We moved to the farm from the city, and became accidental farmers. I’m Linda – and when I retired, I wanted a sunnier garden with more room to grow food. I thought we would move to a more rural area near town. I asked my husband, Robert, what he would like to do when he retired. He said he wanted a vineyard and sheep!
We had no farming experience, but we sold our house in the city and purchased just over eight acres about 60 kms away. The property had a nice home, a creek, a forest, ocean and mountain views, and a greenhouse. Idyllic, right? We have discovered that this is a lot of work, expensive to maintain and very rewarding. We have made wonderful friends and learned a lot. Our lives have been transformed.
Much as we enjoy Gary Larson’s work, the farm’s name has nothing to do with his delightful cartoons. When we moved to Otter Point, our Victoria friends said, “So we hear you moved to Sooke!” To which we’d reply, “No – we’re on the far side”(of Sooke). Hence the name. We’re way out there – as visitors comment when they arrive at the farm.
Despite the work and endless to-do lists, it is deeply satisfying to provide food for our family and community, and it is a privilege to be the stewards of our land. We are not certified organic; we follow organic principles and our sheep are raised with love.
We raise sheep for meat, have a large, unheated greenhouse and have tiny olives ripening on two little trees. We have blueberry bushes, asparagus plants, and grow artichokes. A highly productive vegetable garden keeps us well-fed. It isn’t about quantity. It is about variety and quality. Life is good on the Far Side.