As California farmers struggle with drought and other impacts of climate change, our ability to grow and access local food is becoming more important every year.  World Community’s film series continues Tuesday, November 19 at 7 pm in the Stan Hagen Theatre, North Island College with the film Five Acres (30 min.) followed by a panel discussion with one of the filmmakers and local food activists from Nanaimo and the Comox Valley. 

The Five Acre Farm in the Harewood area of Nanaimo has a long history of producing local food. It’s one of the last intact farms in BC’s first planned agricultural community. The history and future of this innovative agricultural project are portrayed in the film Five Acres, by Paul Manly and Laurie McMillan.  Manley comments “Through its important work on urban farming, restorative agriculture projects and employment skills training, Nanaimo Foodshare Society is helping build a healthy, sustainable and local food system while providing an inclusive work environment for individuals from vulnerable populations.” 

Samuel Robins, Superintendent of the Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company had some visionary ideas. In 1884,  Robbins purchased Harewood Estates, a large parcel of land between Nanaimo and the base of Mount Benson. He subdivided the area into five-acre lots and made them available to mining families as homesteads at affordable prices. 

Executive Director of LUSH Valley Food Action Society, Maurita Prato says “I love what is happening with Nanaimo Foodshare Society, our sister Island Food Hub, the City of Nanaimo and the 5 acre farm. There is a lot to learn from this collaborative model of urban farming and community food security.”

Admission is by donation. Everyone is welcome. FMI: 250 337 5412

Janet Fairbanks

World Commuinty