JULY 14, 2019: MERVILLE, BC – Farm Tour, Potluck, Weeding Party & Co-op Discussion with Tendergreens Farm

Posted by Michalina Hunter on June 06, 2019

tendergreens farm, merville bc, farm tour

Join us at Tendergreens Farm in Merville, BC (Vancouver Island) for a farm tour, weeding party, discussion on co-operatives, and potluck social!

Come out to beautiful “Deep Merville” and get a tour of Tendergreens Farm, one of the four farms that make up Merville Organics Growers’ Cooperative.  Jay will talk about adventures in starting up a low-budget farm from a field of grass, farming on leased land, transitioning to certified organic, and farming solo.  We’ll do a bit of social weeding to chat and meet new people (and help Jay get on top of those weeds!) and then sit down for a potluck dinner and a discussion about co-ops.  The other members of Merville Organics will also be present so we can share our experiences and answer questions about how a marketing co-op works, and the joys and challenges of working cooperatively.

Date: Sunday July 14th, 2019 • 2:00-6:00pm (Join for the whole day or drop in when it works for you!)

Location: 6454 Fitzgerald Rd, Merville

What to Bring: Please bring a dish to share, tools to eat with, and a chair or a blanket. Bring a hand weeding tool and gloves if you wish (Jay has limited supplies.)

SHARE: Planning on joining us? Please invite your friends and share our Facebook event!

This event is free and open to everyone! Supervised children and dogs on-leash are welcome.

tendergreens farm, merville bc, farm tour

Tendergreens Farm

Tendergreens Farm is a one acre, one person vegetable farm in Merville.  The farm is currently in transition to organic and is scheduled to be fully certified this summer.  Jay Williamson is in year 2 leasing and growing on this land, and is the newest member of Merville Organics, a marketing co-op made up of four farms in the Merville/north Courtenay area.  The four farmers, with the help of a part-time employee, run a popular CSA program and sell together at the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market.  Jay is growing nearly 40 different types of veggies and herbs (plus experimenting with cut flowers) and currently sells everything through the co-op.

tendergreens farm, merville bc, farm tour

I want to show other young, single farmers that starting a farm doesn’t have to be completely out of reach.  I do everything by hand and build most things out of second-hand materials.  Starting a farm is never cheap, but it doesn’t have to involve buying a BCS and a brand new greenhouse kit in year 1!  I’m looking forward to sharing what I’ve learned and how I’ve made things work with a small budget and a lot of broadforking.

Our discussion topic at this event will be around co-ops, specifically the cooperative marketing we do as Merville Organics. Co-ops are a great way for small farms to access larger markets together, and can create an amazing support system for farmers, and we’re excited to share what we’ve learned and how our co-op has grown over the last 5 years. Facilitated by Jay Williamson and Mariette Sluyter.

Check out Tendergreens Farm on Facebook
Additional Information
  • Supervised kids and on-leash dogs are welcome on the farm.
  • Carpooling is encouraged! Have space in your car? Need a ride? Post in the Facebook event discussion
  • The property of 6454 Fitzgerald Rd is at the corner of Fitzgerald & Milman, with the blue and white house.  Please park on the road, do not park in the driveway of the house!  The entrance to the farm is down Milman Rd (there will be signs.)
  • This is a shared property – please respect that there are families living in the house and the backyard is their space, not part of the farm.
  • Not sure what to bring to the potluck? Consider supporting your local, organic farmer and/or food producer and find inspiration with their ingredients. Also, it is greatly appreciated if you can include a little card with the ingredients list for your dish in case people have food allergies/sensitivities
  • Join our Young Agrarians Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands Facebook Group to stay up to date with all events. 
  • Let us know you are joining us buy confirming your attendance on our Facebook Event!

tendergreens farm, merville bc, farm tour
If you have any questions please contact Azja, Cowichan Valley – Vancouver Island Land Matcher:

azja@youngagrarians.org | 250-413-7560