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Living in a disjointed world.

Jun 24, 2011


I am living in a time of chaos and dichotomy.

Unconditional love for all beings is talked about in many unlikely corners by the most unlikely folks (guys that look like rednecks sitting in the dentist's waiting room) and Canada is taking war to other lands (bombing Libya?).  The mind reals.

Climate change and food security issues are just as real as anything else, and my friends Dirk Becker and Nicole Shaw have the District of Lantzville threatening them with legal action for selling us food that they produce on their own land that they are reclaiming and healing after the previous owner strip mined and sold all of its soil, then even the sand and gravel lowering the property 3-5 feet.
The property before farming CF_Property-Before2.jpg

Last week I received a message that Compassion Farm would have to be closed down within three weeks or these two farmers will be sued by their own town council. Lantzville is seemingly living in a time warp or on another infinitely more robust planet where all the food that we eat magically appears in the sanitized grocery store never having seen or smelled manure, compost or soil for that matter. Despite rigorous interest and support for this couple, Lantzville seems to be fixated on enforcing it's by-laws instead of examining them and changing what is unjust and unsupportable in this age. Shall we all take down our clothes lines because we wrote into our by-laws and covenants in 1950 that no one should have a clothes line because we want picture perfect subdivisions? I say no. We fight for what is right and just for our environment and for ourselves and keep drying our clothes in the fresh air using 'solar energy' instead of electricity.
Not in my back yard, say the council of the wise up there in Lantzville. A few days ago, BC Almanac on CBC was talking with guests about the climate refugees we will need to prepare for if we have any sense or forethought. We will likely continue for at least the next hundred years to have more extreme weather such as we have seen recently. Here that might mean more rain...yeah, more if you can believe it. Though we have a huge snow pack this year on Vancouver Island, the rest of BC did not get as much as usual. Shrinking glaciers and snow pack mean less water in the summers during our very short growing season. The best of science tells us that likely we will have more rain for intense periods at unpredictable times and less steady runoff for the summer months. Floods perhaps, but do we have to have famine? According to Dirk Becker, for every degree of temperature increase in celsius we lose 10% of global food production capacity.
I believe that we should be commending and supporting Dirk and Nicole for their efforts to feed us good healthy food. They are being persecuted by their very neighbours who manicure their lawn and shrubbery to the Nth degree. If our only focus remains on not wanting to see a mess in our neighbour’s yard or smell the poo of animals, occasionally, we will not be able to support the people who grow the food we eat. Most of us do not see the connection between growing food and eating. Yep it can be smelly but it can be beautiful too. Have you tried Dirk and Nicole’s tasty, huge collard greens? They are something right out of Findhorn. I think that we should all dig up our lawns and plant something edible that requires no pesticides, fungicides, or petroleum-based fertilizer. It is not easy, and as any farmer will tell you, it does not always work out. There are no guarantees and little financial reward.

Compassion Farm under cultivation CF_Property-After.jpg

Most places in the world spend 25% and up to 50% of their earnings on food, whereas we spend about 10-15% and complain about the rising costs. The cost of food, as with energy, will continue to rise; of that we can be sure, and there will be an even greater environmental cost as we continue sourcing our food from off island. We grow less than 5% of our food here on Vancouver Island, which means, of course, I have to state the obvious: 95% of our food is imported. 

Farmers like Dirk and Nicole are doing their best to feed us. The district of Lantzville is delusional and misguided in this matter. Suing farmers for farming. What is idiots out of office?
What action will you take?

See what I mean? Chaos!

For photos of Compassion Farm in Lantzville please check out these links:



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