LAND OPPORTUNITY: 4.5 Acres for Lease at the Burgoyne Valley Community Farm – Salt Spring Island, BC

Posted by Kiyomi Ito on June 19, 2024

We always have new land opportunities coming into our inventory, some of which aren’t on our blog yet! Get in touch with a Land Matcher at bclmp@youngagrarians.org to learn about the latest opportunities and to access free B.C. Land Matching Program services in your region.

ABOUT THE COMMUNITY FARM

The Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust (the Farmland Trust) was established in 2009 to preserve, promote and revitalize local agriculture. The Farmland Trust receives ALR (Agricultural Land Reserves) parcels as gifts, donations and bequeathments, making this land available to reinvigorate local food production – be it small family garden plots or larger farm acreages.

Located on 60 acres of Salt Spring Island’s best agricultural land, Burgoyne Valley Community Farm allows the Farmland Trust to fulfill many of its goals towards increased food security on Salt Spring Island. The Farmland Trust Board, in collaboration with farmers, families and other organizations, brings the land to its full potential to produce food, increase biodiversity and pollination, and protect species and waterways for the long-term benefit of the community.

The farm is home to four farm businesses, Salt Spring Island Community Services’ Harvest Farm program and 90 families who tend to 1000 sq. ft. garden plots. It is also the future site of the Community Composter.

ABOUT THE LAND

A 4.5-acre plot at the Community Farm is available to a new farm business.

From 2013 to 2022, approximately 3 of the 4.5 acres were in vegetable and fruit production, supplying two weekly farmers markets, retail and restaurants on the Island. Organic practices were used (not certified, but following Organic standards), with cover crops and annual application of compost. The balance of the land was in mulch hay. In 2023 and 2024, the land was left fallow with some cover crops cut and garden sections tarped for weed control.

The soil is fine-textured silty clay loam to clay loam with good agricultural potential, though it would benefit from additional drainage over the winter. A large year-round pond provides irrigation water for the entire farm. There is no potable water at the site.

ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY

The Farmland Trust is seeking long-term partnership with farmers who can bring this land back to production and operate a sustainable business on the Community Farm. This is an excellent opportunity for experienced farmers to be part of a vibrant community of farmers, gardeners and food-lovers with a shared vision to increase food security on Salt Spring Island.

The land will be available for lease starting in September 2024 for the annual rent of $1,000 / year, including access to irrigation water.

This plot has been leased by market gardeners since 2013, but the Farmland Trust is open to different types of production including: livestock, poultry, forage crops, grains, seeds, flowers or a mixed farm – anything that can be a viable farm business. Farming practices in keeping with organic standards are required.

The existing perimeter fence, irrigation systems, greenhouse and tools are available for purchase from the previous tenant – details to be discussed directly with the tenant.

ABOUT THE IDEAL CANDIDATE

This land will require a skilled farmer, or a team of skilled farmers, to bring it to its productive potential. The ideal candidate(s) will have solid farming experience and be ready to launch or expand a farm business. Applicants will be asked to submit a business plan to demonstrate previous experience and production / farm plans.

All farmers should enjoy working in a collaborative environment as part of a Community Farm!

GET IN TOUCH

This land opportunity is available through the B.C. Land Matching Program. Reach out to the Vancouver Island Land Matcher at kiyomi@youngagrarians.org to start a conversation and learn about next steps.

Learn more about the land (and other Land Listings in your region) on the Young Agrarians UMAP. For more about the B.C. Land Matching Program, please visit youngagrarians.org/land.

The B.C. Land Matching Program is funded on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative, with additional support from Cowichan Valley Regional District and the Real Estate Foundation of BC.