LAND OPPORTUNITY: Three Acres of Cleared Land for Community Food Production – Malcolm Island, BC

Posted by Azja Jones Martin on September 27, 2021

We have more land opportunities than what is listed here! Get in touch with a Land Matcher at land@youngagrarians.org to access our full land inventory and B.C. Land Matching Program support in your region.

ABOUT THE LAND

This beautiful, off-grid land opportunity is at the east end of Malcolm Island, off the north east coast of Vancouver Island, accessible by 25 minute ferry from Port NcNeill (approximately 2.5 hours north of the Comox Valley).

The available land is a wedge shaped 3 acres cleared from forest, widest at the east end where the road accesses the property, and tapering to a point in the forest. Tall forest remains on both sides of the cleared space but most of the acreage has great exposure. The three acres for lease is located across the road from the landowner’s dwelling/portion of the property, so each the farmer and landowner has privacy and autonomy.

A dug pond is the water source for the space, and will be doubled in size this year to increase water holding capacity. Rainwater collection from roofs etc can also be done (as is done off the landowner’s residence). A small deer fenced garden (approx 30×40 feet) located beside the pond with well maintained beds and several fruit and nut trees would be the leasing farmer’s to take over. There are no structures on the land, but the farmer can bring or construct what they need for their operation.

The land is clear, the small amount of regrowth is primarily spruce and hemlock seedlings and some foxglove as the landowner takes care to remove any invasive weeds and alders. The leasing farmer would take on management of the full 3 acre space, and would be responsible for ensuring the space does not get overgrown, but is kept cleared and farmable. If the farmer would like to keep a small number of goats or other livestock they are welcome to – animals could be helpful in keeping the land cleared, but the focus must be on vegetable/food production. There are no major predators on the island – occasional bears are present, and mink are a threat to chickens.

Regenerative farming practices are to be used, with a goal of supporting ecosystem health. The landowner would not support the use of pesticides and would require dialogue regarding fertilizers.

The property is currently off grid, but the landowner is in the process of having hydro brought to the land to draw water from the pond and for any other power needs.

ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY

This is an opportunity for a leasing farmer, farm family (or possibly families) to bring their own accommodation to the land and develop an operation that supplies food to the local community. A lease agreement would be for a period of at least 10 years with an initial trial period, and in the event of sale of eventual the property, the right of first refusal would be given to the farmer.

The landowner’s goal in making land available for farming is to support the community’s food security and development of a strong local food system in light of climate change and is looking to lease to a farmer who shares those interests. Valuing clear communication, honesty, autonomy and a drive to provide local food to the community are important.

Another goal in sharing land is to build community resilience on the property so the landowner can continue to stay on the property for the long term. The leasing farmers should be interested in a degree of collaboration and mutual support.

Marketing can be done through a CSA to island residents, a small local market and farm stand, and to lodges for summertime tourists and fishers, as well as potentially off island if needed. The landowner will support with outreach and community connections so the farmer can build relationships with a local customer base.

Malcolm Island has a population of approximately 800, which grows in the summer with tourists and seasonal residents. There is an elementary school on the island, and high school students take the ferry to Port McNeill to go to school daily.

GET IN TOUCH

This land opportunity is available through the B.C. Land Matching Program. Reach out to the Vancouver Island Land Matcher at azja@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 by the Province of British Columbia, with support from Cowichan Valley Regional District and Patagonia.

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