Creative farming ideas needed

Land has become the most precious commodity in the issue of farming.

The biggest threat facing farming isn’t pests, or fuel and seed costs, or farmers’ debt and retirement concerns.

It’s something so fundamental, farming could not exist without it.

Land.

Anyone with aspirations to take up farming has to first overcome this very high hurdle, because land isn’t cheap.

So what do we do?

We need more farmers. We need more local food, and most of us want to preserve our rural community.

Cowichan Valley Regional District director Mel Dorey believes the solution is tax breaks for farmers.

We don’t know if that’s the answer, but we do know creative ideas like this are the best way to tackle this problem.

The status quo isn’t good enough anymore.

Farming must be made accessible.

Nanaimo pats itself on the back for recently allowing chickens in backyards, but why don’t we have food trees on every boulevard, and grapevines on every fence?

Community-style operations are a great start.

Some might scoff at the idea of giving away farmland, but is it really so crazy a suggestion? What’s wrong with governments allowing citizens to farm publicly owned land?

If you answered, “Everything!” to that question, fine. But what are your ideas?

It was just a couple of months ago that Island farmers and foodies met in Cobble Hill to debate issues and ideas like these during the second Agricultural Survival Forum.

Let’s open up that discussion to everyone in our community. We need all the input and ideas we can get, and the sooner, the better.

– Black Press