EcoFarm instructors Elmarie Roberts

Haliburton Farm looks to put more farmers in Saanich fields

With a goal of putting more farmers into Saanich fields, the Halliburton Farm is launching its new EcoFarm School.

With a goal of putting more farmers into Saanich fields, the Haliburton Farm is launching its new EcoFarm School.

The intimate program is limited to 10 students and will take would-be farmers through a crop March to July cycle with time split between a desk and a field – but mostly in the field.

This Saturday (March 18) the instructors will be on hand for an open house so those interested can visit the site and explore that program.“We’re looking for youth who are coming out of high school or university and are interested in agriculture but don’t see an opportunity that appeals to them,” said Ann Eastman, EcoFarm school co-ordinator. “It’s the first go so we’re testing out the model as this will run from [late] March to July, and then it might run all year, or three of the four seasons.”

Adults are also invited to sign up. To start, the public are invited to Saturday’s EcoFarm Open House, from noon to 2 p.m. at the farm, 741 Haliburton Rd.

At $2,500, it’s a serious investment of time and resources but there are sponsors and bursaries available, Eastman said.

Since it started in 2002 Haliburton Farm’s non-profit parent, the Haliburton Community Organic Farm Society, has employed an educational mandate. As an “incubator”, Haliburton has provided mentorship and community to farmers learning to earn a living through certified organic farming.

“In Saanich most farmers are aging out, the average age is around 57,” Eastman said.

In fact, one Saanich study found only four people in 1,000 actively farm. Another four per cent of the farmers are under 35.

With local food production at risk, it led the thinkers at Haliburton to designing the school, which has been helped along by VanCity and the Victoria Foundation.

The EcoFarm School is the next step, Eastman said.

“It includes organic farming, ecological restoration and holistic nutrition to prepare a new generation of farmers for local farming careers.”

“There isn’t a lot of courses with the hands-on experience where you can pick up the technique and nuances.”

The farmers of all six Haliburton plots have pledged to contribute their time and expertise throughout the course, including Elmarie Roberts, who has alloted space from the plot for her students.

For more information visit, email or call 250-886-1648.


Just Posted

Octogenerian to start New Year with 60-day flight around South America

Cordova Bay’s Bob Vance helped raise $425,000 for Hope Air

Esquimalt’s Pyjama Prance tours Township on a frosty morning

Third annual event sees largest turnout yet, raises $1,738 for The Rainbow Kitchen

Omnibus Victoria Zoning Bylaw raises alarms

Neighbourhood associations, councilors express concern over streamlined development process

VIDEO: Carlton House knitters send warmth to Our Place

Residents of Carlton House have been working all year in preparation for the holidays

Big OT win in Prince George for Victoria Royals

Western Hockey League clubs do battle again in Cariboo on Tuesday

Site C decision coming Monday

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

Saanich Braves pee wee team headed to Ottawa’s hockey on the hill

A Saanich Braves pee wee team are taking their “show on the… Continue reading

Students lose eligibility over school transfer

Academics, catchment have priority over high school sports

Smartphone pedometers underestimate steps, but valuable health tool: study

UBC researchers found the iPhone underestimated steps by 21.5 per cent

Saanich real estate sales top $65 million in November

New figures show the price for an average single family home in… Continue reading

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

Most Read