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MAY / JUNE 2014

serving vancouver island 6482 NORCROSS ROAD, DUNCAN DISCOUNTS ON:

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13411 Doole Rd | Ladysmith, BC | V9G 1G6


Want to share an article with an off-island friend? Visit and download the whole magazine for free! Publisher Lesley Lorenz Designer Cliff Blank Many thanks to our “Experts in the Field” for sharing their wisdom.

NEXT ISSUE JULY 1 — Summer Fun on the Farm! Country fairs and lively markets. Call 250.924.1439 to be included. Naturally Resourceful Resourceful living is a fundamental adjustment in philosophy that reflects the constant changes around us and how we react to them. Whether it’s economic change, climate change or simply the progress of our own life situations, we stand ready to creatively forge ahead and meet challenge head on.

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Vancouver Island is vibrant with agricultural activity, and noone exemplifies resourceful living more than island farmers and gardeners. Our magazine is poised and ready to share (as is the farming tradition) ideas to increase productivity, decrease costs and improve flexibility — the key to market survival. Circulation & Distribution Island Farm & Garden Magazine is locally owned and operated from a 5 acre farm in Ladysmith, BC. We distribute bi-monthly to hundreds of locations, including garden centres, farm supply stores, tack shops, all Vancouver Island Regional Libraries, coffee shops, medical and veterinary centres as well as direct mailing over 1000 copies to island farms and businesses. We cover Vancouver Island from Victoria to Campbell River, including Port Alberni and Salt Spring Island. The magazine is also available in a digital version on our mobile device friendly website — check us out on your iPad or tablet. Current visitors to our website account for another 2000 readers per issue, and growing fast! Proudly Printed on Port Alberni Paper!

We Now Carry

E-Z Log Structures 1985 S. Wellington Rd. NANAIMO 1.800.616.1291 250.753.6223 Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


Table of Contents HARBOUR CITY


Spring Projects.............................................................................. 5 Health Benefits from the Bee Hive ..................................... 6–7 Feeding Emus ............................................................................... 8 Emu Awe........................................................................................ 9 Vancouver Island Tourism ........................................... 10–13 Agritourism Brings Opportunity ................................ 14–15


Building Big on the Island:

Vancouver Island Steel Buildings ...........................................16


Structuring the Family Farm: Corporations ........................ 17

We specialize in the SALES & SERVICE of all brands of

1-877 Nanaimo 716-3376 1531 Harold Rd


Making the Most of Your Timber ............................... 18–19 Business Profile: Riverbend Hay ............................................ 21 Frugal Farmer Helpful Hints ................................................. 20 Situational Awareness for You and Your Horse ........22–23 Companions in the Barnyard...................................... 24–25 Introducing Your Dog to Other Animals ...................26–27 Save it for a Sunny Day: Rainwater Harvesting......... 29–30 4-H… 4-FUN! ............................................................................ 31

TRACTORS, EXCAVATORS, SKID STEERS & MORE. Visit our centrally located shop or call for Mobile Service. At Harbour City Equipment “SERVICE IS OUR FIRST PRIORITY”.

Where Water Meets Field: Riparian Regulations ...... 32–33 Send a Selfie to Save the ALR! ................................................. 34 Calendar of Events .................................................................... 35 Hummingbirds in the Garden ..................................... 36–37

1-877 716-3376

1531 Harold Rd



Helping with Hanging Baskets ............................................... 39 Lesley’s Famous Lasagna .......................................................... 41 Portrait of a Farmer: Ron Leslie................................... 42–43 Advertisers Directory ............................................................... 44 The Last Laugh .......................................................................... 45

Duncan Nanaimo Parksville Saanich

5410 Trans Canada Hwy. 1-1227 Island Hwy. 587 Alberni Hwy. 1970 Keating Cross Rd.

250-748-8171 250-753-4221 250-248-3243 250-652-9188

for g n i k o Lo s? e i l p p u Bee S

Farm, Garden, Pet, We Have It All! 4

Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014

F r o m o u r Fa r m t o Yo u r s

Spring Projects H

oly doodle we have a lot going on at the farm! Spring is hectic, with all kinds of projects vying for our attention. We’ve put in a little orchard, mostly apples and cherries, because that’s what we like to eat. I’m super excited about the 3 olive trees I bought; I also have 2 peaches and a fig tree. That’s the reason we started the fence-the-orchard project. Not just to keep out deer, but to provide a protected space for the more temperamental orchard occupants. We used 1' x 6's attached to 2' x 6' rails and treated posts on the north end of the orchard. Haha the auger got Mark’s shoulders primed up for all the rototilling to come. We’re also getting ready for our annual hanging basket sale, and this year



hardware building centre 1010 Ludlow Rd. | 250-245-3441 Home Owners helping homeowners

we’re prettying up the greenhouse. I’m particularly enamoured with the fancy back doors my hubby made. Greenhouse plastic is useful but not that becoming, so now the view down the hill is much nicer. A good coat of paint makes all the difference! Inside the greenhouse, we’ve laid a permeable tarp down to let water through but keep down the weeds, so we won’t have to mow the interior this year. We’ve made a decent impact on stumpzilla, the ten foot high mountain of stumps that was the result of excavating to clear our yard and new septic field. Stumpzilla loomed over our goats and field daisies for two years before it was dry enough to finally burn. 8 days, with the help of my Dad, and there’s little left but ashes and blackened broom.

We’re here to help with all your projects

Lastly, we finally have kitchen cupboards and closet doors! Hooray! When we moved in we took the doors off to fix them up, leaving open shelves which were terrific for finding your canned goods but continually cluttered looking. They were painstakingly painted by Mark and placed back on with loving care. Hmmm… it sounds like he does everything. I better point out that I do make nice flower baskets, and good dinners, and I still have to put in the vegetable garden…

building supplies lumber hardware tools

price match guarantee Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


system, treating and preventing allergies, as a natural energizer and as an aid in increasing longevity and vitality! Due to the possibility of an allergic reaction, it is recommended that whenever you are introducing a beehive product into your diet — start slow. Use 1-2 granules to start and work up to a teaspoon per day. Sprinkle grains on granola, yogurt, and peanut butter toast or add into smoothies.

Health Benefits from the Bee Hive Shared by Fredrich’s Honey


he Fredrich’s have been in the honey business for over 50 years, and believe that healthy hives are integral to a healthy planet. Theo Sr. and Theo Jr. work the hives together with the help of Theo Jr.’s wife Taylor. Third generation beekeepers Bodhi and Lorelai are just starting their life-long learning process. The family is as industrious as the bees they keep, using every component of the hives to create useful and delicious products. We’ve all heard the saying “busy as a beehive” — but you might be surprised


at just how much these little workers produce in their hive. Honey is a natural, sweetener produced by bees from the nectar of flowers. It is easily assimilated in our bodies’ systems, providing an instance source of beneficial energy. Honey has been used by mankind for millennia. In fact, a painting depicting a person robbing honey out of a hive was found in a cave in Valencia, Spain. It is estimated to be 15,000 years old!

Propolis, also called Russian Penicillin, is a gum-like substance gathered by bees from a variety of plants, especially from the buds of poplar trees. Fresh propolis has a wonderful fragrance, and is often associated with the aroma of poplars in the Spring. Propolis is found in every part of the beehive, and is used as a construction material, sealing holes and cracks in the hive body. It is sticky like sap at room temperature but hardens at cooler temperatures. Propolis has been used by many cultures for healing. It is used in Chinese traditional medicine and was used by the Incas to reduce fever. It was used in France in the 18th century as a salve for wounds, and there is even an indication that Stradivarious used it to varnish his violins. Propolis Tincture can be taken by mouth with liquids or by itself. 2 to 5 drops, 3 times daily with meals are sufficient for general well being. Propolis can be used externally on wounds and sores. For sore throats, propolis spray or lozenges can be helpful. The Fredrich’s advise that people with allergies should use propolis with caution.

Honey can be stored in various ways. Liquid honey is extracted from the comb, strained and left to clear before consuming. If not heat-treated (pasteurWax is secreted by the bees and can be ized) liquid honey will in time granulate. extracted from the comb and used for a Creamed honey is prepared by mixing wide variety of purposes from candles liquid honey with finely granulated honey. and soaps to creams and balms. It is Comb honey is natural honey sealed in sometimes used as a painting medium wax made by the bees in the hive. Honeys for artists and can also be used as a which are made from hives placed with certain crops take on the crop’s flavour — such as clover, blackberry, or forest pine. Infused Honey is “Propolis is a very good protector of the steeped with herbs or plant material, cells of the body and is a powerful immuthen it is strained and bottled. nostimulator. Research shows that propolis is antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, Bee Pollen is the food of the young antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, as well as bee. It is considered one of nature’s anesthetic. There have been reports that most complete foods as it contains propolis has been helpful for toothaches, nearly all the nutrients required gum problems, asthma, heartburn, skin by humans. People use Bee Pollen conditions and arthritis.” to aid in boosting the immune

Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014

“Bee Pollen is the only food known to contain all 22 essential amino acids, enzymes and 28 micro-nutrients found in the human body. Pollen is a source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, C, D, H, K, E, Choline, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, Rutin and Vitamin PP (just recently discovered.) Major minerals contained in pollen include Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Copper, Silica, Potassium, Magnesium, Sulphur, Sodium, Iodine, Chlorine, Boron, Titanium, Molybdenum and Zinc.”

“Everything in the beehive is good for your health.” ~ Theo Fredrich Sr.

furniture polish. Beeswax is a very long-lived, stable substance. It has been found in sunken viking ships and Roman ruins. The Fredrich’s main goal is to work hand in hand with nature and produce bee products that are healthy, natural, delicious and useful. There is absolutely no waste out of the beehive. All of the products they make are available in the farm store and are enjoyed in their own homes daily. They are happy to answer your questions, share their recipes and fill your honey jar!

Crunchy Granola • 5 cups large flake rolled oats or an equivalent mixture of rye, wheat and oat flakes • 1 cup Fredrich’s Honey • 1 cup sesame seeds • 1 cup sunflower seeds

• 1 cup wheat germ • 1 cup bran • 1 cup chopped nuts • 1 cup coconut • 1 cup powdered milk • 1 cup vegetable oil • 1 cup raisins or dates

In a very large bowl, mix the oat flakes, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, bran, nuts, coconut and powdered milk. In a small saucepan warm the oil and honey and stir into the dry mix completely coating it. Spread mixture on 2 cookie sheets and bake at 250˚F for approximately 50 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir often and watch closely so as not to overbrown (burn). Let the granola cool before adding dry fruit. Store in airtight containers in refrigerator. Makes 14 cups. For more recipes and information or to shop online visit

“No bees, no honey; no work, no money.” ~ Proverb

Honey Pollen Candles Bees Wax Soaps Propolis Creams Visit the Farm Store 2798 Cedar Rd, Nanaimo (250) 245-4214 Open Wed - Sun 10-5 Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


commercially. Emus are farmed primarily for their low fat meat and oil, which is used in hand creams and lotions.

Feeding Emus by Everett Dixon Nutritionist, Top Shelf Feeds


mu are large flightless birds that are native to Australia. They are part of the Ratite family, which includes Ostriches (Africa), Rheas (South America), Cassowary (Australia and New Zealand) and the Kiwi (New Zealand). All ratites have broad rounded breastbones without a keel bone for the attachment of flight muscles, which is why they cannot fly. Mature emus can grow to 2 metres in height and weigh up to 50 kg. They are docile birds, which make them easy to raise

Top Shelf Feeds Top Shelf Feeds DUNCAN 2800 Roberts Rd. 250.746.5101

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Feeding considerations Young emu (to 42 weeks of age): Feed diets with 6–8% crude fiber and medium energy levels. If feed specifically made for emus is not available, use a non-medicated turkey or chicken feed with 20–22% protein. Growing emus (42 weeks to market): The feed given a growing emu needs to be higher in energy to promote fat deposition. They need feeds that are higher in energy and lower in fiber than ostrich feeds. A broiler chicken or turkey finisher diet will work well. Breeding emus: Feed should be high in energy to produce a large fat pad to sustain the males during incubation of the eggs. Ensure adequate amino acid, vitamin and mineral levels in the feed in order to give a high level of hatchability. Pasture: Emus can be raised successfully on pasture. Clip grass in large pastures to promote growth of fresh grass. Rotate the birds from small pasture to small pasture to maintain a short grass length. When raising emus you should first determine your objective: as pets, for meat production, as breeders or for oil production. Then work with your feed company nutritionist to develop a feeding program to meet your target. ~ Everett

Our feed contains no meat or bonemeal and is made here on Vancouver Island

Willow Wind LANGFORD 2714 Sooke Road 250.478.8012

In the wild, emus eat seeds, grass, fruit and some insects. Unlike other birds, emus do not have a crop for food storage, but their relatively large stomach provides additional capacity. The large intestine of the emu is relatively short. This means they cannot easily digest fibre in the diet. Therefore, emus should receive diets similar to those of chickens or turkeys. Mature emu can use more fiber, but the maximum crude fiber in the diet should be 15%.

Top Shelf Feeds BLACK CREEK 7648 North Isl. Hwy. 778.428.4444

Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014

Emu Awe A

visit to John and Lois Hellemond’s Mount Sicker Family Farm is the perfect way to get introduced to the awesome emu. Nestled into a pretty meadow about half way up the mountain, you’ll find sheep, turkeys, dogs, and of course, emus. Lois was my official guide for the tour of the operation and she shared some interesting information about the birds.

“The female lays a lovely blue-green egg, then wanders away, looking for a new mate. It’s the male that sits on the nest. He’ll spend up to 50 days in the hatching process, not leaving for food or water. Because of this tendency, he has a wonderful lump of fat stores, which is loaded with essential nutrients and anti-bodies. It’s the properties of this fat that make emu oil so significantly beneficial.” As we wander through the farm, there is a soft drumming sound emanating from the pens scattered around the property. The females create this sound deep in their throats, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Australian didgeridoo. The pens are long and narrow, so the birds have room for a good run, and there is a stand of trees for shade, protection from rain and privacy for shy individuals. A mated pair populates each pen, and they will lay for 20 to 25 years. In one pen is a large group of two-year-olds. Lois watches them carefully to try to assess which ones will become mates. Others will be harvested for their oil and meat.

Emu meat is dark and delicious, low in cholesterol and high in protein content. The sausages I tried were excellent — I recommend the red-pepper variety. I also tried an egg. Well, the whole family tried an egg. One egg is equivalent to about a dozen chicken eggs. The flavour was very mild, and it created a light, fluffy scramble. The oil is the star of this operation though. Emus are processed similarly to pork (not in a poultry plant) and the fat is then shipped to the states to be further processed to oil. Carla and Craig, who oversee the oil operation, filled me in on the advantages of pure emu oil.

“Emu oil is known for its moisturizing effects and ability to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin. The oil has anti-inflammatory and cell restorative qualities for skin, nails, and hair. It is noncomedogenic, which means that it won’t clog pores. It may help with fading of scars, healing of burns, sprains and bruises, muscle pain, and may also relieve dandruff, psoriasis, diaper rash and eczema. Some have had success in diminishing acne inflammation.” visiting To visit the farm at 3633 Mt. Sicker Road, Chemainus please call 250.210.4061. Readers of Island Farm & Garden Magazine will receive a special discount when they enter the product code mentioned in the ad below.

Marketed under the company name E3 Naturals, the product line includes specialty skin creams and soaps, as well as pet products. All can be purchased from the farm or ordered from the website. Sample combinations include body butter, lavender body spritz, raspberry lip balm and a kiwi mango lotion. 1.855.788.1233 You can get more information on the products by calling 1.855.788.1233 or

20% 0ff! We invite you to visit enter the promo code


at checkout for discount

Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014




ourists from all over the world will enjoy Vancouver Island, which is located on the West Coast of Canada. A 1.5 hour ferry ride from Vancouver; it is 460km long and 80km wide, roughly the same size as Taiwan. 800,000 people live on the island, with half of the population in the southernmost city and provincial capital, Victoria. Other major urban centres include Duncan (pop. 43,000) Nanaimo (pop. 80,000) and Courtenay (pop. 55,000). Wildlife includes deer, whales, bears, eagles, swans and raccoons — to name just a few.

Farm Stays and

Agriculture Tours

onVancouver Island…

You’re invited!

Besuchen sie, und übernachten bauernhof Si prega di visitare e agritur Veuillez visiter et séjour à la ferme Por favor visita y estancia an granjas

The island straddles the 49th parallel and has a relatively warm, wet climate. Winter temperatures average +5 to -1˚C and summer is a balmy 20–25˚C. It is often described as the most temperate place in Canada, with little or no snowfall and spring flowers and green grass as early as February. This makes for excellent growing conditions, and there are many farms, orchards and vineyards scattered across the main island and the adjoining gulf islands. There are over 30 wineries that offer tours and tastings, as well as cider houses and microbreweries. There is a very active farm market culture, with dozens of seasonal markets and several year round markets. Island chefs favour locally grown produce in their cuisine, and tourists will enjoy seasonally inspired dishes created with super fresh ingredients bought at the market or direct from the farm. Pasture raised and hormone free beef, pork, lamb and chicken are produced on the Island, as well as artisan cheeses and naturally smoked sausages. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables are available, from blueberries to figs and garlic to hazelnuts. There are wild mushrooms to be found in the old growth forests, and one can even take a guided picking tour (seasonal). Seafood lovers can enjoy fresh mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, prawns and wild salmon. There are four main agricultural areas on Vancouver Island: The Saanich Peninsula covers the southern end of the Island and is home to several award winning wineries. Guests will enjoy the world famous Butchart Gardens and gently sloping fields with views of the Gulf Islands and coastal waters. Historic Victoria is just a few minutes’ drive south, or bike the famous Galloping Goose trail into town. The Cowichan Region is north of Victoria, and south of Nanaimo. This area boasts dozens of wineries, and guests can cycle or even travel by horseback to visit the vineyards and gardens. There are beautiful Bed & Breakfasts lining the wine routes, and some guest facilities invite you to bring


your pet or your horse (called a Bed and Bale). Many farms open their homes to guests, and offer amenities like free-range eggs for breakfast, a chance to interact with farm animals or to pick your own berries for the morning meal. The Alberni Valley connects the east coast of the Island to the west coast, where massive waves invite surfers and storm-watchers for a wild, dramatic travelling experience. The Alberni Valley has a robust agricultural community, and a unique opportunity to ride a steam

10445 CHEMAINUS RD. CHEMAINUS 250.324.3777


We look forward to seeing you for some family fun in the country

McNabs Corn 7 acres of fun! 4613 Yellow Point Road 250.245.0666

Ranch Tours Tasty Lunches Farm Store Meat sales

www.Morning Star

1-877-945-8282 250-245-8282

Ride our Choo Choo Train and be with the Buffalo up real close.

On Southern Vancouver Island

Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014



train to visit a winery, museum and enjoy the view. Some of the best trophy fishing is offered here. The Comox Valley has a vibrant farmer to chef relationship, and diners will be delighted with the freshness of the cuisine. Many restaurants offer menus that describe the farm where the dish originated, often within only a kilometer or two. Delicious fruit and blackberry wines are created in this area. Excellent golf courses and a ski hill are additional attractions. A few of the Island’s high points include: • The Island Bison Ranch offers educational farm tours and tasty bison products from the on-store farm. Located in the Comox Valley. • Silverside Farm & Winery in the Cowichan Valley has unique berry wines, jams, jellies and frozen yoghurts, picnic tables and a tasting room.



for the health of it! 250.650.9305

• Pine Ridge RV Park and Farm Market boasts an orchard, gardens and rustic farm market near the Horne Lake Caves and Qualicum Beach. • Hazelwood Herb Farm in Ladysmith is home to hundreds of herbs set in a display garden; enjoy self-guided tours and a visit to the gift shop. • The McNab’s invite you to come get lost at McNabs Corn Maze and have some family fun in the country. • Morning Star Bison Ranch invites you to ride the new choo choo train with Buffalo Bob and see the Buffalo up real close. Located in Nanaimo. • Arrowvale Campground & Cottage has baby animals in the petting farm and u-pick raspberries in the summer months. Find them In Port Alberni. • The Dayliner Cafe serves Cowichan Valley wines and craft beers on the deck overlooking the garden. Features local garden stand. Situated in Saltair, North of Chemainus. • Twincreeks offers getaways and workshops at their Bed, Bale & Breakfast in Duncan, near the Kinsol Trestle Bridge. • Enjoy a good old country fair at the 146th Cowichan Exhibition, September 5–7, 2014 in Duncan, BC. Farm stays or agritours are generally arranged in one of two ways; either a Bed and Breakfast located on or near a farm, or a Work Away program. A Bed and Breakfast typically includes a private room and private bath, perhaps even a separate cottage, and guests are offered a Canadian-style breakfast. (Super fresh food, and lots of it!).

Enjoy the great taste and range, 100% grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free Bison!

Farm Gate Store 3100 Hamm Road

Black Creek


Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


Book in advance, stays are usually 2 nights to a week. Longer stays of a month or more can be accommodated, especially off season (October to March). The hosts will help arrange tours of local farms, cheese and wine tastings, horseback riding, or hay rides. Workshops may be offered, including spinning, weaving, cheese-making, canning, bread-making or painting. Some farms offer accommodations for people travelling with horses, and there are excellent riding trails in all areas, as well as access to riding rings and arenas. A Work Away program generally involves a traveller who is willing to work as a farm hand for several hours per day in exchange for room and board. This arrangement generally focuses around a project like painting a barn or planting a crop, or even language tutoring. Hosts provide a private room, and meals are generally shared with the family. The traveller is expected to spend 2 to 4 hours per day assisting with the running of the farm. Work Away is NOT set up to provide cheap labour. It is an exchange in which both parties should benefit. This program is related to WWOOF (world wide organic opportunities on farms), but is more open in terms of the types of projects that may be accomplished.

May: Sat 11 - 4 or by apt. June - August: daily 11 - 6.

3810 Cobble Hill Rd. Cobble Hill (250) 743-9149 toll free 1-877-743-9149

Herbs for Health, Beauty, Skin Care and Cooking 13576 Adshead Rd Ladysmith (250) 245-8007 open daily 11-5

For more information on these programs, visit


riverside campground & cottages 5955 Hector Rd. Port Alberni





Farm Market open May10th, 2014


Bed, Breakfast, & Bale (or cycle) on the Trans Canada Trail C’mon over to our place! Deborah & Launie

Retreats, Workshops, Horsemanship Clinics Featuring “Cowgirl Getaways” Unique, affordable, fun!

COME STAY WITH US! May 10: Sheep to Shawl Demo June/July: Fresh U-pick Raspberries

4820 Marshall Road, Duncan, BC V9L 6T3 Phone: 250-746-8769 email: Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


Agritourism Brings Opportunity

by Kathy Lachman Economic Development, Cowichan Valley


gritourism is an emerging aspect of agriculture in BC and it is a growing business sector on Vancouver Island. Agritourism, as it is defined most broadly, involves an agriculturally based operation or activity that brings visitors to a farm or ranch. Some examples of agritourism include farm tours, day camps, hands-on chores, self harvesting of produce, hay or sleigh rides and education around farming.

For those people who frequent agritourism establishments, it is more than purchasing a local product. It moves the consumer from purchasing a product to experiencing how the product was made. According to Nicole Vaugeios, BCRIC in Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development, “consumer demand is driving agritourism as people become more interested in how their food is produced.� They want to meet farmers and processors and talk with them about what goes into food production. For many people who visit farms, especially children, the visit marks the first time they see the source of their food, whether it is a dairy cow, an ear of corn growing in a field or an apple right off the tree.

While the needs of consumers drive demand for agritourism product, farmers who look to diversify on-farm revenue see this as a viable business option. Agritourism is one alternative for improving the incomes and potential economic viability of small farms and rural communities. Agritourism assists communities with solutions to help diversify their economic base and it also helps our regional urban centres and suburban populations understand the important role farming and rural life plays in supplying local, fresh and healthy food. Agritourism is not without its challenges. The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) legislation permits agritourism as a farm use within the ALR, however it is subject to certain limitations under the legislation, regulations and local government bylaws. Local governments can regulate or even prohibit agritourism accommodations, but may only regulate other agritourism activities. Because this sector is so new, many local governments struggle to keep up with bylaws and regulations that will allow this type of use on farms without negatively impacting the rural environment or the farm’s ability to produce agricultural products. In some cases farmers themselves cannot agree on what agritourism activities should be allowed on agriculture land.


Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


SEPT. 5, 6 & 7, 2014

“…agritourism for the family farm is all about opportunity… to keep the family farm alive by creating new revenue streams” and a way to “keep the younger generation involved through creating new business roles and challenges.” ~ Eckert, 2004 The Cowichan Region has many great examples of agritourism businesses and the sector is an important part of the Cowichan economy. As locals and tourists alike enjoy the rural nature of the region, agritourism has the potential to grow and flourish in the face of changing economic times. Demand for agri- tourism products will fuel its expansion and with careful planning, guidelines and policies, the region can reap the benefits of this new and exciting sector.

This Year’s Theme: Can You Dig It? EXHIBITION SPONSORS

find out how your business can become a part of the Cowichan Exhibition family of sponsors. These are the wonderful folks that support agriculture in our local community.


Bake a pie, enter your pet pig, or compete in the great zucchini car race! Whatever your category, now is the time to sign up and plan your strategy...


needed for 3 hour shifts in Mellor Hall during the fair. Call us to find out where and how we can use your skills. One 3 hour shift equals a free day pass!

250-748-0822 Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


Building Big on the Island

Vancouver Island Steel Buildings


pring is the time many farmers plan new buildings for equipment, livestock or feed & hay storage. You may not have considered steel, but it is one of the most cost-effective products for large buildings. Steel requires less maintenance than other building materials, can be installed within a short time frame and can even be constructed as an addition to an existing building.

Ray Aebig and Dennis Eremko know about building local relationships and building quality custom products. Recently the two men decided to put their more that 40 years of combined experience in steel buildings, fabrication, welding and construction together and create a new company, Vancouver Island Steel Buildings. Their business spans the whole island and beyond, serving the coastal islands and the rest of BC. They’ve erected everything from large commercial cattle barns to custom tractor sheds and even airplane hangars! They have hands-on knowledge about each community, from specific code requirements to connections with local tradespeople. As Ray says, “We have worked all over BC and in Alberta, but the island is the place we love to work, where we want to raise our families.” Dennis and Ray will visit your site and listen carefully to your requirements, then go over the various options open to you. You’ll be provided with a free estimate for your custom pre-engineered building and have your machine shed or barn built in under 12 weeks. They will order your pre-engineered steel building, which will be shipped in from Alberta or imported from the US, and will arrive with everything required for the completion of a quality building. You won’t need to worry about any of the details — as the work is guaranteed to be completed to your specifications and on budget. They’ll help you co- ordinate with local contractors, and fill you in on permits — farms may not require a permit, but other commercial buildings usually do. They can give you specific information on details like the load capacity for snow and roof slope requirements.


Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014

“We’re happy to come out and look at the lay of your land, go over your current needs and even discuss how your new building could be adapted to meet future growth in your business. We’re experienced with dairy and poultry businesses, and other farm construction requirements. You’re just not going to get that kind of service and expertise browsing the internet.” ~ Ray Aebig You can even request a quote by completing their online quote form at VI Steel Buildings is recognized throughout the industry for excellent workmanship and high-quality products like Brytex Buildings, American Building Systems and Metallic Building Company. For more information please call 1.888.505.0584 for the office or Ray 250.752.6767 Dennis 250.240.0216.

Structuring the Family Farm — Corporations by Mike Hughes MNP LLP


family farm operation typically takes one of three main forms: a farm proprietorship, partnership or corporation. In previous issues, we looked at the advantages and disadvantages of proprietorships and partnerships. This issue, we’ll look more closely at farm corporations.

A corporation is a business that is owned and operated by the shareholders. The corporation is a separate legal entity, and generally individual shareholders are not held liable for the corporation’s debts or judgments. Under a corporate structure, each shareholder owns shares of the company. The company in turn legally owns the farming assets such as inventory, equipment or quota, as well as the debt. In other words, the corporation’s assets and liabilities belong to the corporation, not to the shareholders. Unlike a proprietorship or partnership, the corporation is the taxpayer. The taxable income or loss from your farming operations is calculated at the corporate level, and shareholders are remunerated through wages or dividends. Wages are a deductible expense for the corporation and taxable to the recipient. Dividends are paid from the accumulated profits of the corporation

and are not deductible for the corporation; however, dividends are taxed in the shareholders’ hands at a preferential rate. Advantages of operating as a farm corporation when compared to a proprietorship and/or partnership include: • The corporate tax rate is significantly lower than the highest personal tax rates so there is a tax deferral on income that is left inside the corporation. B.C’s 2014 corporate tax rate on active farming income less than $500,000 is 13.5%; compare this to 45.8% for the highest personal tax rate in B.C. • Since the corporation is taxed at a lower rate, you can pay off debt faster than if you were in a partnership or proprietorship. • There may be advantages to be gained from limited liability. That said, most lenders do require some level of personal guarantees for the corporate debts. • A corporation has a perpetual existence that allows for a smoother transition of farming operations to the next generation. • Income paid from the corporation can be set based on the current needs of the family and not on the earnings of the farm operations. You can also easily split income with family members to reduce the overall family tax burden.

• The $800,000 personal capital gains deduction can be utilized on transferring assets into the corporation and is available on the sale of the shares of the corporation. You can also multiply the $800,000 lifetime capital gains exemption among family members. Disadvantages of operating as a farm corporation include: • A corporate structure is more complex and requires more professional advice, which results in higher accounting and legal fees. • The corporation is a separate entity and as such you will be required to set up a new bank account and maintain a separate set of books and records. • The corporation must file its own tax returns and the ongoing administrative costs are generally higher. • The corporation does not have access to any capital gains deductions when selling its assets. • Unlike getting into a corporation, winding up a corporation cannot be implemented on a tax- deferred basis. • Most farms begin operating as a proprietorship and are restructured into a partnership. A corporate structure makes sense as things become more profitable and more complex.

Mike Hughes, CPA, CA is a Taxation Specialist with MNP’s Vancouver Island Agriculture Services team. For more information, contact Mike at 250.753.8251 or Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


Making the Most of Your Timber

meter (M3) and cedar $100 to $200 per M3, depending on the grade. A fully loaded logging truck is between 30 to 35 M3. If you like math and are good with a metric tape measure you can calculate the volume of your log (see inset): It takes almost three M3 of log to make one cord of firewood. If you use logs valued at $100/M3 to make your firewood it has cost you $300/cord before you have done any work! The same three M3 can translate into 600 board feet (fbm) of lumber worth $420 to $1100 depending on it’s quality, what it has been cut into, and whether it is fir or cedar. An additional bonus are the by-products. The slabs can be cut into firewood and the sawdust can be used for animal bedding or mulch.

by Doug Brubaker, Forest Lumber & Cooperage


ogs are often a by-product of land clearing for agriculture or from simply taking down a few trees for sunlight. A few people have the luxury of owning a farm woodlot. Whatever the case we need to maximize the use of our resource both from an economic and ecological perspective.

In my 35 year career operating a small business forest enterprise I have seen much timber under-utilized or wasted. This often occurs when good quality Douglas Fir or Western Red Cedar are made into firewood instead of being cut into lumber on site or sold to a mill. Nice fir logs with 12" diameter tops are worth on the average $100 to $125 per cubic

Every community has at least one person who provides mobile milling service. The logs can be decked with a farm tractor, making them ready to roll on to the mill. The cost to mill is about $450 to $550 per 1000 fbm. Keep in mind that a saw miller will not be very excited about cutting logs that are too small, or full of defects. It would be hard for him to top



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If you take the average radius of both ends of your log in metres, and use that as the radius of that cylinder then (pi x radius squared) , times the length of the log in metres, you should have the volume of the cylinder (log) in cubic metres.

a day’s pay and he may want to cut for an hourly rate of $55 to $75 per hour. Basically if the logs are good, the lumber will be good and everyone makes or saves money. The old saying “you can’t make a silk purse from a sows ear” really applies when you are cutting logs. Firewood logs are worth about $20 to $30 per M3 because they are good for not much else. However firewood is a cheap source of heating for your house, hot tub or sauna. So in summary, the next time you are thinking about cutting down a tree, first consider what your needs are: firewood or lumber.



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t the heart of the Island, you’ll find John and Yvonne Dekleyne of Riverbend Hay. John started the hay business as a result of needing hay for his dairy herd. He then started supplying to other dairies, the horse community as well as to sheep, goat, llama and alpaca farmers. John has been in the business of selling hay for the past 24 years. For the past 10 years his wife Yvonne has expanded the hay business with hay sales off of their farm.

One of Yvonne’s main concerns leans toward the needs of the metabolic challenged horse, as she has a mare with Insulin Resistance. She has put to use the information gathered from equine veterinarians, nutritionists, and hay customers to do her best to provide a good quality, low sugar and starch hay. Yvonne

would like to stress that she is not a nutritionist but does try to offer good choices for her customers by providing accurate hay tests and results. While the couple is proud to provide low sugar hay, they continue to meet the needs of all types of horses as well as to dairy, beef, sheep, llama and alpaca farmers. John brings in hay weekly from Washington and the Interior of B.C. Customers can choose from orchard grass, timothy, grass alfalfa mixes and alfalfa. They also harvest and sell local round bale hay. And they carry big bales — which are 680 to 1250 lbs. Yup, that’s big! Their website is always current and lists what hay is available. Hay test results are posted on the website. Riverbend Hay is open year round. Days of operation are Fridays and Saturdays 10–5pm and Sundays 10–1pm. Monday to Thursday by appointment. Deliveries of trailer and flat deck loads are available. If you have a hay field that you would like to lease on a crop/share basis and at least 15 acres or more, Riverbend invites you to contact them. John or Yvonne Dekleyne 1670 Vowels Road, Cassidy 250.245.3763

Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


Situational Awareness for You and Your Horse

As flight animals, horses seek security in herds and count on herd leaders to alert and protect them. If the person working or playing with them chooses not to be a safe leader or is unfamiliar on how to do this the horse will take over the role, at which time the horse is on high alert and sees itself as also being responsible for your safety. If the horse is surprised by either sudden movement or odd noises it feels obligated to over-react and this is often when incidents and injuries can occur.

orses are intelligent animals, but they’re also flight animals. With long necks, widely spaced eyes, and mobile ears, they’re constantly on the lookout to detect predators and are aware of everything around them — including you.

Understanding how a horse sees and hears Having wide-set eyes means that a horse’s field of peripheral vision is very large. However, they have limited binocular vision (where both eyes see at once) as this only occurs when looking directly in front. Binocular vision also allows the horse to judge depth and distance, so most of the time, they only see things peripherally.

According to statistics, there were 112 work related injuries in the horse ranching, raising and breeding industry in B.C. in the past five years. Of those, 72 were considered serious injuries and 57 percent were the result of being struck by a horse. These statistics do not account for the numerous injuries to pleasure owners and riders.

Usually, a horse has one goal: to run away when movement is detected. This is often why a horse will overreact when it senses there’s movement beside or behind them. They also have three blind spots: directly in front of their head, at each rear flank, and around behind them, which all riders and ranchers should be aware of when working with these animals.



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Horses also have excellent hearing. Their ears swivel in all directions — allowing them to hear soft noises faraway such as a whisper or a mouse moving in the grass. For an owner or equestrian worker, observing a horses’ ear location and stance can provide valuable information and help predict potential flight responses. Horses engaged in active work will often have one ear turned to the rider or driver and the other to the environment.

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Observing horses in a natural setting is an ideal way to gain greater understanding of how sight and hearing play a critical role when working with and around horses. Position and stance of the ear is a language all on its own, and anyone working with horses owes it to themselves, and to the horse, to understand their language.

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How to approach a horse No matter how familiar you are with a horse, it’s important to approach it from from the side so that he can see you. Never approach a horse from directly in front or behind, because they can’t see you and could potentially hurt you because they’re not aware of your presence. Additionally, always speak to the horse as you approach them.

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It’s also important to always be aware of your position in relation to the horse and help the animal stay aware of your position. The most important thing is to stay close to the horse, as close as possible, (when safe to do so). This may be counter-intuitive, but the closer you are to the horse, the harder it is for injury to occur. If you’re working in the horses’ blind spot (flank and rump) ensure you always have your hand on the horse to let them know you’re there and pay attention to the ears to have a Official better sense of any increased tension and even be able to anticipate a kick.

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Releasing a horse after a ride After a ride, it’s important to insist that the animal stands calmly at your side before letting them back out in the pasture. Take this opportunity to pat and praise the horse for its hard work—this will help relax them in order to avoid the horse kicking up its heels when heading out to join the herd.

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When placing the horse back in the stall, you should also insist on creating the same calming sensation. Praise and pat the horse until the halter is removed and you have left the stall safely. While inside the stall, ensure you always have a means of escape and do not lock yourself in with the horse. Creating a safe workplace When working with animals, incidents and injuries can be hard to predict. In order to increase workplace safety on your farm, take the time to have a look around and re- evaluate your habits. Is there a better way of doing things? If so, find a way to do it better, do it slower, and take time to understand and care. WorkSafeBC Prevention Officer, Dawn Ianson, has been actively inspecting agriculture operations on Vancouver Island to determine compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations of BC and the Workers Compensation Act. She also has 35 years experience breeding and training horses.





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Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


Companions in the Barnyard

by Aleta Schmah, South Coast Veterinary Service

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dding a new type of animal to your farm can be fun and rewarding, but in addition to knowing and providing for the needs of the newcomers, it is important to be certain they will fit in with your existing animals. The best way to do this is to house different species apart from one another. However, due to space constraints and practicality on smaller farms, it is common to keep 2 or 3 or more different species housed together. In some cases this can work well, and even may increase farm productivity. Animals with different food preferences foraging together will eat a wider variety of plants. Rotating horses with cattle or sheep will reduce the parasite burden both species pick up from pasture. Geese may give smaller poultry partial protection from predators. There are many factors to take into account when considering housing 2 or more different species of animal together. Differences in nutritional requirements, fencing needs, possibility of disease transmission, and compatibility should all play into your decision.

The most common problem I see with mixing species is size and temperament incompatibility. Some horses love having a ‘buddy goat’, while others are aggressive or dangerously playful towards goats or sheep (and dogs, and chickens‌) sometimes going so far as to seriously injure or kill them. This can also be the case between horses and miniature horses or donkeys. Before getting a little buddy for your horse, introduce them carefully, and have a backup plan, should they prove incompatible.


Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014

As with horses and minis, mixing bantam and standard chickens can be problematic, particularly in a confined space. I even see problems in same-size, same-species, where there are marked temperament differences, such as broiler chicks and layer pullet chicks. The easygoing cornish cross broilers can get pretty beat up by many breeds of higher- strung layers. New adult poultry additions are best made after dark, so the new birds have the night to settle in. I recommend chicks purchased as day-olds be raised apart from the existing flock to adulthood. One way you may be able to bypass this is by tricking a broody hen into taking day-olds as her own. She will usually protect them from the other birds. Always watch closely for the first few days so you can intervene if a smaller bird is getting picked on. Make sure the coop isn’t overcrowded; each adult bird should have at least 2 square feet of floor space at all times. Provide two sources of food and water, so a bully can’t monopolize the feed source.

non-lactating rabbits need a low protein (about 12%), low starch, low calcium, high fibre diet. Their feeding needs can not be met with a single ration, so rabbits should not be housed with poultry. Pigs will eat anything they can catch! They need to be separated from birds. A final issue can be disease transmission. For example, donkeys can be silent carriers of lungworm, which they transmit to horses. Chickens are vectors for blackhead to turkeys. Cattle can get malignant catarrhal fever from sheep. These are not everyday issues, but can crop up from time to time, and you should familiarize yourself with the common diseases of a new animal. If you aren’t sure about care of your new additions, or whether keeping them with your current animals will be a good idea, your vet, 4-H Club, and local feed store can all be great sources of information. Dr. Schmah can be reached at 250.713.5028.

If you are combining multiple species, and they will be fed together, make sure to provide for the animal with higher needs. For example, laying hens require only 16% protein in their ration. Laying ducks do better with higher protein, 17–18%. The higher-protein feed won’t hurt the hens; both species do well on a high-starch, calcium-supplemented diet, and so both species’ needs can be met in one feed. Where this fails is when the animals needs are too different. A famous example of this is goats and sheep. Sheep are very copper-sensitive, and will accumulate copper to a toxic level if fed goat or cattle feed regularly. Donkeys will tend to get too fat if fed with a working horse. In contrast to the needs of chickens, adult




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Introducing Your Dog to Other Animals © Lisbeth Plant KPACTP

Early Imprinting If your dog will be living on a farm, or otherwise be expected to associate peacefully with animals of other species, the easiest time to do so is while the puppy is still in his Imprinting Period, also known as the Early Puppyhood Socialization period. This period occurs between 3-16 weeks of age and this is when the puppy learns who is “part of the family” and not to be feared or eaten. Imprinting occurs when newborn or very young animals establish recognition or attraction to other animals of its own or other species. Examples include the livestock guarding breeds, such as the Great Pyrenees, the Maremma Sheepdog and other such breeds, who are typically brought up with the flock that they will guard later in life. Introductions If your dog did not have the opportunity to become imprinted on (or socialized with) the particular species of animal that you would now like him to get on well with, you may need to do very careful introductions over a period of time. In this case, distance is your friend.

Start with out-of-sight introductions on leash. Let your dog investigate areas where the other animal has been, and vice versa. Reinforce your dog with food for calm behaviours during these investigations and let him take the time he needs to find out all he can about the other animal, using his canine scenting abilities. The next step will be the in-view introductions on leash. Start these at a great enough distance that your dog is able to maintain his own calm on a loose leash (as opposed to you keeping him “calm” by holding on to a tight leash, etc). The same goes, of course, for the other animal. Both need to be able to maintain calm. If your dog is reacting strongly to the presence of the other animal even at maximum distance that you can work with, your plan of action will depend on whether your dog is AFRAID of the other animal, or wants to CHASE or EAT it. In the Presence of Fear In the case of your dog being AFRAID of the other animal, you will need to do “counter-conditioning” with him. This means that every time the other animal is in sight, your dog will receive something he loves, like food. You can use your dog’s regular food for this, and make feeding time the time when the other animal is also in sight. Being at the correct distance from the other animal is important. You want the other animal to be close enough that your dog is aware, but not reacting fearfully. And, of course, vice versa. Repeat in sessions of 5 repetitions, several times a day for as long as it takes, gradually reducing the distance to the other animal. Sight of the other animal immediately followed by a treat means the sight of the other animal will gradually become less and less scary — it predicts


Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014

something good instead. Eventually the other animal will simply become something that the dog enjoys being in the company of. Dealing with Prey Drive If your dog has a strong desire to CHASE or EAT the other animal, we are now dealing with the hard-wired prey drive of a carnivore. The prey-drive is commonly very strong in all carnivores, as it is thanks to this instinct that the species has survived in the first place. The predatory sequence includes the searching, tracking, stalking, chasing, capturing, shaking, killing, and consumption of the prey. Many breeds have been developed specifically to enhance one or several behaviours of the predatory sequence, for example the border collie’s strong herding behaviour is an exaggeration of the stalking and chasing behaviours, and the retrievers’ strong retrieve is a development of the chasing and capturing behaviours. On the other hand, you often hear of dogs that chase a rabbit, or other such animal, only to end up not knowing what to do with it when they catch it. When there is no longer natural selection for a strong prey drive, it becomes weaker. If your dog has a strong prey drive that is triggered by presence of, or the movement of, the other animal, remember first of all that your dog is not a bad dog for chasing the cat — it’s his instinct, and he can’t help himself. Mother Nature has also ensured that chasing prey is a self-reinforcing behaviour by releasing endorphins to create a “chase high”. It feels really good to do it, too!

frisbee with you, he will learn for himself to select the preferred behaviour rather than chasing the chickens. Find a qualified, well educated trainer to help you with this training programme, and remember to always keep the prey animals safe.

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Your first priority is to keep the other animal safe. Set up the environment with fail-safe routines so that there is no chance that your dog will have a chance to catch the cat, or the lambs, or the chickens. Punishment is rarely an effective long-term solution, but the brief short-term successes (interruption of the chase) makes doling out punishment a reinforcing activity for the punisher himself. The first thing to understand is that you will never be able to take the chase instinct out of the dog. It will always be there under the surface and even if you have punished the dog severely for chasing, the possibility of the behaviour re-surfacing will always be there. The long-term solution lies in making one or several alternative behaviours MORE reinforcing than the chase and capture of the prey animal, so that the dog will CHOOSE to do the alternative behaviour instead of chasing prey. To achieve this, you will need to start with some basic foundation training. You need to build up a very strong reinforcement history for giving attention to you, and then do the same for alternative behaviours, so that the dog makes the choice on his own to follow your instructions, because it’s more reinforcing than to chase the cat, chickens, sheep, etc. For dogs with a strong prey drive, it is often helpful to use toys (aka prey-substitutes!) instead of food, or even a combination toy with food hidden inside it. If the dog can achieve as large, or larger, a “chase high” from playing ball or

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Rainwater Harvesting

by Lauren Fegan, Team WaterSmart Coordinator for the RDN

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Rainwater catchment systems can be designed to meet any needs and they are a benefit to the user as well as the environment. Collecting free sky water gives individuals added water security, helps to alleviate stress on groundwater and surface water sources in the summer months and protects our stormwater systems from excess runoff in the rainy season. Rainwater storage is catching on across the Island and is a great way to make the most of the rain we get. Some things to consider when planning and designing your rain catchment system are:

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eople that live on the “wet coast” know in the winter months it can rain for days, weeks or even months, yet in the summer we often see little or no rain. Even still, our winter rains are becoming less predictable as we see more precipitation variability due to a changing global climate. Being equipped to harvest the rain that comes is something that Islanders can do in their own backyards, as a preparedness measure. Collecting rainwater during the wet times for use during the dry times makes sense as generally it’s in the summer months that we see water demands at their highest. This increase is primarily for outdoor use, for flower and vegetable gardens, but can be for indoor use as well when extra washing and laundry is done for summer guests.

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1. what the primary uses for the rainwater will be; 2. the size of your roof or catchment area and the amount of rain in your area; 3. type and location of your cistern/tank; 4. maintenance and inspection schedule. The first step is to determine if you would like a non-potable (outdoor/garden) or potable (indoor/drinking) system. Non-potable systems can be more simplistic; requiring a smaller catchment area, less storage and maintenance, fewer parts and pieces, and they are often less costly and easier to install. Potable or indoor systems require the correct permits and certified professionals to ensure that they are correctly installed with a backflow preventer. For potable indoor use a filtration system that meets drinking water standards is likely necessary and that goes along with more maintenance and inspection time. continued on next page

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Catchment Area

partially underground, under decks, in basements/crawl spaces, surrounded by shrubs, etc. and can be made of concrete, polyethylene, steel or poly. Ensuring that your cistern is supported on stable foundation and is protected from the sun is important for safety, minimizing algae growth and keeping the stored water at a moderate temperature. By knowing the average rainfall in your area and the size of your catchment area you can determine roughly how much water you can collect with your rainwater harvesting system. The average rainfall in your area can be found on Environment Canada’s website and a quick calculation can be done using one of the general equations: • 1 mm of rain on 1 square meter = 1 litre of water; • 1 inch of rain on 1 square foot = 0.52 gallons of water. Where to put your cistern will depend on your property and the size and type of tank you install. Tanks can be fully or


All the parts and pieces that make your rain catchment system functional and effective require regular maintenance and inspection. The roof (catchment area), gutters and filters require cleaning to ensure excess debris doesn’t clog or contaminate. Inspecting the fittings and piping will ensure no leaks have sprung up and having a qualified professional clean your tank when it reaches a certain age will make sure your stored water is clean and clear. By validating that each component is completing its function, the water in your system will flow easily. Collecting rainwater helps take pressure off our aquifers and streams, and provides backyard resilience to water shortages. There are many factors to



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consider when customizing your rain catchment system and the Rainwater Harvesting Guidebook is a great resource to get started, a digital copy can be found online at and hard copies are free to all residents of the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN). To assist residents in the RDN, funds (up to $750) are now available for the installation of rainwater harvesting systems with storage capacity of 1000 gallons or more. Please see for all the info, or call 250.390.6560.

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2014 marks 100 years of 4-H in B.C. and the Vancouver Island region wants you to join the celebration! The event takes place on Saturday, August 9, 2014 from 5:30 p.m.–10:00 p.m. at the 4-H Coombs Fairgrounds, 1014 Ford Road, Coombs, BC. Come check out the fair during the day and then join us after the fair closes for a light dinner and social. This event is open to all Members, Leaders and Alumni. Preregistration is required by July 27, 2014 and forms are available at

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Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


If you want to implement change in a riparian area for a farm related use you are protected under the Right to Farm Act and the RAR does not apply. If you want to develop or change an aspect of your farm in a riparian area for nonfarm related use then the RAR will affect your project and you will need to seek a development permit and pay to have a Qualified Environmental Professional come and do an assessment. The QEP will determine and measure the appropriate RAR setback and will give their report to the local government, who will make the ultimate decision. This will also apply if you own a property that is zoned for agricultural use or is within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) but you are developing it for a non-farm related use. For example, building a house close to riparian setbacks would require a residential permit application, but building a barn would not require a permit. However, the Federal Fisheries Act DOES still apply here, if it is a fish habitat. If

Where Water Meets Field Riparian Regulations by Laura Godbeer, Realtor & Farmer


here are many challenges facing those new to farming in BC, including understanding the Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR), which was enacted under the Fish Protection Act in 2004. Although the RAR might seem daunting, complicated and limiting, it’s important to know how the regulations are going to affect your farm property and land use before you purchase.

The RAR was established to protect the areas bordering streams, lakes and wetlands that link water to land. For a farmer this means any streams, creeks, reservoirs, marshes, constructed ditches and channels or other water courses, big or small, running through your property. It is important to know if the watercourse is fish bearing, because the Federal Fisheries Act would then apply. This Act prohibits activities that result in a serious harm to fish habitat, and applies even when the RAR does not. The Riparian Areas Regulation allows municipal governments to protect riparian areas through local bylaws and regulations as long as it is the equivalent or better than the RAR. For example in Saanich, Victoria, it is called the Streamside Development Permit Area or SDPA and in Central Saanich, Victoria it is the Riparian and Sensitive Aquatic Ecosystem Areas.

you want to put a culvert in a creek or a bridge over a watercourse to provide access to a portion of your property, then a Notification under the Water Act should be submitted to FrontCounter BC.

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Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014

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For more information and links to the Riparian Areas Regulation and the Environmental Farm Plan, visit As a local farmer in Victoria (Saanich) who has 3 water courses running throughout my 20 acres, I chose to undergo the process to have an Environmental Farm Plan. The program is free to apply for and is an aid to help provide farmers with peace of mind by ensuring that their operation is meeting the current environmental standards for farming practices. It is a separate entity in itself and will not report your property if you do not fall under the current farm use or the RAR. After completing the EFP assessment, you will be eligible to apply for future Beneficial Management Practice (BMP) funding which is a grant given to select applicants each year to help with riparian management.

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Organic Certified Farm and Buildings Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


Send a Selfie to Save the ALR! Arzeena Hamir of Amara Farms in Courtenay invites farmers to submit selfies to her hashtag #farmers4ALR. She says:

To read the proposed bill for yourself, visit our website link:

“I think it’s important that farmers stand in solidarity for each other, even if we feel our Zone 1 designation is safe... Why should I and my community continue to have some level of food security and farmers and communities in the North and Kootenays have to sacrifice theirs for oil & gas exploration? Regional panels will be given much more power than they’ve ever had so I, personally, do not believe that Zone 1 farmland is “safe”. It will continue to be chipped away at. That’s why I posted my selfie. To show that the ALR is extremely important, that Bill 24 needs to be killed, and that farmers can speak out, show their farms, and allow the pubic to see how the ALR is protecting farmland.” blog/2014/04/read-bill-24-changes-alr/

The BC Food Systems Network, a non-profit group that supports food secu-


ome farmers say they were not properly consulted and are protesting proposed changes to the ALR, which would see Vancouver Island, the Okanagan and the Fraser Valley’s prime agricultural land zoning unchanged, but farmland in the interior and northern BC would have some restrictions lifted, making it easier for individuals or corporations to develop the land for activities other than farming.

rity, invites farmers to post selfies on their website,, and to contact Premier Clark or Minister of Agriculture Letnick (replacing Pat Pimm) so their voices can be heard.

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Duncan United Church Hall, 246 Ingran St


May 10, 9:00–2:00

LADYSMITH PLANT SALE May 10, starts 9:00

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Open House and Pig Roast Everyone welcome, no charge

Free workshops on beekeeping at Fredrich’s Honey Farm



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MOM’S DAY EVENT Vintage Market and Tea, preschool fundraiser


Saturdays 9:00-12:00 Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds


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Sundays 10:00-2:00 Crow & Gate Pub, 2313 Yellowpoint Rd


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Saturdays 10:00-1:00 Errington Community Hall, Veterans Rd

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Saturdays 9:00-12:00 6211 Cherry Creek Rd




Luxton Fairgrounds

Wednesdays 4:00-6:30 Beban Park, 2300 Bowen Rd



Professional Rodeo, and Midway organized by volunteers


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Saturdays 11:00-2:00 Copse Park on Sollans Rd

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Saturdays 10:00-12:00 Quadra Island Credit Union




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May 17–19


Wednesday 11:00-3:00 770 Fisgard St

Rodeo Grounds


Saturdays 9:30-1:00 Pender Island Recreation Centre



Sundays 1:30-4:30 7113 Lantzville Rd



250.522.1217 LANTZVILLE


Thursdays 5:30-8:30 Beacon Ave, Sidney



Local talent, jam format, bring your fiddle or guitar! 4-H fundraiser

Saturdays 10:00-1:00 Aggie Hall at Corner of North & South Rd


Saturdays 10:00-2:00 401 Moss St, Victoria

May 16, 7 p.m. 3rd Friday of the month


Saturdays 9:30-12:30 St. Johns Church, 10990 West Saanich Rd, North Saanich

Saturdays 10:00-2:00 10063 South Shore Rd


Fridays 5:00-9:00 Ucluelet Village Green



Saturdays 9:00-3:00 Menzies at Superior St, Victoria


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Saturdays 9:00-1:00 Saanich Fairgrounds, 1528 Stelly X Rd


May 17-19 Champion Cowboys Speciality Acts & More! Rodeo Starts 2pm Daily Admission Tix at the Gate Carnival Midway Rides Free Admission to Midway Parking by donation Hwy#14 Corner of Sooke & Luxton Rd.

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Doug Routley, MLA Nanaimo~North Cowichan Unit 112 50 Tenth Street Nanaimo, BC V9R 6L1 T 250.716.5221 | F 250.716.5222 Box 269 | #1-16 High Street Ladysmith, BC V9G 1A2 T 250.245.9375 | F 250.245.8164 Web: Email:

Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


“The annual spring return of the Rufous Hummingbird corresponds with the flowering of the Salmonberry and the Red Flowering Currant shrubs. The best way to attract hummingbirds to your garden is to provide plants that are covered profusely with sweet nectar flowers. Once in your garden, they will then find your feeder. Nectar for your feeder is extremely simple to make. Mix one part sugar with 4 parts water. *Caution — although it may seem logical and perhaps even preferable to use honey, it is not advised as it may cause a fungal infection on the bird’s tongue. Clean the feeder and put out fresh nectar often, especially in hot weather.” ~ Marigold Nurseries

Hummingbirds in the Garden


y feeder is gloriously busy these days, humming with activity as guests visit every 3 or 4 minutes. In the sunshine, their brilliant bands of colour flash like rubies and emeralds. What a view from my kitchen window; as a I wash dishes I am just a pane of glass away from their tiny buffet. They like to perch near the feeder before visiting, choosing to sit near the maple buds, where they are so well camouflaged they almost disappear. They also rest on the clothesline, it being just the right circumference for their tiny feet to clutch. A cup-shaped leaf makes a perfect bath, or they’ll take a shower during a light rain.

Hummingbirds are native to the Americas, and when the explorers first arrived, the Portugese called them Beija-Flor (flower-kisser) and the Spaniards called them Joyas Voladoras (Flying Jewels). The species we most commonly see on Vancouver Island, the Roufus, travels all the way from Mexico to Alaska. They have very good memories and can find the same feeder or flowering shrub year after year. Hummingbirds find a red, flute-shaped flower most inviting, and will visit up to 1000 flowers in a day. Hummingbirds rely mainly on sweet nectar for their diet, and act as pollinators in the garden. They do not purposefully collect the pollen, but it sticks to them and brushes off as they dance from bloom to bloom. A hummingbird will also eat dozens of nutrient-rich insects each day, and

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Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014

are quite adept at pinching them from spider’s webs. The females also use spiderwebs and cocoon silk in their nest construction. A typical female lays two eggs, each a little smaller than a jelly bean.


Beauty Bush









Scarlett Run. Bean Hollyhocks July-August


Red Currant




The hummingbird holds a special place in First Nations’ mythology. On the Northwest Coast he is called “Sah Sen” and is said to represent playfulness, friendship and good luck. The bird’s wings trace out the pattern of an infinity symbol, and so is also thought to represent eternity and continuity. Humming Bird Facts • Their wings beat an average of 70 times per minute • Their hearts beat at up to 1200 times per minute. • They take 250 breaths per minute. • Hummingbirds have a life span of about 5 years. • The Bee Hummingbird, tiniest of the species, has a wingspan of only two inches.













Information sourced from Thanks to for the nest photo.

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GARDEN WORKSHOPS May 3 2:00-4:00 Grow the Best Tomatoes

May 10 10:00-2:00 Organic Plant Sale Annual Spring Event

Start your garden right this spring by filling it with locally produced organic seeds and seedlings, heirloom vegetables and rare varieties that will grow beautifully in our temperate island climate. FREE EVENT, LIVE MUSIC!

Learn the history & types of tomatoes, how to start and feed seedlings, how to transplant, their diseases and pests, the type of soil and nutrients they need, watering requirements, training and staking the different varieties, companion planting, and seed saving. Presenter: Mary Alice Johnson of ALM Organic Farms. $15-$20

June 7 1:00-4:00 Intensive: Herbal Teas, Tinctures and Salves

May 31 1:00-3:00 Day & Night in the Garden for kids 6-8

Come and learn some of the local garden herbs and flowers This workshop will teach kids how that can be used in teas, tinctures to use plants such as lemon balm, and salves. $20-$25 peppermint, and chamomile to mix up a batch of sun tea to enjoy June 21 1:00-3:00 together, then make dream pillows Herbal First Aid to bring them relaxing nights of This hands-on workshop for sweet dreams. $10 children ages 9-11will teach how to use plants from the garden to June 7 10:00-12:00 nurture our bodies. Each parComposting Basics ticipant will leave with samples Learn all the basics of compost- of salve, tincture and syrup, as ing and discover which system is well as recipes to recreate their concoctions at home. $10 right for you! Free Workshop

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Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014

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Helping with Hanging Baskets E

very year I make hanging baskets to sell at the farmer’s markets or to businesses and homeowners. I have an unheated greenhouse, so I can start in early April, and by the time it is safe for them to hang outside in the late May sunshine, they are full and vigorous. Here are a few tips to help you get started on your own baskets. If you don’t have a greenhouse, wait until the 20th of May to put them together.

I use a 12" pot, and Sunshine #4 soil mix. First clean your baskets if you are re-using old ones, then rinse them in a bleach solution of 10 to 1 (10 water, 1 bleach). This makes sure no bacteria, fungus, etc

Hanging Baskets Tomatoes Garlic Herbs

is transferred to your new plants. Fill the basket right to the top with the soil — it is very light, and will compact down.


I use a geranium in the centre, several petunias and 3 or 4 other stuffers. Bacopa is one of my favourite stuffers, as is lemon-lime Helichrysum, which has beautiful yellow foliage. I make some monochrome baskets (all one colour) — especially all white, which are wonderful for decor at weddings. Opposites on the colour wheel will make for high contrast pops of colour. Try royal purple petunias with yellow bidens. Once your plants are in you have to be quite fierce and give them a good pruning so they will bush out.

located in Yellow Point

Careful not to crowd too many in! This is the main mistake people make. Too many plants look good for the first couple of weeks, but then compete for the space and nutrients, and the baskets end up scraggly and leggy. I fertilize often, every couple of weeks. Good luck! If you’d like to order one of our baskets, please call Lesley 250.713.1439.

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Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


“please call ahead to book your order”


Lesley’s Famous Lasagna


get special requests at birthdays and holidays for this recipe. I make my own pasta, but you can use ready-made if you want to save a little time. It only takes about 15 minutes to make the pasta dough and roll it out — you’d be surprised how easy and tasty it is.

The TomaTo Sauce • • • • • • • • • • •

3 cloves garlic, chopped finely ½ onion, chopped finely 1 lb ground meat (bison or beef is nice) 1 cup chopped zucchini 1 cup chopped peppers 1 chopped fresh tomato 1 large can diced or crushed tomatoes ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh basil ½ tsp cayenne 1 tsp sugar salt to taste

Sauté your garlic, onions and meat on medium heat in some olive oil, then add the zucchini, peppers and fresh tomato. Cook until soft, then add the canned tomatoes, basil, cayenne, sugar and salt. Simmer at least ½ hour, or all day, adding liquid as necessary.

cream Sauce • • • • • • •

2 tbsp butter 2 tbsp flour 2 cups milk ½ tsp garlic powder ½ tsp nutmeg squeeze of lemon ½ cup grated real parmesan or asagio cheese

Melt 2 tbsp butter over med-high heat. Add the flour to form a L esley paste, then add the milk and bring to a boil, watching carefully. Turn down to med-high heat and simmer. The sauce should thicken. You may need to thicken additionally with a little cornstarch mixed with water. Add the rest of the ingredients in.

The PaSTa • 1¾ cup flour • 2 lg eggs • 2 tbsp water

• 1 tsp olive oil • ½ tsp salt

Mix the pasta ingredients all up together until you have a dough that is workable but not sticky. If you have a pasta machine, slide the dough through at setting 1 then 3 then 5. Otherwise, roll the dough as thin as possible, and cut into rectangles to fit your pan.

aSSembly I like to use a glass casserole dish, about 9" x 13". First drizzle a good lot of olive oil on the bottom of the pan. Put your first layer of pasta, then ½ cup of the tomato sauce, then pasta, then ½ cup cream sauce, then pasta, repeating until the last layer, on which you put a little of both tomato and cream sauce, then sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese. Cover loosely with foil. Homemade pasta rises, so your dish will get bigger! If you are using store bought pasta, this recipe works better with the kind you cook first, not the ready to bake variety. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour at 350˚F. Take the tinfoil off and bake 10 more minutes so the top can brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesdays 2 - 6 Transfer Beach Starting June 3 vendors please contact Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce 250.245.2112 Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


Portrait of a Farmer: Ron Leslie Black Creek Farm & Feed Has What You Need!



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Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014

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his is Ron Leslie, Port Alberni farmer. I grew up just down the road from him and stopped in one day to take a couple portraits. He was quite surprised and said “why would you want a picture of an old guy like me?” Shortly after, he passed away. Having no one to inherit his farm, the government seized it and auctioned off all of his assets. Now his estate sits quiet and empty. His farm here in Cherry Creek was strictly beef cattle (160 acres). He was born in Alberta and had a beef cattle farm there on the Saskatchewan border. His fiancée was an American pilot from Iowa, who died in a plane crash at 17 years old. He was in love and never had any desire to find another woman. He used to slowly drive alongside his property just admiring his land, a lot of the time holding up traffic. Everyone around the area was familiar with who he was, so people were pretty patient. His presence will sure be missed in Port Alberni. ~ Drew I am 23 years old, born and raised in Port Alberni, now living in Victoria. I had my first photo published when I was in grade 11, and I’ve been freelancing on the side since then. People can get a hold of me by email ~ Drew Glaser




Foot of Mission Hill 123 N. Island Hwy Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014



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We’d like to thank Hans Peter Myer for the use of his photo of Jo Smith in the last issue. Hans Peter Meyer is a writer and photographer in the Comox Valley region. You can find his Vancouver Island “local food” work in various publications, and at He is also social media sponsor for the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market and the annual Flavour Gourmet Picnic. He can be reached via

Next Issue July 1 Summer Fun on the Farm! Country fairs and lively markets. Call 250.924.1439 to be included.


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ADVERTISER DIRECTORY ABC Water Systems .....................30 Aerial Tree Service ......................19 Arrowvale ......................................13 Berks Intertruck ........................... 31 Black Creek Farm & Feed Supply ..................................42 Blair Herbert .................................32 Bob’s Topsoil .................................39 Buckerfield’s ....................................4 Cedar Valley Poultry....................40 Clearwater Ponds .........................29 Compost Education Centre.........38 Cowichan Canine ........................26 Cowichan Exhibition ...................15 Cowichan Grown ......................... 14 Crockett’s Tractor Service ..........19 Dayliner Cafe ................................ 11 Doug Routley, MLA .....................35

Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014

E3 Naturals ......................................9 Equine Emporium ........................20 Forest Lumber ...............................18 Fredrich’s Honey ............................7 Fuhrlang Farm ..............................37 Gogo’s Sawmill .............................18 Gordon’s Homes Sales Ltd.............3 Hall’s Greenhouses .......................37 Harbour City Equipment ..............4 Hazelwood Herb Farm ................13 Hertel’s Meats ...............................40 Home Hardware .............................5 Island Bison ..................................12 Island Tractor ................................23 Islandvolks Automotive Ltd. ......45 Jon Ransome .................................31 Ladysmith Farmers Market ........41 Laura Godbeer ..............................33 Luxton Pro Rodeo ........................35 Marigold Nurseries ......................36 McNabs Corn Maze .....................11 MNP LLP ......................................17 Morning Star Bison Ranch..........11 Nanaimo Regional District .........30 Nancy Vieira Realty .....................33 NatureScape Fencing ...................39 Nature’s Intent ..............................38 OK Tire ............................................2 Pilon Tool Rentals .......................43 PineRidge Farm ............................13 Plecas Meats .................................25 Port Alberni Tourism............ 46, 47 ProForm ........................................48 Riva’s Remedies.............................20 Riverbend Hay ..............................25 Rob Grey ........................................34 Silverside Farm .............................13 South Coast Veterinary Service ..24 Southern Irrigation ......................28 Top Shelf Feeds ...............................8 Tree of Life Veterinary Care .......27 Twin Creeks ..................................13 Vancouver Island Insurance Centres ..........................................22 Westview Ford .............................42 Work Safe BC ...............................23

The Last Laugh Two friars are having trouble paying off the belfry, so they open a florist shop. Everyone wants to buy flowers from the men of God so business is quickly booming. The florist across town sees a huge drop in sales and has trouble feeding his family. He asks the two friars to close their shop, but they refuse, so the florist hires Hugh McTaggert, the roughest, toughest thug in town to ‘persuade’ the friars to close. He threatens to beat the crap out of them and wreck their shop every day they remain open, so they close. This proves once again that only Hugh can prevent florist friars. Recently, Lucy the (male) emu escaped from his pen in Cassidy and ran around Nanaimo for a few days. Apparently, he could out-run the cops, but wasn’t considered a flight risk. He’s safe back in his pen now, but kicked up a fuss when Constable Tim and the owner tried to wrestle him into the van for the ride home. I guess he was not emused.

Q: Why did the queen bee have a bad hair day? A: She used a honeycomb and ended up a frisbee.

Q: What is a baby bee?

Q: Where did Noah keep his bees?

A: Just a little hum bug.

A: In his archives.

I’ll have what you’re having, dear. An Aussie truckie walks into an outback cafe with a full-grown emu behind him. The waitress asks them for their orders. The truckie says, “A hamburger, chips and a coke,” and turns to the emu, “What’s yours?” “I’ll have the same,” says the emu. A short time later the waitress returns with the order. “That will be $9.40 please,” and he reaches into his pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment. The next day, the man and the emu come again and he says, “A hamburger, chips and a coke.” The emu says, “I’ll have the same.” Again the truckie reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change. The waitress cannot hold back her curiosity any longer. “Excuse me, mate, how do you manage to always come up with the exact change in your pocket every time?” “Well, love,” says the truckie, “a few years ago I was cleaning out the back shed, and found an old lamp. When I rubbed it, a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there.” “That’s brilliant!” says the waitress. “What’s with the emu?” The truckie sighs, pauses, and answers, “My second wish was for a tall chick with a big butt and long legs, who agrees with everything I say.”

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Island Farm & Garden ~ may / June 2014


Vancouver Island’s Most For a free copy of the Alberni Valley Farmers Directory please contact Pat Deakin


Mike Irg Regional Planner 250.720.2710

Affordable Agricultural Land.

farm real estate sampling: 5 acre property land only... $239,000 Rancher on 2 acres with shop.. $349,000 Sproat Lake home on 3 acres ... $319,000 Large family home on 3 acres... $389,000 Iconic Craftsman home on 2 acres... $549,000

Pat Deakin Economic Development 250.720.2527

Providing Premium Feed To Island Farms For Nearly 30 Years

ProForm Feeds are manufactured in BC’s first HAACP, FeedAssure and now ISO 22000 Certified Mill, ensuring the highest levels of feed safety standards and product consistency. We have a full team of nutritional experts of all species formulating All Vegetable Feeds designed to Optimize Performance. ProForm is backed by research and made with exclusive technologies.

Find ProForm at these independently-owned Vancouver & Gulf Island and Sunshine Coast locations, or where premium feeds are sold: Beaver Creek Market 6230 Beaver Creek Rd. Port Alberni 250-724-3932 Black Creek Feed 2184 Lalum Rd. Black Creek 250-337-8922 Buckerfields Duncan 5410 Trans Canada Hwy. Duncan 250-748-8171 Buckerfields Nanaimo #1-1277 Island Hwy Nanaimo 250-753-4221 Buckerfields Parksville 587 Alberni Highway Parksville 250-248-3243 Buckerfields Saanich 1970 Keating Cross Road Saanichton 250-652-9188 Foxglove Farm & Garden 104 Atkins Rd. Ganges (Salt Spring Island) 250-537-5531 Heriot Bay Tru-Value Foods 1536 Heriot Bay Road Quadra Island 250-285-2436 McDonalds Farm RR#1 - P14 Bowen Island 604-947-2517 Quality Farm & Garden RR#4 325A Pratt Rd. Gibsons 604-886-7527 Rainbow Valley Farm & Pet 4480 Manson Ave. Powell River 604-485-2244 Raven Feed & Pet Supply 535 North Road Gabriola Island 250-247-9200 Station Farm & Feed 1290 Alberni Hwy Errington 250-248-8631 The Trading Post 3345 Island Highway Cassidy 250-245-2115 Welcome Harvest Farm Ltd Van Anda 604-486-7137 White House Stables 9774 West Saanich Rd., RR#2 Sidney 250-656-8701 Willow Wind Feed 2714 Sooke Rd. Langford 250-478-8012

KENNEL BLEND 1.800.663.2267 | |

Official Feed Sponsors of the Canadian Para-Equestrian Team

Island Farm & Garden Summer 2014  

Honey Bees: Health Benefits from the Hive Agritourism: Come visit a Vancouver Island Farm

Island Farm & Garden Summer 2014  

Honey Bees: Health Benefits from the Hive Agritourism: Come visit a Vancouver Island Farm