Our Shared Vision
To be a leading model of community-supported, small-scale sustainable organic agriculture carried out in harmony with local ecosystems.
We acknowledge and respect the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory Haliburton Community Organic Farm stands,
and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.
What We Do
- practice and promote sustainable farming practices
- involve the community in sustainable food production
- support a local sustainable food system
- demonstrate the viability of small-scale farming
- restore and enhance biodiversity within farming systems
- demonstrate a cooperative community farming system
- educate about agroecology
In the summer of 2001, a group of concerned citizens formed the Land for Food Coalition (LFFC) in response to the threat of having the non-reservoir former farm property removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve and sold by the Capital Regional District (CRD) for a subdivision of 24 or 26 houses. The Cordova Bay Association for Community Affairs (CBA) made common cause with LFFC which developed an alternative land use plan to restore the Haliburton Farm to a working, organic farm with a community focus.
This plan was presented to the CRD and Saanich council. As a result of these efforts by the LFFC and the CBA, the CRD and Saanich agreed to the transfer of the Haliburton lands to Saanich for a purchase price of $400,000, with the intention of preserving the former farm for renewed agricultural use.
The Haliburton Community Organic Farm Society (HCOFS) was then established to develop plans for and to manage the farm under lease from the District of Saanich. The farmers and directors of HCOFS appreciate continued support from the CBA.
Haliburton Community Organic Farm is a publicly-owned farm within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The farm was saved from development by a group of concerned citizens and the District of Saanich, who purchased the land. The Farm is a community and educational certified organic farm.
The farm is 4.09 ha (approximately 9.3 acres), and is located on the south side of Haliburton Road (741 Haliburton Road) in Cordova Bay, which is a neighbourhood in Saanich, BC.
The farm was previously zoned P-2 (Utility Zone) and has been rezoned to a new Rural Demonstration Farm Zone, unique within the ALR. It contains an underground water reservoir and a farm centre (house) on the west part of the site, a forested area on the southern part, and various fruit and berry orchards. It has a sunny southern exposure with excellent soil.
Fifty years ago, Haliburton Farm, or Four Winds Farm as it was then called, supplied fruit and vegetables to the neighbourhood and provided jobs for a family. Before 2004 there had been no active farming on the land in over 30 years, yet the fruit trees continued to produce bountiful amounts of cherries, pears and plums. During those years the farm had been used to graze sheep during the spring & summer, which was helpful in keeping invasive species, such as broom and Himalayan blackberry, somewhat at bay.
Today it is a thriving community farm, one of 14 community farms in Canada, 7 being on Vancouver Island. There are 5 separate businesses operating under the umbrella of the Haliburton Community Organic Farm Society.
The Haliburton Community Organic Farm Society is a non-profit organization composed of farmers, neighbours of Haliburton Farm, educators, and community members interested in sustainable, organic agriculture. The current members of our volunteer Board of Directors are:
2021 Board of Directors:
Rhona McAdam (President), Jonna Deutscher (Treasurer), Laura Cousins (Secretary), James Miskelly (Biodiversity Lead), Kevin Allen & Erin Bett (Farmer Reps), Lizanne Ward (Education Rep), Heather Robinson (Wholesale representative), Arctica Cunningham (Director), Suzanne Weir (Neighbourhood Rep)
I. STEWARDSHIP: Stewardship is the act of care-taking; looking after the home or affairs of another. It suggests managing the land as if it does not belong to us, but rather to all species and to future generations.
II. EDUCATION/RESEARCH: Haliburton Community Organic Farm will provide educational opportunities for organic farmers as well as reach out to the broader community to increase public knowledge about small scale organic farming. The Farm will impart the importance of the principle of ecological stewardship in farming and the value of community support of sustainable local farming.
III. ECONOMIC VIABILITY: The Haliburton Community Farm will provide a model for improving the long term economic viability of farming through cooperative and community-based organic farming. The farm will allow farmers entering the profession the opportunity to make a living in agriculture while learning and building skills. This model will demonstrate the importance of financial and community supports for farmers.
IV. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT/ PARTNERSHIPS: Haliburton is a community farm. Although portions of the land will be designated to specific farmers, the public will be welcome to visit and engage in the activities of the farm.