The long-held dream of creating a community food storage, production and distribution centre on Salt Spring is becoming closer to reality every day, but more help will be needed for The Root to take hold of its potential.
Speaking during a Seedy Saturday presentation on Feb. 9, Salt Spring Farmland Trust president Pat Reichert said the new three-storey building at Beddis Road is just about at lock-up stage, with insulation in but doors still needing to be installed. An operating plan is likewise in development, all of which is sparking interest in a unique island innovation.
“We have received a lot of off-island and regional interest in what we’re doing here, because it’s really the only one of its kind in the province,” Reichert explained.
The Root will provide space for islanders to store and process large food crops. The new building is being constructed by Mark Saunders of SR Design and offers around 3,000 square feet of space on a 1,000-square-foot footprint. The ground level will be for temperature-controlled storage, including open, refrigerated and freezer storage. “We’ll be able to grow more, and store it through the seasons,” Reichert said, noting that would help extend a good local apple crop, as one example.
The organization is loosely targeting a fall opening date for the centre. While many granting bodies and private donors have already helped, completion will depend on raising additional funds necessary to purchase the kitchen equipment and other construction needs, as well as for ongoing operations.
For information on how to help, visit ssifarmlandtrust.org.
For more on this story, see the Feb. 20, 2019 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.