Our first blueberry farm

The Mystery Of The Farm Property under development at the corner of Peterson and Evergreen Road is solved

The Mystery Of The Farm Property under development at the corner of Peterson and Evergreen Road is solved.

The answer is Campbell River’s first organic blueberry farm!  Former financial advisor, Michelle White, was more at home in a well organized office until intermittent visions of a career as a farmer finally took precedent over life at a keyboard. She  realized she had to respond to the calling of her heart. “ I observed the great shift that is taking place in our society,” explained Michelle. “People are becoming more aware of food production and its’ quality. They are awakening to the demand for organic food, raised locally. I saw clearly that being involved in food production  was the answer to my search for a meaningful direction.”  Michelle and her husband, Steve Ross, were fortunate in that they already owned the acreage on Peterson.  A soil analysis showed quality earth with a high acidic content suitable for crops such as blueberries.  They checked the property laws with staff at city hall and found that Bylaw 3205 was surprisingly flexible and allowed for nursery or large crops in specific residential areas.

The couple could have chosen to develop multi residential housing or patio homes on the three and a half acres but chose farming instead. The blueberry site takes up an acre and Michelle is mulling over the possibilities for specialty crops on the remaining land. She told me that  vast numbers of people have been stopping by when she is working outside and ask what is going on.  She knows that in many cases the sight of their small farm activity is inspiring many other passerby’s to reevaluate their own properties and the possibilities of planting small commercial or personal crops  in the Quinsam Heights area. Watch that corner for new developments.

As An Ever Increasing Number of cities and rural areas have adopted poultry bylaws and the latest to take the leap is Saanich Municipality.  They join Vancouver, Surrey, Victoria and New Westminster, and many smaller towns around B.C.  in welcoming hens into residential areas. Generally the bylaws limit the number of cluckers to four and the backyard enclosure must be roofed and cannot exceed eight or nine square meters in area.  Other than the production of warm, fresh eggs every morning the other great benefits of chickens are the deposits of  manure rich in nutrients and the efficient way those cluckers hoover up all the garden pests without your needing to use pesticides.  In terms of a poultry bylaw Campbell River is so far behind the movement in food self sufficiency… l would suggest that our city is a “little chicken” when it comes to change.

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