Meet your Farmers
Chad and Erica are skipped-a-generation farmers. And, like so many other folks trying to make a go of agriculture, they have “day jobs” that help keep the farm alive.
Chad specializes in Emergency Management, and presently runs his own consultancy, the Logic League. Chad’s background as a live sound technician means he’s a handy guy to have around. He can tackle anything mechanical, and swears catapults are the answer to most of life’s challenges.
Erica has worked with some incredible small businesses over the years, always with a focus on sustainability in buildings. Her present work with Rede Energy Solutions tackles energy management for existing buildings, reducing carbon footprints one building at a time. She’s a fan of checklists, and generally keeps things running on schedule.
It all starts with a seed.
When we lived in a small one-bedroom apartment and dreamed of land, we imagined a place where our friends and family could gather, and where we could spend our days with our hands in the dirt. How fortunate we are to be here now.
Now, we are able to choose what we produce and how it is grown. Our goal has always been to manage a mixed farm - the opposite of a monoculture. This allows us to use “waste” material from one part of the farm as a needed input on another. It also makes us more resilient to pest infestations, market swings, and challenging weather.
We strive to produce food that is nutritious, that is cared for in a way that protects and enhances our environment, and to do so in a way that still leaves room for the bunnies, the deer, the eagles and yes, the slugs, who share our land. We want to bring you, our customers, with us along this journey, so that you can learn about and be more connected to your food and your local food systems.
We are constantly reminded that farming is a journey and not a destination. We will continue to experiment with growing on this land, to discover what does and does not thrive here. We’re testing out rotational grazing and crop planning, no-till strategies, and integrated pest management. At this time, we have opted not to pursue organic certification, though we do consult the Permitted Substances Lists before adding any inputs to our farm.
Ultimately, our success will be measured by finding the right balance of idealism and pragmatism.
At the end of the day, we hope to cultivate health, joy and beauty. We welcome you to join us.
About the Land
Hidden Track Farm is located in rural Saanich within the traditional territory of the W̱SÁNEĆ First Nations. Situated on about 3 acres of land in the Agricultural Land Reserve, the farm is blessed with an abundance of beautiful, loamy soils, and the temperate climate of the Pacific Northwest.
The original stewards of the land are the people of the W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) First Nations. Fascinating reading about the valuable work being done to preserve the Sencoten language can be found at the following links.
What's in a Name?
Directly adjacent to our property is the right-of-way for the now-defunct Victoria & Sidney Railway, which operated from 1894 to 1919. Its route is still plainly visible if you know where to look. We pay homage to this Hidden Track in our farm name and logo design.
Hidden Track is also a throwback to the era of music cassettes and CDs when artists would sometimes add extra, unlisted tracks to their albums. We hope a visit to our farm will reveal unexpected and delightful discoveries.
Fun fact: Veyaness Road is named for the V+S Railway.