Grounded News headed over to the island to meet up with Dirk Becker who runs Compassion Farm, and who is curently facing possable jail time for what he does…growing food. Lantzville Council is proceeding with legal action — taking the Beckers to court to shut down their “urban” farm which is located in a semi-rural area, on a dead end road.
The Beckers transformed their property from essentially a gravel pit (created by the previous owner who strip-mined, removing soil, sand and gravel, lowering the level of the property three to five feet) to a lush oasis of life (see article: www.synergymag.ca/a-lantzville-couple’s-fight-for-the-right-to-gro…). They have received certification from the Canadian Wildlife Federation for creating “Backyard Habitat” for wildlife. They also shared with council information about what they do, how they do it, along with links and videos on “urban farming,” the “urban farming movement” and the “local food movement.”
For the benefit of readers, this is a fast-growing movement all over the world. All “urban farming” is done in “residentially zoned” areas. Hence the term: “urban” farming. Municipalities across North America are responding to this movement by changing bylaws to support local food — to allow the growing of food as a home based business. To feed one person for a whole year, it takes about two acres of land. On Vancouver Island, we only grow 5 per cent of the food we eat and there are only two days of fresh food supply in the grocery stores. So it behooves us to support and encourage the growing of local food.