Advocates not looking for instant solution

Re: Healthy farming solution takes times, Saturday Beat, April 2.

To the Editor,

Re: Healthy farming solution takes times, Saturday Beat, April 2.

Is Toby Gorman’s column written tongue in cheek?  In regards to urban farming advocates wanting to “slam bylaws through” and “not caring about the consequences” – nothing could be further from the truth.

At the public hearing in Lantzville, only one person spoke in favour of temporary use permits. There were approximately 30 people who spoke.

The general feeling expressed was that the permits would be an extreme financial hardship for residents and be inappropriate in nature, since it takes time to prepare soil, grow food and financially make ends meet.

No one expected council to “slam” through any bylaws. A few  people did express disappointment that council hadn’t yet considered alternatives to TUPs.

There were suggestions of where council might look for possible solutions for Lantzville. In addition, there seemed to be general agreement that  council would need to set some restrictions on residents and businesses for the benefit of all (i.e. distance between wells and compost bins, animals appropriate to location and size of property, use of compost and manure, use of toxins, etc.).

In reality, most people growing food are the last people who use toxins on their property. They are usually people who find creative and sustainable ways to use water and are very concerned with clean water issues and local water control.

Perhaps council and local agriculture advocates have more in common than meets the eye, at least beyond April 1, 2011.

Lynn Burrows

Nanaimo