The Farmlands Trust has shown how a non-profit agricultural operations can deliver healthy local food to support those who need it most in our society.
I shone a light on their incredible effort with my two-minute Statement.
Last fall I visited Newman Farm in Central Saanich, where I met with Don and Natasha Caverley and farm manager Bert James to get a tour.
The land was donated to the district by the Newman family When I was on council in Central Saanich, we partnered with the Farmlands Trust to farm it. There was a condition. They couldn’t compete with commercial farms, and what they created from that was amazing.
Farmlands Trust Society is a recognized model for sustainable farming and food redistribution in the greater Victoria region, utilizing national, award-winning, certified pollinator-friendly farm practices. From 2013 to present, the Farmlands Trust Society leads the field to plate initiative, where they grow, harvest and freely donate fresh, local produce to vulnerable populations.
The primary recipient of the FLT Society’s field to plate initiative is Our Place Society. The FLT produces apples, herbs, squash, beets, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, pears and turnips, and last year, the Farmlands Trust produced and donated 12,912 pounds, $75,000 worth of food.
Like many not-for-profits, volunteers are the backbone of the FLT, and today I’d like to recognize Ms. Victoria Lord. She’s an 86-year-old resident from Sidney who’s been diligently volunteering her time and her gardening skills at Newman Farm for the past several years. She epitomizes in her actions the importance of giving back to the community at a local and regional level.
My thanks and sincere appreciation to the Farmlands Trust Society patron, founder, board of directors: Bert James, Victoria Lord, Natasha and Don Caverley, and all the other valuable volunteers and team members who continue to make positive contributions as a charity helping charity, linking food production to aid in relieving poverty and mitigating food insecurity.