Blueberry Commons Farm Cooperative (BCFC) is located in the Wildwood neighbourhood of Powell River, B. C. We are about a ten minute drive from the city centre. We reside within the municipality on the Tla'amin Nation traditional territory. BCFC is tucked in between the Wildwood community, Sunset park, Tla'amin lands, Scout mountain and the 180 km Sunshine Coast trail network.
Our 16 acres of gardens, forest and meadows have a long farming history in the community. For more than 50 years the Clancy family grew berries, fruit and vegetables and raised animals as an integral part of the Wildwood farming scene. Today, we have maintain nearly an acre of blueberry crop, and a thriving 2 acre market garden that supplies food to our local community.
BCFC offers the unique opportunity to integrate a co-housing development into a fully functioning and bio-diverse organic farm. Given its location within the urban area, the farm and co-housing are also well situated to be a resource for the Wildwood neighbourhood and the wider urban area.
At present, there is a renovated farm house on the property, which has become home to one of our families. Farm infrastructure include: workshops, chicken coop, sheds, greenhouse and a well. There is about three quarters of an acre of mature blueberry plants, and a variety of fruit trees are scattered throughout the property.
There are about two and a half acres of forest, plenty of blackberry bushes to tame and wide open meadows. From the top of the upper field we can enjoy a faraway view of the ocean, amazing sunsets, and a maze of trails starting at our doorstep to lead us further out into the wilderness.
The little farm that could!
During the spring of 2020, when the world as we knew it came to a halt and the threat of food shortages became an ever increasing possibility, we decided to fast track our planned farm expansion. "There is no day like today" we told ourselves, when it comes to local food production and community food security!
Over two and a half acres of blackberry bushes and alders were cleared. The land was plowed and fenced, roots and rocks were removed and the rows were prepped in record time. Seeds and seedlings (along with many stubborn weeds!) didn't waste any time, and over the next few months we witnessed a remarkable and stunning transformation from fallow and weed infested dirt to a luscious and incredibly bountiful garden! Many volunteers of all ages have made all of this possible, and we can't thank them enough.
Our customers supported us by buying "Farm Bonds", a type of community supported agriculture that provides funds up-front to cover pre-harvest costs. An abundance of organically grown food was soon available to the public at our "Farm Stand" at the end of King Avenue, the Farmers' Market, in local stores, and it travelled as far as Vancouver! The local Foodbank, the Community Resource Centre James Thomson Elementary and other community organizations were also provided with fresh and healthy local produce.
In 2021 we are planning to carry on producing even more nutrient packed veggies. We will also start a CSA program (a vegetable box delivered to your door), upgrade and improve our "Farm Stand" and pursue Organic Certification for our farm.