The interpretive centre at Derek Doubleday Arboretum. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

The interpretive centre at Derek Doubleday Arboretum. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Food-growing Langley ‘learning farm’ coming to the Township

Langley Sustainable Agriculture Foundation will launch project at Derek Doubleday Arboretum

A place where Langley can gain an agricultural education and find out about food production is being developed through a community partnership that wants the public to know the past, present, and future of farming.

The Langley Sustainable Agriculture Foundation (LSAF) has signed a license agreement with the Township of Langley to utilize portions of the Derek Doubleday Arboretum for a ‘Langley Learning Farm,’ demonstrating the area’s rich agricultural heritage, current food production and technology of future systems.

The ‘Langley Learning Farm’ will have a facility to demonstrate community-based food skills, develop a student-led farm, contribute to the food security of Langley, and inform about aboriginal, historical, and modern food growing practices.

A partnership of community-based Langley organizations, including the School of Horticulture at KPU, School District 35, Langley Environmental Partners Society, LSAF, and Seyem Qwantlen, has been working together for three years to develop the Langley Learning Farm.

Dave Melnychuk, president of the LSAF, said with agriculture and food being an essential foundation of the economy in Langley, a learning centre will benefit both urban and rural citizens.

READ MORE: South Langley farm welcomes three new fjord mares from Germany

Gary Jones, faculty member at KPU, who has been part of the planning team, also said the farm will be a great opportunity for future farmers.

“The proposal includes a large element of education, linking the past, present and future of horticultural food production along the Hudson’s Bay portage route of Glover Road, and the rewarding career opportunities for the next generation,” Jones explained.

Township Mayor Jack Froese added that the development makes sense given Langley’s landscape.

“With over 70 per cent of the Township of Langley’s land base located in the Agricultural Land Reserve, it is important to develop and support the next generation of agricultural producers, and give all residents a place to learn about growing food,” Froese said.

The Langley Learning Farm, on the Agricultural Land Reserve at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum, will build on the successful programs established by the Arboretum Botanical Society of Langley, Langley Environmental Partners Society, and other community groups.

The Langley Learning Farm will integrate, partner, and cooperate with all other users at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum.

LSAF is a non-profit established in 2011, is dedicated to building the capacity and knowledge of agriculture in Langley.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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