Lohbrunner Farm Saved!

Langford, Vancouver Island, BC

Vancouver, BC – The Supreme Court of British Columbia has approved the transfer of Lohbrunner Farm from The Land Conservancy of B.C. (TLC) to FarmFolk CityFolk.

Since 2013 TLC has been operating under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) which required the sale of some of its holding to pay creditors. Earlier this year FarmFolk CityFolk began conversations with TLC, a private donor, and the Vancity Community Foundation to secure the funds required to maintain Lohbrunner Farm in trust.

The Purchase and Sale Agreement ensures the 13.4 acre farm (including the original farm house) will be maintained for farm purposes, prohibiting the use of pesticides, herbicides, or any deleterious substances on the land. The farm is within the Agricultural Land Reserve and zoned by the City of Langford for a single family dwelling and agricultural use.

In total $500,000 was secured for TLC. Marilyn King–a passionate supporter of organic agriculture–provided $200,000 in creditor forgiveness. $300,000 in direct funds were raised by FarmFolk CityFolk and the Vancity Community Foundation–consisting of a $100,000 private donation from Marilyn King, $100,000 from the Community Farms Endowment Fund, and a $100,000 loan held by FarmFolk CityFolk.

Norma and her husband Joseph farmed the land since their marriage in 1945. Widowed in 1968, Norma wanted the farm to be used for productive farming and fought to ensure the land continued as a valuable food-producing resource for the Vancouver Island community. In 2007 Norma Lohbrunner provided a gift of a life estate to TLC. Norma passed away in October 2011, but a dedicated group of farmers continued to care for the land.

“Having met Norma in the early days, when she was considering donating her land, I know that she would be pleased that it remains in trust and that farming will continue in perpetuity.” said Heather Pritchard, FarmFolk CityFolk. “The rich bog land is perfect for root vegetables and perennial crops. A strong group of farmers is working to form the Lohbrunner Community Farm Cooperative to manage the land and bring it into full production.”

FarmFolk CityFolk secured Lohbrunner Farm as part of it’s larger initiative to develop a BC wide Foodland Trust. Together with the UBC Centre for Sustainable Food Systems and with support from Vancity, the Vancity Community Foundation and the Real Estate Foundation of BC, we are building a trust with the goal of accepting donations of land, acquiring land, and making it accessible to a new generation of farmers and community groups.

“The primary barrier for new farmers has been the high cost of land or the availability of long term leases. Almost all leases available to farmers do not offer them the security to invest capital and sweat equity into their business. FarmFolk CityFolk is offering a leasing scenario where food land is held in trust in perpetuity, promoting successful food production.” says Doug Brubaker, member of the Lohbrunner Community Farm Cooperative

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