You’ll Need A Plan

Often, when seeking advice, the first thing a new farmer hears is, “you need a business plan”. A business plan will lay the foundation for a successful farming operation: what to grow, how much to charge, how to market and distribute the product and who will buy it, and, perhaps most critically, how to manage cash flow when so much of your labour costs are up front.

A business plan is only one component of a multi-layered Community Farm Plan. A typical Community Farm can have more than one farming operation on the land. It may also have wild areas put aside for ecological purposes or the gathering of wild-crafting materials, recreational and public gathering spaces, community-based processing facilities, or community gardens. To help answer the many questions faced by Community Farms, FarmFolk CityFolk and The Land Conservancy created a Farm Plan template that addresses the complexities of managing land in Community.

The Foodlands Cooperative of BC works closely with two Cooperative Community Farms — Lohbrunner Community Farm Cooperative in Langford and Ceres Circle Farm Cooperative in Kelowna. Both cooperatives have created their own customized plans with generous support from the Community Evolution Foundation. The plans describe everything about their farm in one place: legal and physical descriptions of the land including maps and soil analysis, land use agreements, leases and MOU’s, and the coop’s constitution and policies that govern how they work and live together to sustain their community.

Taking advantage of today’s technology that allows for information to be stored and distributed electronically these plans become iterative, growing as the cooperative grows, and changing as new people and new agreements are developed.

We’re excited to share the Community Farm Plans for Lohbrunner Community Farm Cooperative and Ceres Circle Farm Cooperative.