We met young farmers David and Bethany through their search for farmland as participants in the B.C. Land Matching Program, which provides land matching and business support services to new farmers looking for land to farm, as well as landholders interested in finding someone to farm their land. Visit the B.C. Land Matching Program page to learn more about the program and to find a Young Agrarians Land Matcher in your region.
Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your farm:
We are two enthusiastic individuals who are passionate about the opportunities provided us by the natural world. We are currently in the process of launching two farm businesses simultaneously. One is focused on growing vegetables while the other is focused on growing herbs. Both are focused on growing plants to nourish body and soul.
How did you decide you wanted to lease land and what was your dream property?
Leasing land was the best option for us because we were not yet in a position to purchase. Leasing provides us with an opportunity to develop our agrarian skills and grow our farm business with a minimum capital investment. We also have the benefit of continuing to better understand what our land requirements and priorities would be moving forward. We are extremely appreciative for the support we receive from the land provider. The property we are on is as good as it gets for agricultural potential, access, and beauty.
Tell us a bit about the property you are farming now?
The property we are farming now is beautiful and perfect. The owner is extremely helpful, supportive, and kind, and the land has all the necessary infrastructure to meet our current needs. There is adequate indoor and outdoor growing space to serve our purposes, good proximity to town for markets and equipment needs, and on the edge of wilderness to comfort our spirits.
What was the landholder’s vision for their land and how are you helping them to achieve that?
The landowner’s vision for their land was to see the fenced garden area be brought back into production and to be better maintained than it had recently been. We are doing exactly that.
What was your experience working with the YA Land Matcher?
We have had such a positive experience working with the YA land Matcher, and are extremely grateful for the chance to lean on her for help. She is extremely personable and knowledgeable, and has been a massive asset to our journey. We feel empowered knowing we can reach out to her and lean on her when needed.
What was the most valuable thing about the B.C. Land Matching Program for you?
The B.C. Land Matching Program is enabling us to pursue our dreams, and without it that may not be possible. Because of it we feel we can advance our lives today in the direction we want to move rather than waiting for what may have otherwise taken years or decades to have the opportunity to access land. The entire process has been very valuable. Without the program we would not have met the landowner and been made aware of the land opportunity. Furthermore, the program helped draft a viable lease that met the needs of both the landowner and us.
Did you learn any lessons the hard way in your first season on the farm and what were they?
We are still early on in the season, so there has not been anything too dramatic as of yet, though there has certainly been plenty of flying by the seat of our pants. We had learned some lessons the hard way on the farm we leased through our previous land match in a previous year, and have used those lessons to our advantage this year.
What excites you most about the future of your farm?
Helping heal the world.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience and farm with us, David and Bethany! You can find them and their products at the Bulkley Valley Farmers Market!
David was also a participant in our Business Bootcamp! “It was a thought provoking process that helped allow us to think about our vision and direction while learning from real time examples of other farms and farmers around Canada, and it’s another great service/program YA offer” – David.
Get in Touch!
Do you have land you’d like to lease to a farmer? Are you a farmer looking for land to lease? Learn more about the B.C. Land Matching Program here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The B.C. Land Matching Program is funded in Central and Northern B.C. by the Province of British Columbia, with support from the Real Estate Foundation of BC.