Farmers Dirk Becker and his wife Nicole Shaw. Photo submitted.

Learning to succeed as a small farm talk coming to Merville

Knowing where to invest and the biggest return on investment can be difficult choices to make.

  • Oct. 8, 2019 9:30 a.m.

With high prices for farmland, many new farmers are struggling to make a living from their farm and still be able to service their debt.

Knowing where to invest and what types of agriculture provide the biggest return on investment can be difficult choices to make.

Join the Mid Island Farmers Institute on Oct. 16 for a talk on ‘How to Succeed as a Small Farmer’ at the Merville Hall, 1245 Fenwick Rd. at 7 p.m.

Dirk Becker and his wife Nicole Shaw will be presenting on the two farms that they started from scratch on poor soil, with little to no infrastructure. Over time, they built both their farm business and started the highly successful Bowen Road Farmers’ Market, Island Roots, and the Lantzville Farmers’ Market.

Becker and Shaw, yearly grow over 16,000 pounds of food on one acre, no-till, by hand, organically.

“We hope this talk will inspire new farmers to take a critical look at their farms and see the possibilities that can happen with a bit of hard work,” states MIFI president Arzeena Hamir. “It’s also a time when we can share stories of our struggles with an audience that understands what we’re going through or has been there already”.

Becker is a mid-Island farmer, socio-political-environmental activist and local food advocate. He has run for civic and provincial government is involved in many organizations including as a director of the Farmland Defense League of British Columbia.

They now reside in Errington on 15 acres where they recently planted more than 70 fruit and nut trees and have fun herding their 150 ducks, chickens and geese.

Becker is committed to lifelong learning and continues to shift his energy towards teaching young people how to grow food and self-sufficiency.

Prior to the talk, the Mid Island Farmers Institute will hold a short AGM for members. Please arrive early if you would like to renew your membership.

For more information, contact midislandfarmersinstitute@gmail.com. Membership to the institute is open to all for $20 per year and enables members to attend meetings for free. The suggested donation for non-members is $5. Tea and snacks will be served.

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