Mary Alice Johnson

Down on the farm

Sooke Farm Tour offers participants hand’s-on experience

Ever wonder as a kid what your grandparents were doing out working on the farm in the middle of a summer day? This Sunday (July 19), you get to find out as you will tour not one, but eight farms in Sooke.

And unlike your grandparents, who would more than likely ask you to sit aside with a little shovel in hand and watch, visitors will engage with the farmers thanks to an all-hands-on immersive experience.

“In previous years, people just came and looked, but this year, we’re gonna put them to work,” said Mary Alice Johnson, founder of the ALM Organic Farm in Sooke. She added that the idea here is to raise interest in farms and farming with youth and adults alike.

“It’s about getting people doing things on the farms, touring the farms, but it’s also to share our passions and our challenges,” Johnson said.

With an expected 300 attending this year, the tour can be either self-guided or fully-engaged with the farmers who will be there to talk to people and take part in activities. The tour starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

There’s also a whole new set of different activities this year, including seed cleaning, and soil blocking – a process in which visitors will be able to create separate cubes of soil without using a single piece of plastic.

Johnson said children are especially welcome (kids 12 and under are free), as there will be several activities for them to take part in, such as “bug bingo” and a sculpture hunt around the farm where they get to find all these hidden animal statuettes such as a pig, a dog, and a rooster.

“We’re hoping to get a lot of people with kids, because there will be kids who live on the farm that will want to work with the kids who come to the farm, and that’s just fun for everybody,” she said, adding that she hopes the experience will connect kids with food and eating healthy.

Johnson said all proceeds from the event goes to support growing more food in the local community, adding that the money will indirectly trickle back into mentorships for new farmers. The goal is to try to get an incubator farm to help people get started on farming.

“Our passions are the growing of the seed, creating good food, sharing it with the community,” she said, adding that ALM has always been a teaching farm.

“ALM” is Arabic for Alif Lem Mim, which stands for “the Beginning, the Middle, and the End.” Johnson said the name was chosen by her late husband Jan for his consulting company. She added that sees farming as cycles and seasons, so her farm adopted the same name.

Tickets for the Farm Tour can be purchased for $15 at People’s Drug Mart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sooke Country Market, Stick in the Mud and Sooke Home Hardware.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria’s plastic bag ban quashed by Supreme Court decision

City’s leave to appeal lower court’s decision denied

Literacy global phenomenon lands in Sooke

A worldwide program Free Little Library boasts more than 93,000 locations

Victoria man charged after dog killed

Brandon Norman Bartlett, 39, faces one charge of killing or injuring an animal

Royal BC Museum’s Woolly the Mammoth turns 40 years old

The museum is hosting a party on Jan. 26

B.C.-based firefighting plane crashes in Australia, killing three

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

“Major road failure” shuts down highway in and out of Tofino-Ucluelet

A rock crashed down onto Hwy. 4 early Thursday morning.

Canada prepares as WHO decides whether to declare global coronavirus emergency

The city of Wuhan, China, has shut down outbound flights and trains

Survey finds support among Canadians for broader assisted-dying law

The survey was conducted Jan. 17 to 21 among 1,552 Canadians eligible to vote

Veteran B.C. journalist battles cancer through pioneering immunotherapy treatment

Vancouver Island rallies around JR Rardon and family during stay in Seattle

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Island Bakery in Cobble Hill to close

Cobble Hill store in business since 1982

Most Read