Marika Nagasaka stands inside the greenhouse she tends at ALM Organic Farm. She wishes it was easier for young farmers but thinks The Land Conservancy’s recognition of ALM’s work is encouraging.

Life on the farm

The 32-year-old co-owner of ALM Organic Farms doesn’t think a lot of people understand the value of farming and are willing to pay the price for the food that’s produced. The problem is people are so focused on buying things that are cheap, she said.

When she talks about the prospects for young farmers, Marika Nagasaka gets teary.

“Even if you do (get land), you have to be really creative,” she said.

The 32-year-old co-owner of ALM Organic Farms doesn’t think a lot of people understand the value of farming and are willing to pay the price for the food that’s produced. The problem is people are so focused on buying things that are cheap, she said.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re doing such good work and it’s hard to make a living off of it.”

But she’s hopeful that The Land Conservancy’s recognition of ALM Farms through its Conservation Partner Program will be another tool to educate the community about the value of local farms.

ALM is being recognized for its commitment to not only growing food, but mentoring new farmers and supporting organic food initiatives in the region.

“The real strength is in how diverse it is,” Nagasaka said. “Every step makes us stronger.”

Co-owner Mary-Alice Johnson didn’t plan such a complex operation when she bought the property in 1986.

“I just wanted to play in the dirt, myself, and grow good food,” she said.

Now the farm runs a seed company as well as  farming workshops.

It also operates a SOIL apprenticeship program, a national initiative which provides young peoplewith short-term farm experiences. Several of the apprentices have stayed on to work, and Johnson has asked a few, like Nagasaka, to become partners in the business.

”When someone finishes an apprenticeship at my farm, I want them to be able to run my farm,” she said.

Although it’s busy, ALM  tries to tread carefully on the land. The Conservation Partner Program encourages farmland preservation, and Johnson said the farm hardly uses a third of the 15-acre property.

“Most of it is natural forest,” she said. “We live in harmony with (the habitat).”

For the full story, go to www.sookenewsmirror.com

Just Posted

Sixty Sooke homes needed to host Japanese students

Homestay program offers visitors a taste of life in Canada

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather in downtown Victoria for Extinction Rebellion climate protest

The rally is the kickoff to the Global Climate Strike Week of Action

Church bells to ring for 11 minutes in support of Global Climate Strike

Each minute to signify years left to drastically reduce greenhouse gas pollution

Hundreds of foreign species continue to wash along B.C. coast following Japanese tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Lone wolf eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

SOOKE HISTORY: Remembering Sooke’s 1953 soccer team

Elida Peers | Contributed When Milne’s Landing High School opened in 1946,… Continue reading

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Sixty Sooke homes needed to host Japanese students

Homestay program offers visitors a taste of life in Canada

Most Read