Michael Ableman will speak at Small is Beautiful, a workshop in farming in the Fraser Valley is open to the public, Nov. 23 at the Langley Township Hall. (Renee Blackstone/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Budding farmers invited to agricultural workshop, Small is Beautiful

Farming in the Fraser Valley workshop open to the public, Nov. 23 at Township Facility

Small is Beautiful: Farming in the Fraser Valley is a workshop organized by the Langley Sustainable Agriculture Foundation (LSAF) with the goal of educating people on the future of the industry, Saturday, Nov. 23.

Michael Ableman, an author, organic farming pioneer, and social activist who co-founded Sole Food Street Farms in Vancouver, will be the keynote speaker.

“The smaller the acreage, the more you see, and the more you have to see, the greater the attention must be to make it work,” Ableman says. “It’s not the big ideas that make the difference, it’s the small things. Every leaf, every root was either going to make or break our success.”

The LSAF said Farming in the Lower Mainland is difficult for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is development pressure, which is making farm land very expensive.

Ableman – whose 120-acre Foxglove Farm on Salt Spring Island produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables he sells at farm markets and restaurants – has been a working farmer for 43 years.

Read More: B.C. cranberry crop down 50 per cent according to Langley Farmer

“As a society, we have to decide what’s fundamental and essential to our families, our neighbourhoods, our communities,” Ableman said. “If we don’t look at fresh food grown locally and put a value on that, if we don’t support the health of our agriculture and the well-being of those who grow our food, this doesn’t just affect farmers. It affects all of us, because we are all inextricably tied to having a healthy agricultural land base.”

Also speaking at the workshop are Melanie MacInnes of MacInnes Farms in Langley, and James Lau, community manager of Meatme.ca – a website offering a digital consumer marketplace for small farmers producing ethically and sustainable raised meat, from pork to beef to poultry and seafood.

Promising to plant inspiration through story-telling and first-hand advice on sustainable farming, LSAF is encouraging people to visit. www.langleysaf.ca to find out more about their initiatives.

LSAF is a non-profit organization founded by nine local volunteers in 2011, working to bring together farmers, academics, government officials, and other passionate individuals to strengthen food and farming in the Township of Langley and neighbouring communities.

The workshop will be held Saturday, Nov. 23 from 8:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m. at the Fraser River Presentation Theatre, Langley Township Hall, 20338 65 Ave.

Tickets can be purchased through www.brownpapertickets.com. No tickets at the door.

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