Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Island on the Edge

I had the privilege of being a guest at the most recent North Vancouver Island Chefs Association meeting this past Monday. My friend Jon, who is the Vice President of the Association, had informed me of this film and I was keen on seeing it. He soon informed me that the film would be shown at the meeting and I was welcome to participate in the viewing.


If you are unaware of this film, I will give a little synopsis. The premise is what would happen if boat traffic and airplanes were some how unable to bring food supplies on to Vancouver Island for any length of time. The film maker, Nick Veersteg of Duncan B.C., takes us on a journey around the island. He visits many farms, markets and chefs to discuss the challenges of food security for Vancouver Island. The movie is written by by Don Genova a west coast journalist who specializes in food and travel writing. Genova also narrates the film.

In the film it was stated by one interviewee who is a produce manager in the head office with a Vancouver Island based grocer, that Vancouver Island would run out of fresh food with in five or six days. This shocked many of the viewers in attendance. On an island that seems to have so much agriculture, it only produced approximately 10 percent of the food needed annually that is consumed by residents and visitors.

I saw many of the same kinds of things I have watched in other films related on the subject for food security and agro business making decisions on what we eat. I enjoyed that the film was based on Vancouver Island, and to see that challenges and positive changes that are present in food production locally. I would say the biggest hurdle facing Island farmers, and would be farmers is the high demand and price for real estate. Having land for food production close to the major centers is where is would have the greatest impact and these places are where the land is most cost prohibitive. Often, families who already have marketable farmland are losing it when the elders decided to retire and the younger generations decided to sell to developers for large sums. We are losing almost 900 acres of A.L.R. every year.

The government needs to insure that we still have land to grow food on. Golf courses don't count as farm land. I am sorry, it just doesn't cut it. This Island has such a perfect climate for growing food, to only produce one tenth of what we actually need is shameful. I encourage everyone to plant some kind of a garden at home. Even if it is just a pot with a couple tomato plants in it. Share with your children how important it is to buy local food and support that farmers. Their generation is going to be the one who has to deal with the end of cheap oil and the end of cheap food.

 If you get a chance to watch this film, do so. I look forward to the next film by Versteeg, called "Food Security, It's in your hands" And it is......


  1. Woo hoo im the weener! 1000! Interesting article tonite bud. Good job

  2. I will always remember my first and my 1000th. Too bad I didn't have a prize. Thanks for your support Pat.