An organization that helps young, new farmers is hosting a double bill of events next weekend in Merville.
The Young Agrarians have organized a Land Linking workshop on Saturday and Sunday (March 14 and 15) and their second annual Spring Farmer Mixer, both at the Merville Hall at 1245 Fenwick Rd.
They hope to inspire a greater number of young people to farm, and to set them up with skills necessary to find land.
According to Statistics Canada from 2011, only 25 farmers in the Comox Valley were 35 or younger.
“Our Valley has some of the best agricultural land on Vancouver Island, and much of it is not being used for food production,” said Moss Dance, Young Agrarians co-ordinator for Vancouver Island. “So this is an opportunity for us to look for and connect with those landowners who have some of that arable land but don’t necessarily have the desire to farm it.”
Land Linking is a response to rising land prices and creating solutions that help young farmers get on the land.
“As we all know, the cost of buying land on Vancouver Island is exorbitant, and inaccessible to most people,” Dance said. “We have to get creative.”
The workshop runs from 1-6 p.m. Register at bit.ly/1CCjGzi.
Young Agrarians’ B.C. co-ordinator Sara Dent will speak about leasing and licensing, succession planning and land access models.
The agenda includes speakers with expertise in business planning, co-op development, production methodologies, soil health and organic certification.
The mixer is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $35 to $25 on a sliding scale. Register at bit.ly/1BUuhpR