Sixty-five years after his grandfather pulled the last vegetable from the ground, Raymond Mew is starting to harvest crops again at Mew Farm.
The 41-acre field just off of Luxton Road in Langford was farmed by his family for years up until 1957 when the allure of constructing jobs made keeping workers unsustainable. But now in a new millennium, the Mew’s (five siblings including Raymond) are back on the land, harvesting their first crops.
“We’re trying to retire and get our hands dirty,” said Mew.
If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a whole lot to raise crops.
Mew said the City of Langford has been a big help, with work on Finney Road nearing completion, which along with access to the land brought fencing and water drainage.
“This is pretty big for our community and people are looking forward to these types of activities, getting farming back in your communities and having that food security is helpful to everybody,” Langford Mayor Stew Young said. Young said the project has been several years in the works.
Recovering the land was a long process, involving clearing large amounts of rock. Satnam Dheenshaw, who also owns Gobind Farms in Saanichton, offered his expertise and spearheaded the efforts.
“The rocks were so heavy the tractor axles were sinking. The land was still wet this year, due to the late spring we had, all the extra excess moisture.”
The crop that’s being harvested came together very quickly.
“Around Canada Day, I think it was when we had this all planted or just maybe a day after, and we just started the harvest.”
Currently, seven acres of the farm are producing squash, pumpkins, cantaloupes and gourds. This was a test harvest.
Mew said the vision is to have all 41-acres producing any vegetable residents could want on their table, hopefully addressing food security concerns and lowering costs for families in Greater Victoria and beyond. There are also plans in the works to establish greenhouses to supplement the farm’s offerings.