There was an interesting article in today's T-C about Madrona farm in the Blenkinsop valley. Dave and Nathalie Chambers are currently farming the land.
The farm is a 28 acre property of which 15 acres are under cultivation. The farm is on the market for $2 000 000. The brother's that owned it have offered $600 000 towards The Land Conservancy buying the farm. Another $1 400 000 needs to be raised to complete the deal. There is a two year timeframe to complete the deal with $250 000 having to be available by December of this year.
In general I am in favour of this sort of private sector approach to protecting farmlands. As the owner the TLC can decided how the land is managed and a Panama Flats issue is unlikely to occur.
They sell almost all of their produce at the farm gate. I wonder if they would be willing to shift over to being a CSA? A CSA is Community Supported Agriculture. The idea is that the consumers pay an annual subscription fee to the producer for a share of the production. The consumer takes on the risk of crop failure and the producer gets a lot more money up front.
I was part of a CSA in 1993 and 1994 in Vancouver. For $600 a year we got a large box of produce delivered to our door once a week. We got whatever was picked and in whatever quantity was harvested. This approach meant I only had seasonal veggies. It also meant that I would get veggies I never bought and had to figure out how to use them. They also had days when you could come out and visit the farm.
I would love to join a CSA again, but I can not find any here in Victoria. Before you rush off to tell me that SPUD (Small Potatoes Urban Delivery) is the same thing, it is not all all. SPUD is middle man and disconnects the consumer for the producer.
I wish the Chambers and the TLC well in their efforts. I am going to suggest they put part of the farm into a CSA.