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Growing More Food for Pender Island

It’s been awhile since our last entry. Truth is we’ve been going like stink here on the farm – taking advantage of the relatively dry weather to get some of our primary and secondary tillage done. We’ve also been hard at work prepping the latest addition to the Hope Bay Farm ‘stable’, so to speak – the commercial greenhouse located across from the Pender Island Community Hall!

The 'new' greenhouse!

The current view inside... Stay tuned for the 'new view'!

This past winter, Don and Linda Wein, owners of the greenhouse property and the Pender Island Home Building Centre approached us asking if we would be interested in using one of their greenhouses. Without thinking, I said yes. After much discussion and figuring on paper, we have finally come to an arrangement that would see Hope Bay Farm, in effect partnering with the Wein family this year, to prove out a productive above ground growing method (the greenhouse is on a gravel pad), similar to that being used by  United We Can at their SOLEFood Farm on East Hasting Street in Vancouver, BC.

SOLEFood Farm's raised bed system (Photo courtesy SOLEFood).

In english, this means filling half of the main greenhouse with 4’x12′ raised beds in which we will grow heat-loving crops like cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and basil over the coming summer. Depending on the how the system works and how we perform as managers/tenants, we could expand the system to fill the rest of the greenhouse and it’s sister (there are two currently on site) to grow more food throughout the entire year – not just the summer.

Tim building the first raised bed in our new 'house'

We are thrilled to be part of this new food-related development on Pender. We are also very, very thankful to the Wein family for their generosity and confidence in our ability to make this a reality. We both see that this project could strengthen the existing community  food hub that started with the location of the Community Hall and establishment of the Saturday morning Farmers’ Market.

Stay tuned for more pictures and updates!

One Comment

  1. GreenHearted says:

    As someone who’s living on rock in the shade, who can only dream of growing a plump, juicy tomato (and spends many summer moments doing just that — dreaming), I’ve seen how effortless the Weins’ efforts at growing inside that greenhouse seemed. All I can say is, “Woohoo!!! I’m really excited for you!”

    And don’t forget to put the call out if you ever need a crop mob to plant, weed, water or harvest.

    Julie Johnston

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