Survey Gathers Input for The Root

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By KIRSTEN BOLTON

SSI Farmland Trust 

An all-new energetic board of directors at the Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust Society promises to pick up the pace in rolling out The Root. 

All Salt Springers are invited to have their opinions heard about the new facility through an online survey on the society’s website. The survey is open through Nov. 30 with a draw to win a community-sourced food basket valued at $50. 

The Root’s three-storey facility and surrounding grounds has the mandate to improve Salt Spring’s ability to produce, process, preserve and distribute locally grown food products, as well as serve as a centre for education, demonstrations and activities. From seeds to seminars, this highly anticipated hub’s mandate is ultimately focused on food and agricultural resilience for the island’s population.

“With the building’s construction nearing completion, our attention has turned to finishing and installing the commercial kitchen equipment, temperature-controlled storage areas, washing stations, and interior appointments, including an on-site rental unit,” explains co-chair Sheila Dobie.

Next summer looks forward to soil building and developing permaculture swales, while water sourcing and storm water management are active projects this fall. 

The farmland trust has partnered with a new project manager and design team and, with renewed momentum, the board is aiming for a preliminary launch date of spring 2022. 

The survey is intended to provide the trust with refreshed information on the needs of farmers, producers, chefs, community services and the public to ensure the facility has the strongest foundations and functionality. 

“From providing commercial kitchen space to process locally grown food, to agricultural training, chef certification and so much more, we look forward to launching this much-needed facility under the Farmland Trust’s mission of bringing people and land together, to grow,” says co-chair Nicole Melanson.

The new board will also continue to steward the trust’s other projects at Burgoyne Valley Community Farm, Community Garden Allotments, and a new community composter for abattoir and other community waste.   

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