Students pick pumpkins from the field at Hudson Farm

Agriculture minister likes city’s farming plans

Farmer Patrick Evans was busy working near the entrance of the Shelter Point Distillery when he mused about B.C.’s new agriculture minister.

Farmer Patrick Evans was busy working near the entrance of the Shelter Point Distillery when he mused about B.C.’s new agriculture minister.

“Don’s a good guy and he really wants to understand what’s going on…I just don’t know how long he’s going to last,” said Evans, whose family owns the Shelter Point Farm in Oyster River (formerly the UBC Farm) which is also home to the new distillery.

Don McRae was appointed Minister of Agriculture on March 14, by new Premier Christy Clark. But there are rumblings of a fall provincial election which will bring new faces to government as well as new ministers.

However, for the time being, the minister is touring the North Island region to learn more about agriculture, fish farming and potential opportunities for growth.

“I’d love to see more value-added agriculture…and Shelter Point (distillery) is an excellent example,” said McRae, who is also the Liberal MLA for the Comox Valley riding.

McRae was in Campbell River on Friday. He started the day by touring a fish farm off Quadra Island and then learned more about the city’s new agriculture plan.

The plan is to create more opportunities for small- and medium-sized farms, hopefully on some of the 5,017 hectares in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) that surrounds the city.

Currently, there are just eight farms in the ALR on a total of 41.2 hectares. But most of that land isn’t cleared and the majority is for pasture, and to grow hay and silage.

There are a 11 more farms outside the ALR and they comprise 29.5 hectares, of which 16.2 hectares are on cleared land. That’s not much and the financial returns reflect the total. According to the city’s agriculture plan, sales from the farms amount to nearly $129,000 per year or $6,784 per farm.

The hope is to encourage more small-scale farms on land close to sea level – where its warmer –  on properties that already have access to water and power. And if these farms are developed, larger farms might follow on ALR land.

McRae has seen how farms in the five- to 15-acre range are doing well in the Comox Valley and believes there are opportunities available in Campbell River.

“It’s good to see the city is interested,” he said.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Small group of volunteers clean up Campbell River beach

Other events held in Nanaimo, Comox, Powell River and Victoria

Two Campbell River artists take residency at Walter Morgan Studio

Writer Libby King and sculptor Orland Hansen to use studio space this summer

Inside the undefined world of a Rainbow Family gathering in B.C.

In a remote forest, on North Vancouver Island, music, dance, sacred fires and full moon celebrations have been underway since a couple of weeks to mark the annual gathering of the controversial Rainbow Family of Living Light

RCMP seek man facing sexual assault charges

Police believe he may be living on central Vancouver Island but also has a history in the Cariboo region

Campbell River restaurant to be converted into housing for people experiencing homelessness

BC Housing buys popular eatery for $985,000 to serve as bridge housing

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

Most Read