The abuse of farm land

British Columbia has about 3 per cent arable land called “farm land." The farm land in the warm valleys is very important to growing foods. I have been in Kelowna since 1963 so I am witness to many changes. I saw Orchard Park grow from a large pear orchard to a paved parking lot—no fruit. 

I watched 110 acres of prime farm land at the south end of the airport become a golf course, never to grow food again. There are 25 acres between the mega churches on Springfield Road just waiting to be developed to condominiums and shopping as soon as it is released from the ALR. The City of Kelowna bought 33 acres to build future sewer plant—there will only be smell developed there. 

Now for the abuse: we see prime farm land covered in weeds, gravel piles from Mission Creek, top soil stripped away to be sold, salty snow dumped on farmland thus ruining the soil and so on.  The owners do not care what happens to the farm land—they wait for the ALR and the city to OK the release of the land to build on it. 

Where are the city by-law officers with respect to the noxious weeds growing wildly on farm land?  Do they wait for a complaint before writing a summons to cut the weeds?  If you own farm land, should some form of “farming” not occur so the soil is treated with respect?  We will just have to import all our food from California and Mexico—the hell with our farm land, especially if I can afford to have it sit idle until I am able to build on it—yes, we need more shopping etc. 

Jorgen Hansen, Kelowna

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