Projects

The Root

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The Root, located on 189 Beddis Road, a site contributed by the Slegg family, is the Island’s only food hub and looks forward to opening its doors late 2022. This 3,000 sq ft sustainable hub is intended to create a local wholesale, processing, and distribution alternative that better serves the larger on-island food purchasers and increases the demand for locally grown food. It is also intended to support small-scale farmers without access to capital for building their own food processing infrastructure, as well as local, enterprising food producers who require commercial processing space and equipment to create value-added products using locally farmed produce.

 

The main components of this hub are to provide the community with:

 

  • an accessible commercial kitchen facility, the first of its kind on Salt Spring,

  • indoor temperature-controlled storage, 

  • a seed bank in association with Salt Spring Seed Sanctuary, 

  • a barn for hosting workshops and events., 

  • permaculture demonstration restoration garden,

  • tool and equipment rentals,

  • a washing and processing station for produce, 

  • on-site gardens and food forest

  • a compositing unit for food waste,

  • a residential rental suite,

  • farming and food-related education

  • self-standing storage containers (future possibility),

  • solar collectors on main roof for solar hot water (future plan),

  • a self-standing honey extraction house (future plan)

 

The educational programming at The Root is an important initiative for The FLT as a way to extend its vision from just acquiring and managing farmland to connecting farmers, food entrepreneurs, and the island population at large. 

 

“Giving people the foundations (the roots) to grow,

be more resilient, self-sufficient, and thrive.”

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Located on some of the island's best agricultural land at 2232 Fulford-Ganges Rd, this 60 acre farm allows the Farmlands Trust Society to fulfill many of its goals towards increased food security on Salt Spring Island.
 

The Farmland Trust Board, in collaboration with farmers, families, and other organizations, brings the land to its full potential to produce food, increase biodiversity and pollination, and protect species and waterways for the long-term benefit of the community. Organic practices are a high priority and a large year-round pond provides water for the entire farm.

 

The farm is home to four farm businesses, Salt Spring Island Community Services’ Harvest Farm program, and 90 families who tend to 1000 sq. ft. Community Garden plots. It is also the future site of the Community Composter.

Burgoyne Valley Community Farm

Meet the Farmers of the BVCF

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Heavenly Roots Farm 

Benjamin Corno and Kaleigh Barton are the farming couple behind Heavenly Roots, a fruit and vegetable farm on four acres of leased land at the Burgoyne Valley Community Farm. 

They market their produce through weekly farmer's markets, a CSA program, and provide select crops wholesale to stores, restaurants, and caterers. They are also growers for the BCEcoSeed Co-operative, a farmer-run, co-operative seed company. 

They are pursuing a production method that makes ecology and sustainability a priority. They grow without synthetic pesticides or herbicides, and enrich their soil with compost, manure, mulching and cover cropping. The main farm-site is off-grid and features a large gravity-fed irrigation system. They are proud to be representing low tech, hand powered farming!

Website: https://www.heavenlyrootsfarm.com/

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Hogwild Farms 

Profile coming soon!

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Night Owl Farm 

Night Owl Farm sits peacefully on 84 acres in Burgoyne Valley, part of which is pasture rented from The Farmland Trust. Gavin Johnson and his partner Catherine Valentine raise Belted Galloway Cattle, laying hens, meat birds, a couple of horses, orchards, and gardens. 

 

The cows are fed solely with hay harvested from their own pastures, and the only grain they eat is the spent Brewer's grain from Salt Spring Ales. Apparently, they love the taste (and buzz:) of it!

 

Behind the scenes but at the top of priorities is encouraging bio-diversity of the land through nourishing native plants, animals, and land forms.  They would like to diversity even further by establishing greenhouses and bringing the farm's historic apple orchard back to life.

   

By using organic fertilizer, not using pesticides on their fruit trees, and purchasing chicken feed without antibiotics, Night Owl Farm provides locals with organic beef, apple juice, and eggs as “start-to-finished” products.

Website: http://www.nightowlfarm.ca/home.html

Photo Credit: Syd Woodward

Sandhill Botanicals 

Established in 1999 by husband and wife herbalist team Kevin Kunzler and Jasmyn Clift, Sandhill Botanicals provides the highest quality organic and ethically wild-crafted herbal medicines to natural clinics across Canada and the USA. 

 

The duo found their respective ways to Salt Spring from Vancouver and Oakland, CA. Before her arrival, Jasmyn founded the largest non-profit holistic health clinic in North America, (compassionroots.com), providing clients many modalities of care, including herbal medicine, regardless of their ability to pay. Maintaining high standards of herbal quality was the driving force behind Sandhill starting their one-acre operation on the Burgoyne Valley Community Farm. 

 

Kevin makes about 400 herbal extracts, from teas and tinctures to creams and salves from plants on their farm. The other half of their farm is devoted to roses, both for distillation and for cut flowers. With a passion for self-sufficient pharmacy, they also provide a comprehensive medicine-making curriculum to students at the Wild Seed School of Herbal Studies, (wildseedschool.com) which Kevin and Jasmyn jointly run.

Website: https://www.wildseedschool.com

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Community Services’ Harvest Farm

Harvest Farm is a project of Salt Spring Community Services and an integral part of its Harvest Food Programs.  It has been leasing a 1/2 acre plot from The FLT since 2015, in addition to another 1/2 acre space inside the Community Gardens. 

 

Community Services’ farm coordinator, with the help of volunteers, summer employees, and participants in its vocational training program, tend to the crops. The produce is then distributed to the food bank, its community “free fridges,” and the Harvest Kitchen.  From the kitchen, the produce is used to prepare meals for the Harvest Home Meal program which delivers meals weekly to seniors still living in their own homes, Meals are also made for its Harvest Cafe which is a social enterprise whose profits are reinvested into Harvest programs and meals for other SSI Community Services' programs such as the emergency shelter.  Community Services now has a farm stand operating in conjunction with its Harvest Cafe and any extra produce, not required in other Harvest programs, is sold at the farm stand with profits re-invested into running the Harvest programs. 

Website: https://saltspringcommunityservices.ca/food-security/harvest-farm/

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Community Gardens

Located in Salt Spring Island’s Burgoyne Valley, The Community Gardens provide residents, for an annual fee, an opportunity to grow food for their families and increase food security. The gardens are managed by volunteers and are maintained through work parties and gardener help. 

 

There are currently 90 plots offered. Gardeners can share plots, though because of demand we limit assignment to one plot per household.  All growers must follow organic principles and help maintain healthy soil. A gazebo provides a place to rest in the shade or enjoy a meal of your freshly picked produce.

In addition to growing space, gardeners receive the Community Gardener Newsletter full of growing tips, news, and details about workshops and general garden workdays. 

 

If you'd like to volunteer, or want to inquire about securing a plot, please email  communitygardens@ssifarmlandtrust.org