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Stepping Up to the Challenge: Wise and Winsome at Wind Whipped Farm


Alex Fletcher and Virginie Lavallee-Picard. Credit: Hannah Roessler By Hannah Roessler


Whipped Farm in Metchosin on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. I was on my way to meet Alex Fletcher and Virginie Lavallee-Picard, the two dy- namic and incredibly sweet young farmers who are the proud owners and founders of Wind Whipped Farm.


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Alex and Virginie met and became friends at Victoria’s Pearson College where they were both students. Soon afterwards, they attended the College of the Atlantic in Maine, a small alternative school that focuses on Human Ecology, and is home to a 7-acre organic farm.


“I’m not from a farming background. I’m more of an opportunist,” laughs Virginie. “I was more interested in free veggies than the actual idea of farming.” How- ever, one year working on the farm led to another. In her third year, she moved on to the farm and, it became clear that Virginie was hooked.


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he wind was quiet and the sun was shining as I headed down William Head Road towards Wind


Alex didn’t consider farming a realistic career path. “I never really considered it as an option. My parents had come from farming families in Saskatchewan and they sort of saw it as a dead-end with the increasing expansion of industrial agriculture, along with a heavy workload and low income.” But despite his family history, Alex got involved in farming at the College, feeling it would give him more clout in his interests in Environmental Policy to have experience working on an organic farm. Something tells me that having the chance to work with Virginie out in the fields wasn’t too bad either.


With a strong love for food systems, the environ- ment, and each other, they moved back to Metchosin to Alex’s parents’ property, trying to decide their next steps. They secured a contract with Pearson College to research the viability of incorporating more lo- cally grown produce into the cafeteria at the school. It proved to be a crucial turning point for these two


BC Organic Grower, Volume 17, Number 1, Winter 2014


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