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... Wind Whipped Farm, continued from page 10

The land of Wind Whipped Farm is a gorgeous and peaceful 10-acre parcel on the ocean, worth far more today than when it was purchased in the early 80s. For new young farmers starting out, it might seem as though Alex and Virginie have everything they need to be successful—but it’s still not easy. As Viriginie ex- plains, “we are so very lucky compared to others, but we still have land and housing barriers. We can’t have housing for workers, and our cabin is more of a sea- sonal dwelling than a home. Farm-worker housing is really needed.”

And more than that, they are lacking in what they really need: a strong agricultural community. Alex explains that, “We just don’t feel as though we are quite part of a thriving agricultural community. There are a few re- ally big pieces missing. There are some great farmers around, but not a lot of young farmers who can con- tinue the farming tradition in this area, because prices are so high. Also, there is no Agricultural Community Plan, something that we sorely need.” Virginie agrees. “How do we have conversations around keeping new farmers in Metchosin? As far as I know, this conversa-

tion isn’t happening at the municipal level. If we value the agricultural landscape, we need to actively support new growers to live here.”

After a wonderful morning full of interesting conver- sation, I stroll up the hill from their cabin and leave the farm, loaded with squash, garlic and tomatoes. It’s clear to me how the problems these two have outlined can spell trouble for a future generation of farmers in this community. But it’s also clear how lucky Me- tchosin is lucky to have these articulate and motivated young farmers to help point things in the right direc- tion.

Hannah Roessler has farmed in Nicaragua, Washing- ton, and BC on organic farms, permaculture projects, mixed-crop cafetals, and a biodynamic vineyard. She is finishing her MA in Environmental Studies at the Uni- versity of Victoria.

Celebrating 21 years! 1993-2014 BC Organic Grower, Volume 17, Number 1, Winter 2014 Page 21

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