Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Sooke Region Food CHI Society's First Annual Farm and Food Garden Tour

A graphic designer friend who lives in Sooke, BC e-mailed me a copy of a poster for the upcoming Sooke Farm & Food Garden Tour. The Vancouver Island event is Sunday, August 8, from 11AM to 5PM (rain or shine).

I have a soft spot for farm and garden tours, maybe because we were part of one here on Whidbey Island last year. In fact, Vegissimo! is the name of this summer's veggie garden tour on South Whidbey, and it's also this weekend.

But back to the farms and gardens of Sooke. The self-guided tour features a dozen farms and gardens growing everything from veggies, fruits and herbs, flowers and indigenous plants to raising heritage breeds of chicken, sheep, cows and pigs.

The diversity of venues includes historical houses, yurts, cob buildings, earth ovens and greenhouses situated on both small and large plots of land. The tour takes visitors from East Sooke to a few kilometres west of Sooke town. Here are some of the highlights:
A farm that raises Icelandic sheep
A farm started in 1912 by Lady Emily Walker
A seaside garden utilizing rich, black sea soil
A garden/greenhouse growing indigenous plants and herbs from T-Sou-Ke Nation territories
A 2.5 acre community garden that includes 65 plots
A small backyard garden that promotes urban agriculture
A 1.5 acre organic farm reclaimed from the blackberries and broom
A working farm since the mid-1800s
A rustic certified organic vegetable farm, part of a turn-of-the century homestead
An 1890s spread known as the Davidson Farm
A commercial certified organic vegetable, herb, flower and seed farm
A five-acre property that was part of the original Robinson Family homestead
Tickets are $10 (free for ages 15 and under), on sale in Sooke at Shoppers Drug Mart; Double D Gardens; Westburn Garden Centre; Sooke County Market and Sunriver Community Allotment (Saturday). In Victoria, they're available at Moss St. Market (Saturday).

The tour is a fundraiser for the 2010/2011 New Farmer Mentorship Program, helping new farmers succeed in their first season.

Tour Tip: Produce and value-added products will be for sale (bring your own shopping bag).

Farmer Bob's Garden
Photo by Sue Frause

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