to see more jobs in farm and food businesses, then you will want to contribute to the building fund at The Root,” says Patricia Reichert, SSI Farmland Trust President. “Currently 8% of the produce available for purchase on Salt Spring is locally grown, and the Farmland Trust would like to see this increase to 25% by 2025,” adds Reichert.

Thanks to the donations to date, the Farmland Trust is well on the way to its fundraising goal but still needs to raise $560,000. The Farmland Trust will issue tax receipts for donations over $50.

This money will fund this new building and the full site development. To date the Farmland Trust has renovated the existing barn and with support from the SSI Seed Sanctuary Society has begun operation of the Community Seed Bank. Hydro and water have also been installed at the site.

Beyond individual donations the project has been generously funded by the Salt Spring Island Foundation, Vancity, Victoria Foundation, the Salt Spring Seed Sanctuary Society, and the provincial government’s Rural Dividend Program. 

Why The Root:

The Root grew out of the Salt Spring Island Area Farm Plan, and the community vision for a more robust local food economy and culture. The AFP strongly recommends the development of key community facilities that support the expansion of agricultural activities such as the abattoir, and a facility like The Root.

What is The Root: 

Reichert explains, “The Root is the first holistic approach to local food infrastructure in the region, linking food production with storage, processing, distribution, and community-based food education. It is an amazing advancement in the focus on local food in our community. And it directly complements the increase in food production that we have initiated at the Burgoyne Valley Community Farm.” 

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.  

Fundraiser: SSI Gathering Place Dinners 

Inspired by Graham Kerr’s The Gathering Place cook book and his dinner on Salt Spring last fall, this month the Farmland Trust is launching the SSI Gathering Place Dinners, a fundraiser for The Root which will run until the end of October. 

The idea is to take advantage of all the great local foods the Island has to offer in the summer and fall and host a lovely dinner party with friends, to help raise funds for a food facility for our community. Each guest would be asked to bring a donation for the Farmland Trust, and donations over $50 will get a tax receipt. 

The first 25 to register can pick up a free copy of The Gathering Place cookbook by Graham Kerr, registered hosts have a chance to win $100 gift certificate for a Salt Spring farm stand and they will get 10% off meat purchased at the new butcher, Eat, Drink, Ferment, for the dinner. For more info: ssifarmlandtrust.org

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

2. Host a 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.

Photo:  From left, Farmland Trust vice president Mike Lakin, Salt Spring Island Foundation board chair Kees Ruurs, Farmland Trust president Patricia Reichert, Salt Spring Island Foundation operations director Kisae Petersen and contractor Mark Saunders

For more information

Patricia Reichert, President, Farmland Trust                                                                                                                                     250-537-4282                                                                                                                                                       dogwoodlane@telus.net

 Bee Tour at Burgoyne Valley Community Farm – presented by SSI Farmland Trust 

 Bee Tour at Burgoyne Valley Community Farm – presented by SSI Farmland Trust 

WHAT: A bee farm tour – see bees in their different life stages, have a close-up look into a beehive and possibly a peek into her majesties’ chambers. Find out about the honey bee’s life cycle and the mysterious inner workings of the hive. Taste some local honey!

WHO: Wendi Gilson is from Salt Spring’s Black Horse Apiary. Black Horse Apiary runs 60-80 colonies on SSI in 7 locations. Wendi is a Beemaster and Apiary Inspector at  HYPERLINK “https://www.facebook.com/pages/BC-Ministry-of-Agriculture/165301423489121?timeline_context_item_type=intro_card_work&timeline_context_item_source=651917689” BC Ministry of Agriculture for VI and the Gulf Islands, and works with the collective group- Ethical Bees  

WHEN: July 22, 2018 – 1 – 2:30 PM 

WHERE: Burgoyne Valley Community Farm 2232 Fulford Ganges Rd. Meet at the Sun Shelter.

COST: Free

CONTACT: Wendi Gilson:  wendi@EthicalBees.com

 

Sun Shelter a Welcome Addition to Burgoyne Valley Community Farm

Sun Shelter a Welcome Addition to Burgoyne Valley Community Farm

The Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust is pleased to announce that construction of our Sun Shelter at the Burgoyne Valley Community Farm is now complete and will be ready for the 2018 farming season.

The Sun Shelter is a 14ft x 24ft covered space, open on all sides. The wood was milled locally and built by an islander.  The Shelter will provide relief for farmers and residents who tend their plots in the Shaw Family Community Gardens and Burgoyne Valley Community Farm. Further uses for the structure include education programs, gardeners’ meetings and dinners, and a great starting point for interpretive walks of the Farm. Two picnic tables will be added under the Shelter this spring.

“It’s a wonderful addition to the property, and we are most grateful to Kerry Lee for her generous donation,” says Farmland Trust President Patricia Reichert. Kerry made the donation in honour of her late husband, Garnet Lee. Garnet was a farmer who was actively involved in the Farmers’ Institute and on the board of the Farmland Trust. He passed away in April 2012.

“Nurturing community and giving back meant everything to Garnet, so I wanted to do something that would add value to our community, especially to the farming community which was so close to Garnet’s heart,” says his wife Kerry.

Garnet grew up in a poor farming family in Saskatchewan. When he was seven years old his mother passed away and his father was left to raise three children on his own. His father didn’t cope well with the loss of his wife. Neighbours and friends stepped in to help the struggling family, and Garnet was deeply impacted by this love and support. It was then that he learned the importance of giving back.

The installation of a plaque commemorating Garnet Lee and a celebratory event will happen later this summer.

October events well attended – thanks for your support Salt Spring!

October events well attended – thanks for your support Salt Spring!

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 together to achieve that goal.

The second was a sold-out dinner hosted by Graham at the Salt Spring Sailing Club with a three-course wine paired delicious meal, featuring Salt Spring lamb and vegetables. It was a truly a great evening. Grahams Kerr generously donated his book as a fundraiser at the ArtSpring Forum and dinner, which generated well over $1,000. Thanks to all the volunteers who made the dinner possible and a special thanks to the Sailing Club for sharing their dining room for this event.

These events were followed the next week with a well attended Open House by an enthusiastic crowd at the The Root site at 189 Beddis Rd. Dan Jason described the collaboration of the Farmland Trust and the Seed Sanctuary Society on a new seed bank now in operation and spoke of the importance of a stronger seed saving program for the community. Erinanne Harper explained the permaculture plan. Donald Gunn, architectural designer of the new facility, described the plan’s design and construction features.