“Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.”
Hello, my name is Angus and my wife is Johanna. We live & run our little farm in Mission, BC. I’ve held a variety of jobs in my life, most of minor significance; however what I’m embarking on now is more than just a job or career, it’s a shift in lifestyle. 2014 marks my initial year of small scale organic and biodynamic vegetable farming on a property in Silverdale that was a forest up until 2013.
In 2012 I apprenticed for a year on two farms, one in Duncan on Vancouver Island, and another in Chilliwack. In 2013 I spent a couple weeks in northern BC on an off the grid organic farm in McBride, one of the many beautiful little towns that dot this province.
My desire to farm comes from a deep longing to see our current food system change, more specifically to get to a point where we as a province can sustainably feed ourselves in a manner that conserves and builds topsoil, and preserves the health of our environment for present and future generations. The core of a good model for local agriculture must include farming practices that respect the soil – without the soil, we cannot grow food.
Considering we will not be able to rely forever on imported food from around the continent and globe, we need to start establishing models that can replace this outdated food system. Unfortunately, the dominant model of farming involves the use of millions of tons of fungicides, pesticides and herbicides every year. These chemicals not only destroy the vast diversity of life in the soil, they also leech into our water tables contaminating our water supply, ruin wildlife habitat, kill beneficial insects and create health problems for us- “…everything is in relation to everything else.”
We believe it doesn’t have to stay this way, and this is why my wife Johanna and I have started our farm. By supporting us and those around the province, country, continent and globe who are making the same push for environmentally sustainable farming you encourage a change for the better in the health of our environment and consequentially yourself, family and community.
We use biodynamic and organic principles to guide us in our farming methods. Biodynamic agriculture is sort of like organic plus. In addition to using compost, rotating crops and other core organic methods, it accounts for all the variables that affect the life of a plant, and an animal, when raising it for meat. There are inherent rhythms in nature which we perceive at times when our eyes are looking in the right place, but most of the time go unnoticed. Biodynamic agriculture provides a blueprint that allows the farmer to work with these rhythms to enhance the quality of the vegetables grown or meat raised.
In biodynamic agriculture the aim is to create a farm organism that is completely self sufficient. Thus, all the fertilizing needs come from the farm, seed is saved for the following year, and no outside inputs are brought to the farm. It is a lofty goal we hope to achieve.
Land prices usually prohibit young farmers from getting started. We are blessed to know Kailee, Corey, Margaret and Auggie who generously let us use their land for free, and our landlords Rob and Anne who created a space for us to farm on their property and who continue to lend us their tools and time when needed. Furthermore, we wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for the continued support and generosity of our amazing family.