By Dr. Art Bomke, SPEC Director
The article (See link) in the September 8th Vancouver Sun refers to recent census data that is reflecting a loss of farms and fewer farmers in Metro Vancouver.
It may seem odd that an urban based environmental organization like SPEC would be engaged in supporting local farmers, however, our ongoing Climate Change Adaptation Project for Small Scale Farmers is clearly aimed at two of the concerns mentioned in the piece, “willingness of the existing farm base to be there" and “transference of knowledge for the next generation.” The problem is current, not something to be faced in the future although climate change adaptation will likely change the future farming environment. As such, we have been striving to forge collaborations with several other NGO, government, university and private sector organizations to provide more on-farm advice in managing soils, crops and protecting crops against insect pests and diseases.
We at SPEC believe that the vast majority of urban Metro Vancouver residents are interested in and supportive of local farmers and our goal is to direct that support to practical solutions to the problems facing new farmers currently and those arising with changing climate.
Art Bomke, Director
SPEC Food and Environment Committee