Salt Spring Island’s 2008 Area Farm Plan – the strategic plan for sustainable agriculture – needs to be renewed to provide a blueprint to take Salt Spring’s agricultural community forward to 2030. The first Area Farm Plan was based on a vision to support Salt Spring becoming a place where “agriculture is a strong, vital and productive part of the local economy, carried out in a manner that protects and promotes a sustainable community”. The Salt Spring Island Agricultural Alliance, which was set up to implement the Area Farm Plan, has tracked progress yearly over the last decade, and most key recommendations have been met.
Since 2008 new challenges have emerged: the climate emergency; increasing water demands; the biodiversity imperative; escalation of land prices leading to increased need for new, secure tenure arrangements for farmers; the labor-intensive nature of small-scale island agriculture and the shortage of farmworker housing; and the importance of agriculture in supporting a strong community-based economy.
Development of the first Area Farm Plan was a community driven process, and the same is planned for the update. The ability of Salt Spring’s agricultural sector to thrive and respond effectively to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead will be partly determined by the strength of the plan, and the commitment of the community to ensure its implementation.
The Salt Spring Island Agricultural Alliance is looking for volunteers who have a particular interest in agriculture and the local food system to sit on the Steering Committee for the update, requiring approximately 4 hours of volunteer time a month over the next nine months. For more details and a Terms of Reference for the Steering Committee please see http://plantofarm.org/area-farm-plan/salt-spring-area-farm-plan-renewal/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in serving on the Area Farm Plan Steering Committee, please email email@example.com before June 30th
Tony Beck, President
Salt Spring Island Agricultural Alliance