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Hobby farming in the Lower Fraser Valley Hayward, Patricia Margaret 1983

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HOBBY FARMING IN THE LOWER FRASER VALLEY by PATRICIA MARGARET HAYWARD B.Ed., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1979 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Geography)  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1983 (c) P a t r i c i a Margaret Hayward, 1983  In p r e s e n t i n g  t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of  requirements f o r an advanced degree a t the  the  University  o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make it  f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference  and  study.  I  further  agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may  be  department or by h i s or her  granted by  the head o f  representatives.  my  It i s  understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain  s h a l l not be allowed w i t h o u t my  permission.  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3  DE-6  (3/81)  Columbia  written  ABSTRACT  Concern i s growing over the use, ownership and p r e s e r v a t i o n o f a g r i c u l t u r a l l a n d i n Canada.  The hobby farm  is a  d i s t i n c t i v e type of farm l a n d use i n the r u r a l - u r b a n f r i n g e of  large c i t i e s .  O p i n i o n v a r i e s on the v a l i d i t y of hobby  farming as l a n d use and as p a r t of the a g r i c u l t u r a l i n d u s t r y , yet  little  documentation e x i s t s on i t s a c t u a l form and  function. T h i s study  attempts  t o assess the v a l i d i t y of hobby  farming i n the Lower F r a s e r V a l l e y near Vancouver, an import a n t a g r i c u l t u r a l r e g i o n i n which a s i g n i f i c a n t p r o p o r t i o n of  the farm u n i t s are hobby farms.  It i s hypothesized that  the hobby farm has a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c form  and t h a t hobby  farmers have s i m i l a r m o t i v a t i o n s f o r choosing a r u r a l style. in  They are l i k e l y  the purchase  to make s i m i l a r c h o i c e s and d e c i s i o n s  and management o f t h e i r p r o p e r t y .  Only when  these are i d e n t i f i e d can the r e l a t i o n s h i p s of hobby to  life-  farming  commercial farming and i t s r o l e w i t h i n the a g r i c u l t u r a l  i n d u s t r y be a s s e s s e d . The f i n d i n g s and c o n c l u s i o n s of t h i s study were drawn from primary hobby farmers Valley.  d a t a p r o v i d e d by i n t e r v i e w s of i n the d i s t r i c t  eighty-two  o f Surrey i n the Lower F r a s e r  They were randomly s e l e c t e d from p r o p e r t y t a x  assessment r o l l s  and i n t e r v i e w e d between February  1982. ii  and May  A v a r i e t y of c i r c u m s t a n c e s l e d t o the development hobby farming i n the V a l l e y where the s m a l l , mixed  of  subsis-  tence farms of the 1860s s u r v i v e d the expansion and commerc i a l i z a t i o n o f the farm i n d u s t r y over the next years.  hundred  Although the moderate c l i m a t e o f the V a l l e y  facili-  t a t e s p r o d u c t i o n , many p o t e n t i a l l y s e r i o u s problems  such as  poor d r a i n a g e n e c e s s i t a t e a h i g h l e v e l of c a p i t a l ments and s k i l l f u l  use o f s p e c i a l t e c h n i q u e s t o make: a g r i -  c u l t u r e commercially v i a b l e . fication  improve-  and s p e c i a l i z a t i o n  The r e c e n t t r e n d t o along with r i s i n g  intensi-  costs  and  u n c e r t a i n r e t u r n s has l e d to the demise o f p o o r l y managed, s m a l l - s i z e d commercial  farms on l a n d of m a r g i n a l q u a l i t y .  The A g r i c u l t u r a l Land Reserve system i n B. C.  prohibits  the s a l e of a g r i c u l t u r a l l a n d f o r any use except f a r m i n g so the many s m a l l uneconomic farm u n i t s are purchased  as  hobby farms.  agri-  Hobby farming i s an a p p r o p r i a t e form o f  c u l t u r a l e n t e r p r i s e i n the V a l l e y . Surrey hobby farms, s m a l l i n s i z e and mixed i n production,  are g e n e r a l l y w e l l m a i n t a i n e d , although improvements  are made i n an i r r e g u l a r f a s h i o n as time and money become available.  Hobby farm l a n d i s seldom  i d l e but produces  wide v a r i e t y o f goods, many a l t e r n a t i v e v a r i e t i e s and to those o f S u r r e y ' s commercial mal,  sufficient  informal.  breeds  Farm s a l e s are m i n i -  to a c h i e v e p r o p e r t y tax exemption  some funds f o r farm expenses. f l e x i b l e and  farms.  a  and p r o v i d e  M a r k e t i n g arrangements  are  Surrey hobby farmers socioeconomic  are a heterogeneous group i n  terms and p o l i t i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n s , although  there i s an o c c u p a t i o n a l predominance o f a d m i n i s t r a t o r s and p r o f e s s i o n a l s . rejected city l i f e  Most have urban backgrounds but have and chosen hobby farming  the q u a l i t i e s of r u r a l l i f e s t y l e they  to achieve  desire—particularly  the p r i v a c y of a' p e a c e f u l s e t t i n g where they are f r e e t o r a i s e t h e i r c h i l d r e n and manage t h e i r farm animals and crops without  interference.  tant g o a l f o r some.  Self-sufficiency  i s an impor-  Both the p l a n n i n g and management of  the farm i s undertaken with l i t t l e mentation w i t h products  o u t s i d e h e l p , and e x p e r i -  and techniques  o r i e n t a t i o n of the owners.  r e f l e c t s t h e hobby  The r u r a l - u r b a n f r i n g e  location  i s p e r c e i v e d p o s i t i v e l y and s a t i s f a c t i o n l e v e l s are h i g h . Hobby farming commercial farming,  c o e x i s t s comfortably providing l i t t l e  with  full-time  competition  i n the  market p l a c e yet some o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r wage labour and l e a s i n g arrangements. unusual  products  Hobby farms provide some of the  and amenity s e r v i c e s sought by urban  d w e l l e r s and preserve  a c o u n t r y s i d e landscape  aesthetically pleasing.  that i s  The F r a s e r V a l l e y hobby farms  have a v a l u a b l e r o l e t o p l a y i n the use and p r e s e r v a t i o n of  a g r i c u l t u r a l land and the farm i n d u s t r y .  TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT  ii  LIST OF TABLES  viii  LIST OF FIGURES  ix  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT CHAPTER ONE:  THE  INTRODUCTION  1  The Hobby Farm  3  The Hobby Farm i n S o c i a l Science L i t e r a t u r e  6  L o c a t i o n a l Aspects of Hobby Farming  12  STUDY  16  Aims  16  Definitions  17  The Study Area  18  Data Source and Sampling  18  I n t e r v i e w i n g and A n a l y s i s  20  NOTES CHAPTER TWO:  21 CIRCUMSTANCES FACILITATING HOBBY FARMING  24  Antecedents  24  Environmental Aspects  26  Economic F a c t o r s  29  Institutional Factors  32  Circumstances Within the Study Area of Surrey  36  NOTES  44 v  Page CHAPTER THREE:  THE HOBBY FARMERS  46  WHO IS THE SURREY HOBBY FARMER?  47  Age and M a r i t a l S t a t u s  47  O c c u p a t i o n a l Status  47  Urban Background of Hobby Farmers  50  Length of Ownership  52  P o l i t i c a l Orientations  52  WHY DO HOBBY FARMERS CHOOSE A RURAL LIFESTYLE?  57  Q u a l i t i e s of R u r a l L i v i n g  57  The S e t t i n g  61  WHAT SETTING DO HOBBY FARMERS CHOOSE FOR THEIR RURAL LIFESTYLE?  62  Location  62  Features  Important i n Choice of Property  65  Previous Status of Property  67  Hobby Farm S i z e and Land Q u a l i t y  69  Improvements  72  Made t o P r o p e r t i e s  Summary  79  NOTES CHAPTER FOUR:  81 THE HOBBY FARM  83  THE PRESENT SITUATION  84  Land Use  84  Farm P r o d u c t i o n  87  Farm Sales and Marketing '" v i  Arrangements  92  Page Farm Labour Requirements and Sources Information Flow  97 101  LEVELS OF SATISFACTION  103  THE FUTURE  105  Summary  113  NOTES CHAPTER FIVE:  114 IMPACT, IMPLICATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS  115  THE ROLE OF HOBBY FARMING IN THE AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY  115  RELATIONSHIPS WITH COMMERCIAL FARMING  119  THE ROLE OF HOBBY FARMING IN PRESERVING THE COUNTRYSIDE  123  NOTES  126  CHAPTER SIX:  SUMMARY  127  NOTES  132  BIBLIOGRAPHY  133  APPENDIX I:  SAMPLING PROCEDURE  141  APPENDIX I I :  QUESTIONNAIRE  143  vii  LIST OF TABLES Page TABLE I  Percentage of Census Farms ByEconomic C l a s s  TABLE II  Occupations  32  of P r i n c i p a l Wage  Earners of Sample Hobby Farm Group TABLE I I I :  48  P r o p o r t i o n of Hobby Farmers i n M a n a g e r i a l - P r o f e s s i o n a l Employment Classes  TABLE IV:  50  O r i e n t a t i o n Toward A g r i c u l t u r a l Land Reserves  TABLE V:  56  Positive Qualities  Identified  with  R u r a l L i f e s t y l e on a Hobby Farm TABLE VI:  Features  58  I d e n t i f i e d as Important i n  the Choice of a Property  66  TABLE V I I :  P r e v i o u s Status of Hobby Farm P r o p e r t y  68  TABLE V I I I  Hobby Farm S i z e  70  TABLE IX:  Residence,  Amenity and Farm Improve73  ments TABLE X:  Number of D i f f e r e n t  Types of P r o d u c t i o n 87  per Farm TABLE XI:  Types of P r o d u c t i o n on Farms i n Sample Group  89  TABLE X I I :  Marketed Hobby Farm P r o d u c t i o n  93  TABLE X I I I  Custom Farm S e r v i c e s Used by Hobby Farms  99  viii  LIST OF FIGURES  Page  F i g u r e 1:  Lower F r a s e r V a l l e y  38  F i g u r e 2:  D i s t r i c t of Surrey  39  ix  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  I would l i k e t o express my a p p r e c i a t i o n to the f a c u l t y and graduate students of the Geography Department at U.B.C. f o r t h e i r h e l p and f r i e n d s h i p , p a r t i c u l a r l y t o Mr. R i c h a r d Copley who f i r s t  s t i m u l a t e d my i n t e r e s t  raphy i n undergraduate this thesis.  i n c u l t u r a l geog-  courses and k i n d l y agreed t o review  Very s p e c i a l thanks must go t o my a d v i s o r , Dr.  A l f r e d Siemens, who p a t i e n t l y guided my r e s e a r c h and cheerf u l l y o f f e r e d help and encouragement when they were needed. My a p p r e c i a t i o n a l s o t o the many Surrey farmers who welcomed a " c i t y person" i n t o t h e i r homes and w i l l i n g l y  answered many  questions about the j o y s and f r u s t r a t i o n s of hobby farming. F i n a l l y , thanks t o my f a m i l y who always b e l i e v e d some day t h i s t h e s i s would be f i n i s h e d .  1 CHAPTER ONE  INTRODUCTION  Concern i s growing over the use, ownership and p r e s e r v a t i o n of a g r i c u l t u r a l land i n Canada. ticularly  focussed  on the l o s s of high q u a l i t y food  ducing land through i t s conversion Canadian c i t i e s . for  A t t e n t i o n i s parpro-  to urban uses near l a r g e  Less than 13% of Canada's land i s s u i t a b l e  a g r i c u l t u r a l production  s u i t a b l e f o r cropland.  of any type and much l e s s i s  Over h a l f of the highest  quality  farmland occurs w i t h i n a f i f t y m i l e r a d i u s of the twenty-two l a r g e s t Canadian c i t i e s . conversion t i a l uses. continuing  1  Urban expansion i n v a r i a b l y i n v o l v e s  of t h i s land to i n d u s t r i a l ,  commercial and r e s i d e n -  Recent p u b l i c awareness of the l i m i t e d supply and l o s s e s of good a g r i c u l t u r a l land has i n c r e a s i n g l y  sharpened the p e r c e p t i o n r a t h e r than a commodity.  of farmland as a v a l u a b l e  resource  P r e s s u r e s have i n c r e a s i n g l y been  brought t o bear on p o l i c y makers t o p r o t e c t and preserve the a g r i c u l t u r a l land resource open market b i d d i n g , higher  from the i n e v i t a b l e r e s u l t of  the gradual  conversion  of farmland to  and b e t t e r uses i n p u r e l y economic terms.  Farmland p r e s e r v a t i o n measures have v a r i e d  considerably  p r o v i n c i a l l y but i n c l u d e p r e f e r e n t i a l t a x a t i o n , land banking, and  r u r a l zoning.  place  The most s u c c e s s f u l programs are those i n  i n B.C. and Quebec.  threatened  The B.C. response t o r e a l and  l o s s e s of prime a g r i c u l t u r a l land was the landmark  2  land use l e g i s l a t i o n of 1973 e s t a b l i s h i n g a g r i c u l t u r a l r e s e r v e s administered by a Land Commission.  land  Areas of the  province where the p h y s i c a l c a p a b i l i t y of the land was assessed p o t e n t i a l l y best f o r a g r i c u l t u r e were  designated  as farm l a n d with no f u r t h e r p o s s i b i l i t y of s u b d i v i s i o n o r n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l development. Despite these s t r i c t  zoning c o n t r o l s , B.C. experienced  i n c r e a s e d conversion r a t e s of both unimproved and improved land between 1971-76 over the 1966-71 p e r i o d .  Prime a g r i -  c u l t u r a l l a n d t o t a l l i n g 9850 h e c t a r e s was l o s t d u r i n g the 1971-76 p e r i o d i n comparison t o 6440 hectares f o r the p r e 3 vious f i v e  years.  A recent study suggests  farmland  p r e s e r v a t i o n measures  are no more s u c c e s s f u l elsewhere i n Canada. document t h e Canadian farmland  conversion  Warren and Rump  process:  High conversion r a t e s of c e r t a i n c a t e g o r i e s of high c a p a b i l i t y lands continue d e s p i t e e f f o r t s t o discourage development on such prime lands. . . . F o r every i n crease i n p o p u l a t i o n of 1,000, 60 h e c t a r e s of r u r a l land were converted to urban uses d u r i n g 1966-71. T h i s r a t e i n c r e a s e d t o 72 h e c t a r e s f o r the '71-'76 p e r i o d , d e s p i t e v a r i o u s p o l i c y , p l a n n i n g , and management measures t o preserve r u r a l land.4 Furthermore, the p r e s e r v a t i o n of farmland  does not  ensure the p r e s e r v a t i o n of a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n . c u r r e n t use being made of farmland use  The  and the proposed f u t u r e  are o b v i o u s l y e s s e n t i a l f a c t o r s i n a s s e s s i n g long term  food p r o d u c t i o n trends.  I t i s the a c t u a l management d e c i -  s i o n s being made by i n d i v i d u a l farm owners and t h e i r f u t u r e  3  i n t e n t i o n s that w i l l u l t i m a t e l y determine how w e l l and i n what form farms w i l l s u r v i v e .  As long as farmland i s  p r i v a t e l y owned, even w i t h i n the framework of s t r i c t  zoning  l e g i s l a t i o n , the use of Canadian farmland i s no more than the sum of thousands of i n d i v i d u a l owners' d e c i s i o n s . The Hobby Farm The hobby farm i s one d i s t i n c t i v e form of a g r i c u l t u r a l land h o l d i n g that has both s u p p o r t e r s and d e t r a c t o r s among those concerned w i t h farmland c o n v e r s i o n and p r e s e r v a t i o n . 5 Norman Pearson, a B.C. p l a n n i n g c o n s u l t a n t , s t a t e s : Well, what i s the hobby farm r e a l l y ? I t i s an extens i o n of urban development, u s u a l l y an expensive home, with a very neat tax arrangement. I f he has a c e r t a i n l e v e l of p r o d u c t i o n on that land the owner can c a l l i t a 'farm' and a v a i l h i m s e l f of some r a t h e r a t t r a c t i v e income tax a r r a n g e m e n t s — t h e n cash i n when the time i s ripe. The acreage needed f o r an economic farm u n i t i s g e t t i n g l a r g e r and l a r g e r a l l the time, so the hobby farm only serves to destroy that p o s s i b i l i t y by chopping up the land and e s c a l a t i n g the land v a l u e s . On the o t h e r hand, a Surrey hobby farmer says: T h i s area d i d n ' t look l i k e anything u n t i l c i t y people s t a r t e d to move out here and spruce up the p l a c e . Hobby farms should be encouraged with s t r o n g e r tax i n c e n t i v e s such as g r e a t e r w r i t e - o f f s on income tax. They use up otherwise u s e l e s s land and one of the r e a l b e n e f i t s of hobby farms i s i n the s p i n - o f f e f f e c t s i n payment f o r s e r v i c e s to l o c a l people. These c o n t r a s t i n g statements r e f l e c t  commonly h e l d  viewpoints among the geographers, planners and land who  are concerned with the use of r u r a l land.  economists  D e t r a c t o r s of  hobby farming suggest p r o d u c t i o n l e v e l s are low on hobby  4  u n i t s so good c a p a b i l i t y f o o d l a n d i s b e i n g wasted, and they blame hobby farmers f o r i n f l a t i n g land p r i c e s and o u t b i d d i n g commercial  farmers who  need land f o r expansion.  Scattered  purchases of land fragment  an area i n t o s m a l l p a r c e l s  u n l i k e l y to be reassembled  f o r commercial  food p r o d u c t i o n .  Hobby farmers are f r e q u e n t l y accused of u s i n g poor  land  management techniques that can cause d e t e r i o r a t i o n i n the p h y s i c a l q u a l i t y of the l a n d . as a s t u t e o p p o r t u n i s t s who  They are sometimes d e s c r i b e d  farm to take advantage  of the tax  breaks and tend to be more i n t e r e s t e d i n h a r v e s t i n g i n v e s t ment d o l l a r s than  hay.  Hobby farmers themselves  and t h e i r s u p p o r t e r s see  hobby farming as a v a l i d use of a g r i c u l t u r a l l a n d , p a r t i c u l a r l y farmland c l o s e to c i t i e s where i t i s most l i k e l y t o be converted to other uses. way  They suggest i t i s a v a l u a b l e  to p r e s e r v e farmland f o r p o s s i b l e f u t u r e food needs by  keeping i t i n at l e a s t minimal l e v e l s of use and  maintenance.  It i s a more s e n s i b l e form of land h o l d i n g than the a c t u a l a l t e r n a t i v e , land assemblies h e l d i n i d l e d s t a t e by  specu-  l a t o r s a w a i t i n g optimum c o n d i t i o n s f o r development.  Pro-  ponents  argue hobby farmers support the r u r a l  infrastruc-  t u r e by p u r c h a s i n g a v a r i e t y of goods and s e r v i c e s i n c l u d i n g custom farm s e r v i c e s from commercial may  need o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r wage labour.  farmers  who  Hobby farmers some-  times p r o v i d e land f o r l e a s e to commercial u n w i l l i n g or unable to purchase  locally  farmers who  land f o r expansion  and  r a t h e r than o u t b i d d i n g f u l l - t i m e farmers, are a c t u a l l y  are  5  s a t i s f y i n g t h e i r need f o r a d d i t i o n a l a v a i l a b l e crop or pasture land at very low c a p i t a l c o s t s .  Hobby farms have a l s o been  d e s c r i b e d as a e s t h e t i c a l l y p l e a s i n g a d d i t i o n s to the  rural  landscape p r o v i d i n g v a r i e t y and a l t e r n a t i v e s to a countrys i d e needed as green space f o r nearby The purpose  c i t y dwellers.  of t h i s study i s t o assess the v a l i d i t y of  these v a r i o u s p o i n t s of view about hobby farming w i t h i n a p a r t i c u l a r r u r a l - u r b a n f r i n g e s e t t i n g , the Lower F r a s e r V a l l e y near Vancouver where a s i g n i f i c a n t p r o p o r t i o n of the farm u n i t s are hobby farms. hopotheses.  The  The  study e x p l o r e s the  following  emergence of hobby farming as a d i s t i n c -  t i v e l a n d use i s a consequence of c e r t a i n h i s t o r i c a l ,  cul-  t u r a l and economic circumstances p e c u l i a r to a p a r t i c u l a r region.  The hobby farm takes a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c form w i t h  c e r t a i n common q u a l i t i e s and f u n c t i o n s .  Hobby farmers have  s i m i l a r m o t i v a t i o n s f o r choosing t h i s l i f e s t y l e and i t i s p o s s i b l e to d i s t i n g u i s h c e r t a i n d e c i s i o n making p a t t e r n s . A f t e r the form, f u n c t i o n and ownership  p a t t e r n s of hobby  farming have been i d e n t i f i e d and d e s c r i b e d i t i s perhaps p o s s i b l e to more a c c u r a t e l y i d e n t i f y the r o l e of the hobby farm as a l a n d use and to suggest the p o s s i b l e e f f e c t s i t may  have on the a g r i c u l t u r a l . . i n d u s t r y w i t h i n a s p e c i f i c  rural  community. Canadian  r e s e a r c h e r s such as McRae, Troughton,  and Bryant suggest more documentation  Russwurm  i s e s s e n t i a l to e x p l o r e  the r e l a t i o n s h i p between changing a g r i c u l t u r a l land use land ownership  p a t t e r n s i n an attempt  to assess more  and  6  e f f e c t i v e l y the p l a n n i n g c o n t r o l s imposed on Canadian 6 farmland.  But  i t i s c l e a r from r u r a l land use  that hobby farming  literature  i s a p o o r l y d e f i n e d and l i t t l e  documented  e n t e r p r i s e d e s p i t e the v a r i e t y of o p i n i o n s expressed its validity  as a land use.  T h i s study  about  attempts to p r o v i d e  some i n s i g h t i n t o t h a t d i s t i n c t i v e form of a g r i c u l t u r a l l a n d use and  land tenure,  the hobby farm.  The Hobby Farm i n S o c i a l Science L i t e r a t u r e While hobby farming  i s a f a i r l y recent phenomenon i n  Canada, r e l a t e d forms of land h o l d i n g and  l i f e s t y l e have  long been a p a r t of the r u r a l landscape.  Countryside  villas  with s p a c i o u s gardens e x i s t e d beyond the b u i l t - u p area of Greater Ur and o u t s i d e ancient Egyptian c i t i e s .  Countryside  r e t r e a t s f o r urban d w e l l e r s have been common i n Europe f o r centuries.  V i l l a s occupied by the p r i v i l e g e d upper c l a s s  r i n g e d Venice  and F l o r e n c e i n the t h i r t e e n t h century  and  London gentlemen c h e r i s h e d t h e i r country e s t a t e which, i n a d d i t i o n to i t s farm f u n c t i o n s , o f t e n p r o v i d e d gardens paths f o r s t r o l l i n g ,  spacious  lawns f o r archery and  and open f i e l d s f o r r i d i n g and hunting.  and  croquet  For a long time  t h i s l i f e s t y l e remained the e x c l u s i v e r i g h t of the wealthy who  c o u l d a f f o r d the luxury of a country r e t r e a t  retaining a city During  while  residence.  the n i n e t e e n t h  c o u n t r y s i d e as a whole was  and e a r l y t w e n t i e t h century  being d r a i n e d of p o p u l a t i o n through  r a p i d r u r a l to urban m i g r a t i o n a s s o c i a t e d with t i o n and u r b a n i z a t i o n .  the  However, i n t e n s e  industrializa-  industrialization  7  made c i t i e s crowded,  smoky and congested.  Water and a i r  p o l l u t i o n caused a v a r i e t y of h e a l t h problems so the "demand to get away from the c i t y became more imperative and undeni7 able"  f o r those who c o u l d a f f o r d i t . Along with the obvious advantages i n the p h y s i c a l  t i n g , ... c o u n t r y s i d e l i v i n g a l s o o f f e r e d a s o c i a l  set-  environment  where one could be l i b e r a t e d from "the sometimes dreary conventions and compulsions of an urban s o c i e t y " and be 8  f r e e to "have l i f e on one's own terms." whether  This opportunity,  r e a l or p e r c e i v e d , f o r freedom and i n d i v i d u a l i s m  remains an important f o r c e i n the d e c i s i o n t o move t o the countryside. Hobby farms i n t h e i r present forms became i n c r e a s i n g l y prominent f e a t u r e s of the North American r u r a l landscape during the p e r i o d of r u r a l r e s e t t l e m e n t that gained momentum during the 1940s and 1950s.  Country l i v i n g became p o p u l a r -  i z e d as not only the wealthy but a l s o the middle c l a s s had access t o r e s i d e n t i a l  land o u t s i d e the c i t y  limits.  Increas-  i n g income and l e i s u r e time and the m o b i l i t y made p o s s i b l e by automobile ownership l e d t o the establishment of suburbs beyond the c i t y c e n t r e .  Punter suggests "the e l i t e  group  who (had) always formed the vanguard of outward waves of m i g r a t i o n from the c i t y  (had) e v e n t u a l l y been j o i n e d by a  s u f f i c i e n t number of i m i t a t o r s that exurban  (had) become  unmistakably suburban i n terms of both community and l a n d 9 scape."  The p o p u l a r i t y of the movement t h r e a t e n e d t o end  the p r i v a c y and peace those moving out of c i t i e s were  8  seeking.  When suburbs became crowded some moved f u r t h e r  from the c i t y to l a r g e r r u r a l p r o p e r t i e s beyond suburban development. T h i s urban to r u r a l movement shows no s i g n s of a b a t i n g , as the New  York Times of March 23,  1980  suggests:  Since the e a r l y 1970s census estimates:have been showing a spreading out of the American p o p u l a t i o n from the c i t i e s and suburbs to the c o u n t r y s i d e , a t r e n d so widespread that a u t h o r i t i e s now view i t as a major n a t i o n a l phenomenon with broad economic, s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s . From 1970 to 1980 areas o u t s i d e the o r b i t of c i t i e s showed a net g a i n of about 3 m i l l i o n people, growing more r a p i d l y than m e t r o p o l i t a n areas or the p o p u l a t i o n as a whole, a c c o r d i n g to the l a t e s t estimates by the Bureau of the Census. But  even as the c o u n t r y s i d e becomes r e s e t t l e d the number of  commercial farms and f u l l - t i m e farmers By  1970  decrease.  i n the United States f i v e of s i x members of the  economically occupation and  continue to  a c t i v e r u r a l p o p u l a t i o n were non-farmers by  although many were l i v i n g on a v a r i e t y of s m a l l  l a r g e acreage h o l d i n g s v a r i o u s l y d e s c r i b e d as  country  e s t a t e s , gentlemen's farms, r a n c h e t t e s and hobby farms. i s c l e a r that the new  r u r a l i t e s are not seeking a r u r a l  l i v e l i h o o d i n the sense of a t r a d i t i o n a l a g r i c u l t u r a l but r a t h e r are u s i n g the experience fulfil  non-economic needs.  by those who rural  It  The  life  of l i v i n g on a farm to  c o u n t r y s i d e i s being  resettled  r e t a i n t h e i r urban employment but d e s i r e a  lifestyle. The  appeal or " p u l l " of the c o u n t r y s i d e i s deeply  i n a g r a r i a n ideology i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s .  rooted  It i s probably  9  best expressed life  i n the J e f f e r s o n i a n i d e a l i z a t i o n of r u r a l  as n a t u r a l and good, c o n t a i n i n g the b e s t o f American  c u l t u r e and producing a v i r t u o u s , independent s u f f i c i e n t population.  Rohrer  suggests:  and s e l f -  "Agrarianism  r e t a i n e d i t s v i a b i l i t y through n e a r l y two c e n t u r i e s of history.  I t s g e n e r a l i z a t i o n t o nonfarm s i t u a t i o n s and i t s  perseverance  l a b e l i t a hardy human  artifact.""^  The Canadian t r e n d to i n c r e a s i n g numbers of hobby farms p a r a l l e l s the American experience but i t occurs even more recently.  The movement t o the c o u n t r y s i d e o u t s i d e l a r g e  c i t i e s has been l i n k e d with the growth of a p r o f e s s i o n a l and managerial  c l a s s with the economic means and s o c i a l  i n c l i n a t i o n t o l i v e i n r u r a l areas, so the. recency o f i n t e r e s t i n exurban l i f e  i n Canada may be a t t r i b u t a b l e to  the i n c r e a s i n g s i z e o f the p r o f e s s i o n a l and managerial c l a s s e s as w e l l as the i n c r e a s i n g p r e s s u r e s on space and more l i m i t e d access to the c o u n t r y s i d e .  U n t i l a few years  ago the d e s i r e f o r a l a r g e acreage w i t h room f o r a horse, some chickens and a vegetable garden c o u l d be accommodated w i t h i n the c i t y  limits.  Many Canadian c i t i e s have only  r e c e n t l y experienced r a p i d growth and development t o h i g h e r densities. unhealthy  They are now p e r c e i v e d by some to be crowded, and s t r e s s f u l environments.  Perhaps,  too, the  f a c t that most Canadians are only a g e n e r a t i o n o r two removed from the farm suggests n o s t a l g i a p l a y s a r o l e i n the appeal of  rural l i f e .  The escape t o the c i t y from the drudgery  of  farm l i f e f i f t y years ago has r e v e r s e d d i r e c t i o n .  Many  10  now  wish to escape urban i l l s  "wistful  and pressures and r e t u r n i n a  search f o r r o o t s " to a l i f e where peace, p r i v a c y  and the shaping  of one's immediate environment i s p o s s i b l e .  There i s a r a t h e r meagre amount of p u b l i s h e d  1 1  research  on Canadian r u r a l r e s e t t l e m e n t but n e v e r t h e l e s s w i t h i n the l i t e r a t u r e many i n t r i g u i n g nature and  questions  are r a i s e d on  the  forms of r u r a l land h o l d i n g and the e f f e c t s  the t r e n d of urban to r u r a l m i g r a t i o n on a g r i c u l t u r a l  of land  12 use.  The  initial  problem i s one  land h o l d i n g i n some standard way size, in  of d e f i n i n g forms of  i n terms of tenure p a t t e r n ,  and f u n c t i o n to allow f o r comparative s t u d i e s .  a review  primary  McRae,  a r t i c l e on r u r a l r e s e t t l e m e n t , i d e n t i f i e s  types of r u r a l h o l d i n g :  rural  three  permanent r e s i d e n c e s ,  seasonal r e s i d e n c e s and hobby farms, but suggests c o n s i d e r a b l e c o n f u s i o n w i t h i n geographic  there i s  literature in dis-  t i n g u i s h i n g between hobby farms and permanent r e s i d e n c e s , hobby farms and p a r t - t i m e farms and hobby farms and  rural  13 estates. rural  Michie, i n i d e n t i f y i n g  and mapping v a r i o u s  land uses i n the c o u n t r y s i d e of Southern O n t a r i o  avoids d e f i n i t i o n a l problems and simply d e s c r i b e s  rural  e s t a t e s i n a unique and p e r c e p t i v e f a s h i o n as "farms where recent expenditures  are obvious  ( i n c l u d i n g ) white paddock  fences, e x t e n s i v e and w e l l - c l i p p e d lawns, barns o b v i o u s l y not g r e a t l y used f o r l i v e s t o c k purposes, no farm equipment visible." In l a n d use  l i t e r a t u r e the one  i s t i c of hobby farming  definitional  that seems widely  accepted  characteri s that  11  t h i s e n t e r p r i s e i s not p r i m a r i l y undertaken f o r income g e n e r a t i n g purposes and t h e r e f o r e s a t i s f a c t i o n s from i t are non-economic.  derived  Other aspects of the term are  more v a r i a b l y i n t e r p r e t e d i n c l u d i n g :  whether or not the  farm i s a c t u a l l y used f o r food p r o d u c t i o n or i s merely capable of p r o d u c t i o n ; whether the farm p r o d u c t i o n i s marketed and at what l e v e l of s a l e s ; whether the farm u n i t s are  w i t h i n a s p c e i f i e d s i z e range; whether the owner must  be r e s i d e n t on the p r o p e r t y to be c o n s i d e r e d a "hobby farmer"; and whether the hobby farm owner must have urban based employment and  income.  S t a t i s t i c s Canada d i f f e r e n t i a t e s hobby farmers from p a r t - t i m e and f u l l - t i m e farmers by d e f i n i n g them as those farmers w i t h 150 or more days of o f f - f a r m employment annually and l e s s than $5000 of annual farm s a l e s .  This  d e f i n i t i o n i s p o s s i b l y somewhat s i m p l i s t i c but i s u s e f u l because i t i s e a s i l y measurable. cise in f u t i l i t y  It i s probably an exer-  to attempt to d e f i n e the hobby farm whose  e s s e n t i a l q u a l i t i e s and d i s t i n g u i s h i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s almost c e r t a i n l y vary c o n s i d e r a b l y r e g i o n a l l y .  will  Probably  it  i s most s a t i s f a c t o r y to simply s t r e s s the "hobby" aspect  of  the t e r m — " a  p u r s u i t o u t s i d e one's r e g u l a r o c c u p a t i o n 15  that i s engaged i n f o r r e l a x a t i o n . "  W i t h i n these param-  e t e r s s p e c i f i c l o c a t i o n a l and p e r s o n a l circumstances d e t e r mine the f i n a l form and f u n c t i o n of the hobby farm.  12  L o c a t i o n a l Aspects of Hobby Farming The  l i t e r a t u r e i s more successful:'in documenting l o c a 16  t i o n a l aspects of hobby farming. are l o c a t e d i n the r u r a l - u r b a n  Most Canadian hobby farms  f r i n g e s of major c i t i e s such  as Toronto, Ottawa, London, Winnipeg, Calgary  and  Vancouver.  Hobby farming shows a d e f i n i t e d i s t a n c e decay f u n c t i o n one  moves outward from the c i t y and  research  by Found i n the  Toronto r e g i o n and Troughton i n the London r e g i o n one  suggests  i s u n l i k e l y to f i n d many hobby farms f u r t h e r than  to f o r t y m i l e s  as  or an hour's commuting time from the  thirty  city  17 centre.  The  obvious l o c a t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between  and hobby farming may  be  a f u n c t i o n of the needs or  cities  desires  of owners to be near the c i t y f o r employment or r e c r e a t i o n a l opportunities.  On  the other Jiand, i t may  reflect  the amount  of farm land being marketed near the c i t y where s e l l i n g i s most l i k e l y to occur or the investment value of land near  out  rural  cities.  Found s t a t i s t i c a l l y  analyzed  a s e r i e s of land use maps  of the area surrounding Toronto to measure r e l a t i o n s h i p s between v a r i o u s  l a n d uses, d i s t a n c e to Toronto and 19  land c a p a b i l i t y .  The  obvious p a t t e r n of d e c r e a s i n g  centages of r u r a l e s t a t e land use with i n c r e a s i n g from Toronto was  d i s t o r t e d somewhat by the  a t t r a c t i v e wooded land some c o n s i d e r a b l e 20 edge of the  city.  The  distance  e s t a t e s were c l e a r l y  Found p o i n t s out,  per-  distance  l o c a t i o n of from  the  associated  with land of poor a g r i c u l t u r a l c a p a b i l i t y but high tional capability.  physical  recrea-  however, the measured  13  v a r i a b l e accounted f o r only a minor p o r t i o n of the t i o n of the land use p a t t e r n , suggesting cated and The  e l u s i v e f o r c e s determining  a set of  urban t i e s and  use.  r a i s e s some  Do hobby farmers r e a l l y have s t r o n g  t h e r e f o r e d e l i b e r a t e l y choose land w i t h i n  easy commuting d i s t a n c e of the c i t y ?  Which land  are h i g h l y d e s i r a b l e to hobby farmers i n terms of t u r a l or r e c r e a t i o n a l p o t e n t i a l ? l i c a t e d and  compli-  r u r a l e s t a t e land  l o c a t i o n a l p a t t e r n of hobby farming  i n t e r e s t i n g questions.  explana-  an  qualities agricul-  What are these other  comp-  e l u s i v e f o r c e s Found r e f e r s to that determine  hobby farm l o c a t i o n ? The  occurrence of hobby farming  i n a p a r t i c u l a r area  i s l i k e l y to be a consequence of a complicated i n c l u d i n g t r a d i t i o n a l p a t t e r n s of p r o d u c t i o n  and  land v a l u e s , v i a b l e marketing arrangements and legislation.  set of f a c t o r s tenure,  land  use  Punter t r a c e s the h i s t o r y of exurban develop-  ment i n the area surrounding of l a r g e country  Toronto from the  establishment  e s t a t e s f o r the e l i t e i n the 1930s through  the a r r i v a l i n the e a r l y 1950s of the middle c l a s s buyers 21 who  purchased s m a l l e r p r o p e r t i e s w i t h modest homes.  the 1960s i n c r e a s i n g l e g a l r e s t r i c t i o n s on e s c a l a t i n g land p r i c e s e f f e c t i v e l y wealthiest  once again.  He  of land p r i c e s , s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e and  land use  the  to document  then suggests the  on land h o l d i n g p a t t e r n s  Does the B.C.  to  the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s  the emergence of exurban development and  the r u r a l landscape.  and  limited migration  explores  impacts t h i s development has  lot size  By  p a t t e r n of  rural  and  14  development m i r r o r that of O n t a r i o or do l o c a l d i f f e r enough to suggest d i f f e r e n t  circumstances  consequences?  Is the  t r e n d t o i n c r e a s e d hobby farming i n the Lower F r a s e r V a l l e y , f o r example, a n a t u r a l consequence of the A g r i c u l t u r a l Reserve  l e g i s l a t i o n and does i t produce  Land  a landscape of l a r g e  acreage country e s t a t e s s i m i l a r to those r e s u l t i n g from l o t s i z e zoning i n O n t a r i o ? F u r t h e r i n t e r e s t i n g q u e s t i o n s are r a i s e d concerning the m o t i v a t i o n s of hobby farmers. people wish to r i s e at 5 a.m.  Why  do busy, p r o f e s s i o n a l  d a i l y to care f o r t h e i r  live-  stock, d r i v e many m i l e s to the c i t y f o r a day i n the o f f i c e and r e t u r n i n the e a r l y evening to more farm chores?  Who  are the hobby farmers and what s a t i s f a c t i o n s do they  seek  and f i n d i n a r u r a l  lifestyle?  In The Nature of Demand f o r E x u r b i a L i v i n g ,  Carvalho  attempts t o document the socioeconomic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of 22 exurbanites and t h e i r reasons f o r moving. Winnipeg  The study  finds  area e x u r b a n i t e s to be predominantly young f a m i l i e s  with h i g h e r than average education l e v e l s , o c c u p a t i o n a l s t a t u s and incomes.  Nearly h a l f work i n downtown  Winnipeg  where most l i v e d b e f o r e moving to the c o u n t r y s i d e .  Reasons  f o r moving were non-economic, c e n t e r i n g around the p h y s i c a l environment,  namely d e s i r e s f o r l e s s crowded surroundings,  a t t r a c t i v e landscapes, i n c r e a s e d areas of land, and privacy.  Economic f a c t o r s such as lower taxes and  l a n d p r i c e s were r e l a t i v e l y unimportant move to e x u r b i a .  visual lower  i n the d e c i s i o n to  Hardwick suggests what he terms the " r u r -  ban i n v a s i o n of e x u r b i a " i n B.C.  i s a d e s i r e of people to  15  i n d u l g e themselves  i n the use and enjoyment of p r i v a t e 23  green space w h i l e making t h e i r l i v i n g i n the c i t y . p i n p o i n t s a c o n c e n t r a t i o n of r u r b a n i t e s with t h i s i n Langley  and Surrey, communities w i t h i n easy  range of Vancouver. by Layton  lifestyle  commuting  Hobby farmers have a l s o been i d e n t i f i e d  as predominantly  workers w i t h above average Can  He  p r o f e s s i o n a l and white  collar  education and income l e v e l s .  the dominance of the w e l l educated,  high income earners  w i t h i n the hobby farm p o p u l a t i o n be e x p l a i n e d merely by a b i l i t y of t h i s group to purchase cities,  expensive  farmland  or are there more s u b t l e f a c t o r s i n v o l v e d ?  s h o r t , why  near In  do hobby farmers want to farm as a hobby?  Finally,  there are i n t e r e s t i n g questions r e g a r d i n g the  nature of a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n on hobby farms and r e l a t i o n s h i p between hobby farming and commercial Troughton  the  the  farming.  and Layton p r o v i d e some i n s i g h t s i n t o the  inter-  a c t i o n s among f u l l - t i m e , p a r t - t i m e and hobby farmers i n the r u r a l - u r b a n f r i n g e of London, O n t a r i o , i n order to i d e n t i f y and e x p l a i n the dynamics of r u r a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i n that 24 area.  They were able t o i d e n t i f y a s e r i e s of  cally significant  statisti-  d i s t i n g u i s h i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s that cate-  g o r i z e d the t h r e e . t y p e s of farming, i n c l u d i n g  locational  aspects such as the d i s t r i b u t i o n p a t t e r n of the v a r i o u s types of farms,  o p e r a t i o n a l f e a t u r e s such as t y p i c a l  improve-  ments t o p r o p e r t i e s and a t t i t u d i n a l aspects such as perc e i v e d advantages and disadvantages  to f r i n g e l o c a l e s .  s c a l e of p r o d u c t i o n on hobby farms suggests the  farming  The  16  techniques, labour and c a p i t a l requirements  and marketing  arrangements are l i k e l y to be q u i t e d i f f e r e n t commercial  farms.  There may be p o s i t i v e  or negative r e l a -  t i o n s h i p s between hobby farmers and commercial share the a g r i c u l t u r a l  from those o f  land i n a p a r t i c u l a r  farmers who  area.  Only  when these many aspects of hobby farming are more c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e d and e x p l o r e d w i t h i n a p a r t i c u l a r  setting  can any  u s e f u l judgements be made on the v a l i d i t y and consequences of hobby farming as a l a n d use and a p a r t of the a g r i c u l t u r a l industry. THE  STUDY  Aims T h i s study w i l l attempt  to p r o v i d e i n s i g h t s  i n t o the  nature of hobby farming as a land use by c o n s i d e r i n g some of the questions r a i s e d  i n the p r e v i o u s pages, p a r t i c u l a r l y the  following: 1.  What circumstances w i t h i n the Lower F r a s e r V a l l e y have l e d to the emergence of the hobby farm as a common and d i s t i n c t i v e a g r i c u l t u r a l h o l d i n g ?  2.  Who i s the Surrey hobby farmer and what does he seek from h i s p a r t i c u l a r f u l i s he i n meeting  3.  lifestyle?  How s u c c e s s -  h i s aims?  What form i s the hobby farm l i k e l y to take as an agricultural marketing  e n t e r p r i s e i n terms of p r o d u c t i o n ,  and labour and c a p i t a l i n p u t s ?  17  4.  Does hobby farming have a l e g i t i m a t e r o l e to p l a y as part of the a g r i c u l t u r a l i n d u s t r y and as a v a l i d use of farmland i n the r u r a l - u r b a n f r i n g e of Vancouver?  Definitions The S t a t i s t i c s Canada d e f i n i t i o n of hobby farming was adopted i n s l i g h t l y m o d i f i e d form f o r t h i s study.  The  hobby farm and the hobby farmer i n t h i s study must meet the f o l l o w i n g c r i t e r i a which are a s c e r t a i n a b l e and 1.  measurable:  The owner must be r e s i d e n t on the p r o p e r t y and t h e r e f o r e i s presumably  adopting a p a r t i c u l a r  lifestyle  r a t h e r than merely owning a farm. 2.  There must be farm p r o d u c t i o n and farm s a l e s of at l e a s t $1600 a n n u a l l y .  I t was  with farm p r o d u c t i o n would  assumed any owner  attempt s a l e s at t h i s  minimum l e v e l i n order to achieve the c o n s i d e r a b l e savings p o s s i b l e through p r e f e r r e d p r o p e r t y tax assessment 3.  as a farm u n i t .  The owner works 150 or more days i n o f f - f a r m employment or i s r e t i r e d from p r e v i o u s o f f - f a r m employment .  4.  The income d e r i v e d from the farm s a l e s i s i n s i g n i f i cant, c o n t r i b u t i n g l e s s than 25% to the t o t a l income.  family  18  The  Study  Area  The D i s t r i c t of Surrey, approximately  a r u r a l - u r b a n f r i n g e community  t h i r t y k i l o m e t r e s from Vancouver, was chosen  as an a p p r o p r i a t e study  area.  This d i s t r i c t ,  like several  o t h e r s i n the Lower F r a s e r V a l l e y , i s changing  r a p i d l y as  i n c r e a s i n g p o p u l a t i o n pressures cause changes i n land use from predominantly  a g r i c u l t u r a l use to r e s i d e n t i a l ,  c i a l and i n d u s t r i a l use.  There are, however, a s u b s t a n t i a l  number of farms l e f t i n the d i s t r i c t , and hobby farms. facilitating  commer-  both  commercial farms  The s p e c i f i c circumstances  w i t h i n Surrey  hobby farming are d i s c u s s e d i n Chapter  Two.  Data Source and Sampling The primary  data used i n t h i s study were c o l l e c t e d from  82 p e r s o n a l i n t e r v i e w s of farmers s p r i n g of 1982.  i n the Surrey  area i n the  The i n t e r v i e w s were s t r u c t u r e d around a  q u e s t i o n n a i r e with some open-ended and follow-up  questions  where they were a p p r o p r i a t e t o allow more f l e x i b i l i t y and g r e a t e r depth of i n f o r m a t i o n .  A v i s u a l check o f the sample  farm p r o p e r t i e s was a l s o made at the time of the i n t e r v i e w and o b s e r v a t i o n s were recorded. farm p r o p e r t i e s and the landscape of  The v i s u a l aspects of the of the whole study  r u r a l Surrey were v a l u a b l e f o r g a i n i n g i n s i g h t s  hobby  into  farming. The sample was randomly drawn u s i n g two sources:  1981  area  the  p r o p e r t y tax assessment j r o l l f o r the M u n i c i p a l i t y of  Surrey and the F r a s e r V a l l e y Area D i r e c t o r y (1981). procedure  was as f o l l o w s :  The  19  1.  A l l farm assessed p r o p e r t i e s were l i s t e d from the Surrey tax assessment  roll  for a l l properties.  T h i s p r o v i d e d a l i s t i n g of 1223 p r o p e r t i e s owned by 836 i n d i v i d u a l s or c o r p o r a t i o n s .  The c o r p o r a t e  and absentee owners were e l i m i n a t e d from the l i s t l e a v i n g 669 r e s i d e n t owners.  Some 138 of these  r e s i d e n t s owned m u l t i p l e p a r c e l s of land, u s u a l l y contiguous p r o p e r t i e s . 2.  A random sample was generated u s i n g a random table.  numbers  In t o t a l three draws were made y i e l d i n g a  total l i s t  of 256 r e s i d e n t owners of farm proper-  ties. 3.  The F r a s e r V a l l e y Area D i r e c t o r y was then used to e l i m i n a t e from the sample those owners who l i s t e d t h e i r o c c u p a t i o n as "farmer" on the assumption these would be commercial hobby farmers.  farmers r a t h e r than  As a r e s u l t of t h i s  procedure  81 farm owners were e l i m i n a t e d from the sample. 4.  The remaining 139 owners were c o n t a c t e d by l e t t e r and a follow-up telephone c a l l to arrange an i n t e r 26 view time.  Eighty-two  i n t e r v i e w s were  completed.  There was no way of d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between p a r t - t i m e farmers and hobby farmers b e f o r e the i n t e r v i e w i n g took p l a c e . Fourteen of those i n t e r v i e w e d d i d not f a l l w i t h i n the study d e f i n i t i o n of "hobby farmer" i n that the farm s a l e s were significant  t o the f a m i l y income and the farm  employment  20  was  more important  than o f f - f a r m employment.  The  data  c o l l e c t e d from these f o u r t e e n i n t e r v i e w s were t h e r e f o r e not used i n the subsequent c o l l a t i o n and i n f o r m a t i o n gathered t i v e l y and  a n a l y s i s although  from t h i s group was  i s noted i n the study  the  u s e f u l compara-  i n appropriate  places.  (See Appendix I f o r more d e t a i l e d sampling procedure.) I nt er vi ewing The  and  Analysis  questionnaire  (see Appendix II) covered  v a r i e t y of t o p i c s r e l a t i n g to tenure; and f e a t u r e s ; farm p r o d u c t i o n  a wide  land s i z e , q u a l i t y  and s a l e s ; labour  sources;  property'improvements; problems and s a t i s f a c t i o n s farming  and  location;  a t t i t u d e s , socioeconomic c h a r a c t e r -  i s t i c s and background of owners; and i n t e r v i e w was  with  future plans.  The  s t r u c t u r e d around the q u e s t i o n n a i r e but many  responses were f o l l o w e d up with more probing  questions  gain i n s i g h t i n t o p a r t i c u l a r aspects of hobby  farming.  Responses were r e c o r d e d verbatim when p o s s i b l e . views l a s t e d 40 to 60 minutes. be i n t e r v i e w e d were not  F i v e owners who  i n at the appointed  to  Most  inter-  agreed to  time and  could  not be reached l a t e r , but mailed back completed i n t e r v i e w s . T h e i r p r o p e r t i e s were checked v i s u a l l y t i o n e d b r i e f l y by telephone. f i v e q u e s t i o n n a i r e s was  The  and they were ques-  i n f o r m a t i o n from  these  i n c l u d e d i n the primary data.  q u e s t i o n n a i r e s were then c o l l a t e d and  analyzed.  The  21  NOTES  1.  Manning, Edward, A g r i c u l t u r a l Land and Urban C e n t r e s . Lands D i r e c t o r a t e , Environment Canada, 1977, p. 4.  2.  Land can be put t o a number o f uses which can be ranked on the b a s i s of the economic rent each can generate i n a given time p e r i o d . The use y i e l d i n g the g r e a t e s t economic rent i s t h e h i g h e s t and best use i n terms of maximizing income. See: Found, W.C., A T h e o r e t i c a l Approach t o R u r a l Land-Use P a t t e r n s , Arrowsmith L t d . , B r i s t o l . , 1971, p. 20. See a l s o : Barlowe, R. , Land Resource Economics, P r e n t i c e H a l l , 1958.  3.  Warren, C.L. and Rump, P.C., The U r b a n i z a t i o n of R u r a l Land i n Canada 1966-71, 1971-76. Land Use i n Canada S e r i e s , Number 20, Lands D i r e c t o r a t e , Environment Canada, Ottawa, 1981, p. 22.  4.  I b i d . , p.  5.  Pearson, Normal, " F r a s e r V a l l e y — R a p e I t o r P r e s e r v e I t , " Paper given at Land Use i n the F r a s e r V a l l e y — Whose Concern? Conference, Centre f o r C o n t i n u i n g Education, 1972, p. 4.  6.  Bryant, C.R., Farm Generated Determinants of Land Use Changes i n the Rural-Urban F r i n g e i n Canada, 1961-75, Lands D i r e c t o r a t e , Department of Environment, November, 1976.  iv.  McRae, James, The I n f l u e n c e of E x u r b a n i t e Settlement of R u r a l Areas: A Review of the Canadian L i t e r a t u r e , Working Paper Number 3, Lands D i r e c t o r a t e , Environment Canada, 1980. Russwurm, Lome, The Surroundings of Our C i t i e s , Community P l a n n i n g Press, Ottawa, 1977. Troughton, M.J., Land Holding i n the Rural-Urban F r i n g e Environment: The Case of London, O n t a r i o , Lands D i r e c t o r a t e , Environment Canada, Ottawa, 1976, O c c a s i o n a l Paper Number 11. 7.  Mumford, Lewis, C i t y i n H i s t o r y , Chapter 16: "Subu r b i a and Beyond," Harcourt-Brace, New York, 1961, pp. 484-87.  8  Ibid.  22  9.  Punter, John, The Impact of Exurban Development on Land and Landscape i n the Toronto Centred Region: 19541971, C e n t r a l Mortgage and Housing, Ottawa, 1974, p. 5  10.  Rohrer, Wayne and Douglas, L o u i s , The A g r a r i a n T r a n s i t i o n i n America: Dualism and Change, B o b b s - M e r r i l l , New York, 1969, p. 9.  11.  Punter, op. c i t . , p. 12.  12.  R u r a l r e s e t t l e m e n t i n Canada i s d i s c u s s e d by the f o l l o w ing: Beaubien and Tabachnik, Carvalho, Gibson; Gierman, Layton, Manning, M a r t i n , McRae, Punter, Rodd, Troughton, Warren and Rump. (See B i b l i o g r a p h y f o r complete r e f e r ences . )  13.  McRae, op. c i t . , p. 7.  14.  M i c h i e , George and Found, W.C., "Rural E s t a t e s i n the Toronto Region," O n t a r i o Geography, 10, 1976, p. 16.  15.  As d e f i n e d i n Merriam-Webster's tionary .  16.  See p a r t i c u l a r l y : Found and M i c h i e , Carvalho, Layton, Punter, Troughton. (See B i b l i o g r a p h y f o r complete references.)  17.  Found  18.  Troughton, op. c i t . , p. 46.  19.  Found and M i c h i e , op. c i t .  20.  The term " r u r a l e s t a t e " i s one of e i g h t land use c a t e g o r i e s e s t a b l i s h e d by M i c h i e f o r the mapping p r o j e c t . The author suggests the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of r u r a l e s t a t e s p r e s e n t s s e r i o u s problems i n c l u d i n g the d i f f i c u l t y i n d e s i g n a t i n g m a r g i n a l p r o p e r t i e s as r e a l farms, r u r a l e s t a t e s or i d l e land.  21.  Punter, op. c i t .  22.  Carvalho, Mario E., The Nature of Demand f o r E x u r b i a L i v i n g , Winnipeg Region Study, U n i v e r s i t y of Manitoba, 1974.  23.  Hardwick, Walter, Vancouver, C o l l i e r - M a c M i l l a n , Canada, 1974, pp. 143-44.  24.  Troughton, op. c i t . , and Layton, op. c i t .  New  Collegiate Dic-  (1971), op. c i t .  23  25.  S t a t i s t i c s Canada d e f i n e s hobby farmers as those farmers w i t h 150 or more days of o f f - f a r m employment a n n u a l l y and l e s s than $5000 of annual farm s a l e s .  26.  The remaining 36 owners of the o r i g i n a l 256 were not contacted because they owned s m a l l acreages without b u i l d i n g s and were t h e r e f o r e n o n - r e s i d e n t s or c o u l d not be t r a c e d because they had moved i n the p r e v i o u s few months.  24  CHAPTER  TWO  CIRCUMSTANCES FACILITATING HOBBY FARMING  Hundreds of hobby farms dot the r u r a l landscape of the Lower F r a s e r V a l l e y , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the d i s t r i c t s t o Vancouver:  closest  Richmond, D e l t a , Surrey and Langley.  h a l f of a l l V a l l e y farms have annual s a l e s of l e s s $2500 and the number of s u c c e s s f u l commercial steadily declining.  Over than  farms i s  On the other hand, the number of hobby  farms has r i s e n d r a m a t i c a l l y i n the l a s t few years as famil i e s move to the c o u n t r y s i d e t o buy  a few acres of farmland  to r a i s e t h e i r l i v e s t o c k and grow t h e i r crops. of f a c t o r s has l e d t o an i n c r e a s i n g i n t e r e s t  A variety  i n the r u r a l  l i f e s t y l e and a p a r t i c u l a r set of circumstances has made owning a hobby farm p o s s i b l e .  These circumstances i n c l u d e  a number of h i s t o r i c a l , environmental, economic and tutional  insti-  factors.  Antecedents The a g r i c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y of the F r a s e r V a l l e y i s s h o r t i n comparison  to most areas of Canada.  f r o n t i e r and settlement came l a t e . activity  B.C.  was  The e a r l i e s t  i n the F r a s e r V a l l e y o c c u r r e d i n 1828  the  western  agricultural  on the Hudson's  Bay Company farm at F o r t Langley where employees produced  a  v a r i e t y of meat, v e g e t a b l e s , g r a i n and d a i r y products f o r the F o r t t r a d e r s and the f u r b r i g a d e .  The g o l d rush of  1858  25  brought a f l o o d of miners through the V a l l e y to the f i e l d s of the upper F r a s e r and  i n t e r i o r points.  gold  Many  recog-  n i z e d the promising farming p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n the V a l l e y stayed  on or returned  At f i r s t  l a t e r to become the f i r s t  farm s e t t l e r s .  they took up preemptions of land along  the banks  of the F r a s e r R i v e r f o r easy access to steamboat and  transport  then as the r i c h a g r i c u l t u r a l lowlands f i l l e d ,  settlers  moved to the h e a v i l y wooded uplands of l e s s f e r t i l e Farms were g r a d u a l l y  improved and  soils.  expanded d e s p i t e problems  of lowland f l o o d i n g , upland c l e a r i n g , poor markets and rudimentary t r a n s p o r t a t i o n l i n e s . population  of only  1500  Over the next few s t e a d i l y and  and  By  1881  there was  through the whole V a l l e y .  very  a farm  1  decades the V a l l e y p o p u l a t i o n  grew  soon a wide v a r i e t y of e t h n i c groups, French,  Chinese, Japanese, German and Dutch j o i n e d the predominantly B r i t i s h population  i n the e v o l v i n g  Chilliwack, Mission, Richmond.  communities of the V a l l e y :  Langley, Ladner, Surrey, D e l t a  Improvement i n t r a n s p o r t  l i n k s to New  and  Westminster  and Vancouver, p a r t i c u l a r l y the b u i l d i n g of the B.C. Railway to C h i l l i w a c k i n 1910,  gave farmers b e t t e r access to  market a l l o w i n g f o r d e l i v e r y of milk These e a r l y pioneer  and  removed.  slow, d i f f i c u l t work  or three generations  a l l the t r e e s were cut and burned and  Farms grew s l o w l y ,  ed 80 to 100  f r e s h produce.  i n s i z e and mixed i n  C l e a r i n g the f o r e s t was  i t o f t e n took f a m i l i e s two  ship before  and  farms, l i k e t h e i r modern counter-  p a r t s , the hobby farms, were small production.  acres.  The  Electric  acre by  acre,  and  of owner-  the  stumps  seldom exceed-  e a r l y farms were mixed e n t e r p r i s e s  26  p r o v i d i n g s u b s i s t e n c e t o the farm f a m i l y and s u r p l u s e s such as eggs, m i l k and v e g e t a b l e s t o market.  Although  the d i v e r -  s i t y of farm p r o d u c t i o n a hundred years ago r e f l e c t e d the optimism  and i n e x p e r i e n c e of the f i r s t s e t t l e r s ,  the s m a l l ,  mixed farms of the V a l l e y s u r v i v e d even as a more s p e c i a l i z e d a g r i c u l t u r a l i n d u s t r y evolved and dominated the market.  The  e a r l y land h o l d i n g p a t t e r n of many s m a l l s i z e d farms has s u r v i v e d a hundred years of development and now p r o v i d e s a l a r g e supply of d e s i r a b l e s m a l l acreage p r o p e r t i e s s u i t a b l e for  the hobby farm market.  And the hobby farms occupying  those o r i g i n a l farm s i t e s are i n many ways analogous mixed e n t e r p r i s e s u b s i s t e n c e farms of e a r l i e r Environmental  t o the  times.  Aspects  P h y s i c a l f a c t o r s have both f a c i l i t a t e d and l i m i t e d the development o f a g r i c u l t u r e i n the F r a s e r V a l l e y . with i t s one m i l l i o n acres of land on i t s broad  The V a l l e y , flood-plain  and w e l l - d e v e l o p e d d e l t a , i s o b v i o u s l y an important  agricul-  t u r a l area i n a p r o v i n c e where 90% of the land i s mountainous and non-arable.  In f a c t , the V a l l e y farms p l a y a key  r o l e i n the p r o v i n c i a l a g r i c u l t u r a l i n d u s t r y and i n 1979 c o n t r i b u t e d $300 m i l l i o n or 55% of B.C.'s t o t a l farm  receipts.  A v a r i e t y of V a l l e y s o i l types allows f o r c o n s i d e r a b l e variety  i n products.  Each type of s o i l has unique p r o p e r t i e s  and p o t e n t i a l i t i e s and r e q u i r e s s p e c i a l management.  The  V a l l e y s o i l s can be g e n e r a l l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d i n t o three  27  groups: The  upland  lowland  soils,  lowland  s o i l s and o r g a n i c  soils.^  s o i l s are l o c a t e d between s e a l e v e l and seventy  f e e t i n e l e v a t i o n and are a l l u v i a l i n o r i g i n .  Clay and s i l t  d e p o s i t s occur on the F r a s e r d e l t a and i n s m a l l e r pockets along the F r a s e r , P i t t , Nicomekl, Serpentine  and C h i l l i w a c k  Rivers... These s o i l s are g e n e r a l l y f e r t i l e and w e l l - s u i t e d t o f i e l d crops and pasture but they Organic  are very s u s c e p t i b l e to  winter  flooding.  s o i l s , both deep peat  soils,  are a l s o found i n the lowland  regions.  and muck The 25,000  acres of muck s o i l s are g e n e r a l l y f e r t i l e and are s u i t a b l e f o r i n t e n s i v e t r u c k farming.  Deep peat  can be u s e f u l s o i l  f o r b e r r y and v e g e t a b l e p r o d u c t i o n but r e q u i r e s very management.  I t must be c a r e f u l l y d r a i n e d so i t does not  dry out d u r i n g summer drought p e r i o d s , i t r e q u i r e s able f e r t i l i z a t i o n and o f t e n l i m i n g t o o f f s e t it  special  needs deep c u l t i v a t i o n .  Upland s o i l s ,  h i l l s and r i d g e s of the V a l l e y ranging  consider-  a c i d i t y , and  found on the low  from 70 t o 400 f e e t  i n e l e v a t i o n , are composed of g l a c i o m a r i n e m a t e r i a l s as w e l l as g l a c i a l t i l l  and outwash.  Many of these s o i l types are  medium t e x t u r e d sand and c l a y loams that are g e n e r a l l y w e l l d r a i n e d although the upland  p o o r l y d r a i n e d pockets do occur.  Some of  s o i l s such as the e x t e n s i v e area of g r a v e l l y loam  uplands around Mud Bay are c o a r s e l y t e x t u r e d , h e a v i l y and e x c e s s i v e l y drained.  These s o i l s do not r e t a i n  leached  their  moisture and r e q u i r e i r r i g a t i o n during summer months. Upland s o i l s tend t o be t h i n , sometimes l e s s than 20 inches, are f r e q u e n t l y u n d e r l a i n with rock and are g e n e r a l l y  less  28  f e r t i l e than the lowland Although there the V a l l e y and soil  alluvia.  i s l e s s than 1% of C l a s s One  only small amounts of C l a s s Two  s o i l in  soils,  l i m i t a t i o n s are somewhat o f f s e t by the moderate  which i s a d e f i n i t e asset  to a g r i c u l t u r e .  The  climate  mild  winters  and warm summers assure a long growing season of 180 200  f r o s t - f r e e days.  V a l l e y from the d r i e r west end with e l e v a t i o n .  The  seasonal  with most r a i n f a l l i n g  the  to the wetter east end distribution is fairly  i n December and  summer droughts i n J u l y and  August.  January and  and even  occasional  Most crops do w e l l i n  the V a l l e y although the p o s s i b i l i t y of f r o s t and summer temperatures l i m i t the production some t r e e  to  There i s g e n e r a l l y adequate annual  p r e c i p i t a t i o n although there are v a r i a t i o n s w i t h i n  and  the  the  low  of tomatoes, melons  fruits.  The m i l d c l i m a t e , reasonably f e r t i l e s o i l s and t e r r a i n f a c i l i t a t e a g r i c u l t u r a l production  but  gentle  the V a l l e y  i s a s e r i e s of micro-environments with v a r i a t i o n s that r e q u i r e s e n s i t i v e handling  and  often, c o n s i d e r a b l e  capital  expenditures f o r improvements.  Heavy w i n t e r r a i n f a l l ,  water t a b l e s and p o o r l y d r a i n e d  s o i l s cause s e r i o u s problems  f o r lowland farmers f o r s e v e r a l months of the year. land must be and  Their  dyked and underdrained, c a r e f u l l y f e r t i l i z e d  a p p r o p r i a t e l y cropped to produce w e l l .  need i r r i g a t i o n and r e q u i r e very  high  constant  f e r t i l i z a t i o n w h i l e peat  s p e c i a l management.  f o r some type of p r o d u c t i o n  Upland areas  but  soils  Every area i s s u i t a b l e r e q u i r e s i n t e n s i v e management  29  by h i g h l y s k i l l e d farmers.  Farms that are m a r g i n a l  q u a l i t y , p o o r l y managed or u n d e r c a p i t a l i z e d can no be commercially  viable.  i n land longer  P r o f i t a b l e commercial farming  r e q u i r e s much more than good i n t e n t i o n s .  Many marginal,  p a r t - t i m e farms have i n recent years been s o l d to developers or hobby farmers as o l d e r farmers r e t i r e or g i v e up  farming.  Economic F a c t o r s In recent years most Canadian farmers have experienced economic d i f f i c u l t i e s with s o a r i n g c o s t s of i n p u t s that have not been matched by i n c r e a s e d product p r i c e s .  Valley  f a c e the same r i s i n g c o s t s f o r machinery, f u e l , and f e r t i l i z e r  farmers  feed, seed  as a l l Canadian farmers, but i t i s l i k e l y  r a p i d l y i n c r e a s i n g l a n d c o s t s have been the key f a c t o r i n accounting f o r the d e c l i n i n g number of s u c c e s s f u l commerc i a l farms i n the F r a s e r V a l l e y .  The Lower F r a s e r V a l l e y  farmland has been s u b j e c t e d to very s e r i o u s p r e s s u r e s f o r conversion to other uses i n the l a s t tural  few years and  land l o s s e s have been h i g h , averaging 1250  annually between 1961 since.  and 1971  hectares  and about 700 h e c t a r e s a year  These " l o s t " h e c t a r e s are u s u a l l y converted to urban  uses, p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r housing urban expansion The  agricul-  i n an area very short of  land.  c i t y of Vancouver i s a l a r g e and r a p i d l y growing  c i t y whose expansion cal setting.  i s s e r i o u s l y c o n s t r a i n e d by i t s p h y s i -  The Greater Vancouver Regional D i s t r i c t  f i e s the problem:  identi-  30  Room to grow i n t h i s Region i s s e v e r e l y l i m i t e d . The whole Lower F r a s e r V a l l e y , a narrow c o r r i d o r bounded by mountain s l o p e s , the U.S. border and the sea, c o n t a i n s roughly 900 square m i l e s of which 640 are w i t h i n 35 m i l e s of the c e n t r a l business d i s t r i c t (of Vancouver) . . . the p h y s i c a l l i m i t s to growth r e s t r i c t the area i n which the land market can operate and r e s u l t s i n high s p e c u l a t i v e land p r i c e s throughout the Fraser Valley.3 The M i n i s t r y of A g r i c u l t u r e i n B.C.  i d e n t i f i e s the  high  cost of farmland i n the V a l l e y as the major problem f o r growth i n the i n d u s t r y .  Farmland c l o s e to Vancouver  aged $12,415 per hectare  i n 1976,  metropolitan i n Canada.  Both improved land and  farmland p r i c e  C l a s s I and  II land were  These c o s t s suggest i n t e n s i v e l a n d use i s  e s s e n t i a l f o r commercial farming Changes i n p r o d u c t i o n 1976  second only to land i n the  area of Toronto as the highest  worth even more.  i n the V a l l e y .  i n the V a l l e y between 1971  r e f l e c t some adjustments being made to o f f s e t  land c o s t s .  The  aver-  and  high  d a i r y i n d u s t r y i s r e l y i n g more h e a v i l y  on  f e e d i n g r a t h e r than g r a z i n g to save the cost of p r o v i d i n g pasture. l a s t few  S i l a g e corn p r o d u c t i o n years  and higher  has  i n c r e a s e d 166%  imports of hay  are  reported.  Feed l o t s f o r c a t t l e f i n i s h i n g are more common. production,  another i n t e n s i v e e n t e r p r i s e , has  20% a year.  Other types of i n t e n s i v e farming  cant  i n c r e a s e s i n c l u d e greenhouse p r o d u c t i o n  mushroom farming,  and nursery  production  i n the  Broiler  increased with  signifi-  (+254%),  (+436%).  Each of  these i n t e n s i v e e n t e r p r i s e s r e q u i r e s c o n s i d e r a b l e s p e c i a l i z e d s k i l l s of f u l l - t i m e  operators.  31  Other economic problems f a c e d by V a l l e y farmers i n c l u d e high labour c o s t s which a f f e c t the b e r r y and v e g e t a b l e i n d u s t r i e s , and competition from American vegetable imports. Vegetable producers must ensure constant l e v e l s of  produc-  t i o n at reasonable p r i c e s a c h i e v a b l e only with the use of greenhouses which are c o s t l y energy u s e r s .  Expensive  d i k i n g and u n d e r d r a i n i n g i s necessary i n many areas as w e l l as i r r i g a t i o n systems. investment  As a r e s u l t of these c o s t s ,  l e v e l s are high on V a l l e y farms,  $16,842 per improved  capital  averaging  h e c t a r e or $189,000 per farm, of which  88% i s absorbed by l a n d and b u i l d i n g c o s t s and p r o p e r t y improvements. One  of the consequences of these r i s i n g c o s t s has been  a s i g n i f i c a n t d e c l i n e i n the number of farms whose annual s a l e s are between $5000 and $25,000 (See Table I ) . have tended to p o l a r i z e toward s u c c e s s f u l commercial  5  Farms  e i t h e r the high s a l e s of the  farms with f u l l - t i m e o p e r a t o r s or the  low s a l e s of $1200 to $5000 of the hobby farms whose owners generate the f a m i l y income elsewhere.  Increasing s p e c i a l i z a -  t i o n and s a l e s through marketing boards r e q u i r i n g a c e r t a i n s c a l e of p r o d u c t i o n have meant the m a r g i n a l , p a r t - t i m e farm of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s can no longer generate  reason-  able p r o f i t s f o r the owners and i n c r e a s i n g l y these farms become the hobby farms of the 1970s and 1980s.  32  TABLE I PERCENTAGE OF CENSUS FARMS BY ECONOMIC CLASS  ANNUAL SALES  1961  1966  1971  1976  $1200-5000  37  27  33  35  $5000-10,000  26.  16\  H \  .53  $10,000-25,000  27  39  22^  Over $25,000  10  17  34  Note:  Census Farm:  22  >3  12^ 43  $1200 + s a l e s  I n s t i t u t i o n a l Factors Probably  the most s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r  a f f e c t i n g the  supply of hobby farm land i n the l a s t t e n years has been the establishment  of the a g r i c u l t u r a l  The  leading to this p r o v i n c i a l  circumstances  land r e s e r v e s i n 1973.  l a t i o n i s d i s c u s s e d i n d e t a i l elsewhere,  zoning  legis-  but b a s i c a l l y the  l e g i s l a t i o n grew from an awareness of the s e r i o u s and i n c r e a s ing r a t e s of farmland  conversion i n a p r o v i n c e with a very  l i m i t e d supply of a g r i c u l t u r a l  land.  As more and more farm-  land was " l o s t " , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the Lower F r a s e r V a l l e y which p r o v i d e d most of the vegetable, specialty  d a i r y , egg and  p r o d u c t i o n i n the p r o v i n c e , the f u t u r e v i a b i l i t y  of the a g r i c u l t u r a l  i n d u s t r y was i n q u e s t i o n .  was r e l u c t a n t t o depend on imported industries linked  The p r o v i n c e  food s u p p l i e s and the  t o a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n such as food  p r o c e s s i n g were endangered.  33  There was  evidence that encroaching urban uses had a  very n e g a t i v e e f f e c t on the farm i n d u s t r y i n the r u r a l urban  fringe.  A Greater Vancouver Regional D i s t r i c t r e p o r t  on the. farm s i t u a t i o n i n D e l t a i n 1972  s t a t e s the many prob-  lems a s s o c i a t e d with changes i n the a g r i c u l t u r a l e n v i r o n ment "taken c o l l e c t i v e l y , coupled w i t h the impact  extended  of massive  over a lengthy p e r i o d and l a n d assemblies i n the  area . . . have had u n u s u a l l y damaging e f f e c t s upon the 7 D e l t a farmers' o u t l o o k . " difficulties  The problems i d e n t i f i e d i n c l u d e d  and delays i n g e t t i n g produce  of t r a f f i c l e v e l s ;  the banning  to market because  of farm v e h i c l e s from h i g h -  ways c r o s s i n g the area, making equipment moves between  fields  i m p o s s i b l e ; the i s o l a t i o n of some farm u n i t s i n areas p r e dominantly  i n d u s t r i a l and r e s i d e n t i a l ;  the m i g r a t i o n of  feed, f e r t i l i z e r and equipment d i s t r i b u t o r s f u r t h e r up the V a l l e y ; and the u n c e r t a i n t y of l a n d . l e a s e s . 47% of the farmland i n the area was  still  t o r s with the r e s t r e g i s t e r e d to absentee  By 1973  only  owned by the operal a n d l o r d s who  were  awaiting optimum times to develop the p r o p e r t i e s .  The c o n d i -  t i o n of the farmland r e g i s t e r e d to non-farmers was  des-  c r i b e d as " d e p l o r a b l e " by the r e p o r t , as the owners had interest it  i n improving the l a n d r e s o u r c e and those  c o u l d not j u s t i f y  no  leasing  any. expenditures f o r f e r t i l i z e r s i n  view of the s h o r t term nature of the l e a s e s and the uncert a i n t y of renewal.  The v i a b i l i t y of farming i n D e l t a , as  w e l l as i n other p a r t s of the V a l l e y , was by  1973.  i n s e r i o u s doubt  34  It was evidence of farmers' defeatism  i n the face of  u n c e r t a i n t y as the D e l t a farm study i l l u s t r a t e d , that  stimu-  l a t e d the p r o v i n c i a l government t o implement a f r e e z e on farmland r e z o n i n g  or development i n December 1972. The  Land Commission Act which f o l l o w e d i n A p r i l ,  1973, provided  f o r the p r e s e r v a t i o n of a g r i c u l t u r a l land i n each of the prov i n c e ' s twenty-eight r e g i o n a l d i s t r i c t s through p r o v i n c i a l g zoning  authority.  The l a n d w i t h i n the r e s e r v e s ,  C l a s s I t o IV by the Canada Land Inventory of a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n , present The  as land capable  was i n c l u d e d r e g a r d l e s s of i t s  use o r tenure u n l e s s years  i t was i r r e v e r s i b l y  reserves  developed.  s i n c e the Act passed have been f i l l e d  problems f o r the Land Commissioners, beginning years with  designated  with  i n the e a r l y  the task of a d j u s t i n g the boundaries of the  to exclude marginal farmland o r i g i n a l l y  They a l s o had t o deal with  included.  d i s g r u n t l e d owners of farmland,  both farmers and non-farmers who demanded compensation f o r anticipated reductions  i n the value of t h e i r l a n d .  of government apparently  A change  weakened the commitment t o pre-  s e r v i n g a g r i c u l t u r a l land, p a r t i c u l a r l y s i n c e 1977 when the d e c i s i o n making powers of the Land Commission were s e r i o u s l y eroded by a l l o w i n g appeals f o r e x c l u s i o n o f l a n d from the reserves  t o be made d i r e c t l y t o the Cabinet.  to i n c r e a s e d p o l i t i c a l pressures  T h i s has l e d  and the subsequent removal  of land under c o n t r o v e r s i a l circumstances.  However, the  c u r r e n t Chairman of the Land Commission, Dr. M i l l s  Clarke,  35  suggests,  "In s p i t e of the c o n t r o v e r s i e s that have s w i r l e d  around the a g r i c u l t u r a l land r e s e r v e s , c r i t i c s s i o n e r s agreed i t has  The most important  on farmland  commis-  succeeded i n saving a great d e a l of  c u l t u r a l l a n d that would otherwise  hobby farming  and  now  agri-  be s u b d i v i s i o n . "  consequence of t h i s l e g i s l a t i o n f o r  has been the development r e s t r i c t i o n s  w i t h i n the r e s e r v e .  Farmers r e a c h i n g  age or d e c i d i n g to s e l l marginal  placed  retirement  p r o p e r t i e s no longer have  the o p t i o n of s e l l i n g to s p e c u l a t o r s or buyers f o r r e s i d e n tial,  commercial or i n d u s t r i a l development.  The  number of  p o s s i b l e buyers has been c o n s i d e r a b l y l i m i t e d to those wish to use  farmland  neighbouring  to farm.  Some property  commercial farmers who  who  i s s o l d to  wish to expand t h e i r  o p e r a t i o n s , but the farm u n i t i s not s u b d i v i d a b l e so prope r t i e s with houses and f o r those  farm b u i l d i n g s are too  farmers seeking  or c r o p l a n d .  a few  expensive  a d d i t i o n a l acres of  Because of high s t a r t u p c o s t s and the economic  problems of the farm i n d u s t r y there are very few  new  entering, the i n d u s t r y and seeking out property, p r o p e r t i e s s m a l l i n s i z e or marginal  s m a l l s i z e d property with cropland.  The  farmers  particularly  in quality.  buyers then become the hobby farmers who  and  pasture  The  obvious  are happy to buy  a house, barn, o u t b u i l d i n g s ,  a  pasture  hobby farm buyer p l a y s an e s s e n t i a l r o l e  i n keeping the land market of the V a l l e y h e a l t h y , e l s e i s the r e t i r i n g farmer l i k e l y to s e l l to? to hobby farm are ensured of a steady  supply  for  Those  of farm  who wishing proper-  t i e s as the number of commercial farms i n the V a l l e y s t e a d i l y  36  d e c l i n e s and marginal farms become l e s s and l e s s  profitable.  Hobby farming i s a very n a t u r a l consequence of the f a c t o r s o u t l i n e d above.  The h i s t o r i c l a n d h o l d i n g p a t t e r n o f  many s m a l l s i z e d farms has p e r s i s t e d through the hundred years of a g r i c u l t u r a l development i n the V a l l e y . onmental circumstances allow f o r comparative  The e n v i r -  ease of produc-  t i o n and make p o s s i b l e a v a r i e t y of e n t e r p r i s e s , yet r e q u i r e s s e n s i t i v e management s k i l l s t o cope with the c o m p l e x i t i e s of a p a r t i c u l a r s i t e . in Valley agriculture.  There i s a t r e n d to i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n Economic circumstances,  particularly  high l a n d c o s t s , have n e c e s s i t a t e d i n p u t s and techniques that w i l l ensure h i g h e r y i e l d s from every u n i t of l a n d and have f o r c e d out the s m a l l , marginal commercial  farms of  e a r l i e r times that can no longer compete s u c c e s s f u l l y i n today's h i g h l y t e c h n i c a l , r a t i o n a l i z e d a g r i c u l t u r e .  The  a g r i c u l t u r a l l a n d r e s e r v e system has l i m i t e d the marketing p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f farmlands t o purchasers w i l l i n g to farm, of whom the hobby farmer i s the most l i k e l y buyer. historical,  The  environmental, economic and i n s t i t u t i o n a l  factors  d e s c r i b e d above can be t r a c e d i n the development of hobby farming i n the e n t i r e Lower F r a s e r V a l l e y and are c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i a b l e i n the d i s t r i c t of Surrey, the study area of this  paper.  Circumstances Within the Study Area of Surrey The d i s t r i c t of Surrey, a r e g i o n of 343 square meters,  kilo-  s t r e t c h e s from the American border i n the south t o  37  the F r a s e r R i v e r i n the north and the west and Langley  on the east  i s f l a n k e d by D e l t a on (see Map  1).  It i s s i t u a t e d  about 25 to 30 k i l o m e t e r s from the Vancouver core, w e l l w i t h i n the f o r t y to s i x t y minute commuting time zone f r e quently used to d e f i n e the urban f r i n g e of major  cities.  L i k e many u r b a n - r u r a l f r i n g e communities, Surrey  i s under-  going r a p i d p o p u l a t i o n growth and land use c o n f l i c t s .  i s experiencing serious  I t has been d e s c r i b e d as an area  i t i n g urban sprawl with a l l the negative connotations c i a t e d with that term:  a haphazard mixture  c o n f l i c t i n g l a n d uses such as t r a i l e r parks  of  and d a i r y farms, developments  and b r o i l e r o p e r a t i o n s , d r i v e - i n t h e a t r e s and beef The  1982  p o p u l a t i o n of 160,887 i s a dramatic  from the p o p u l a t i o n of 1940, whom l i v e d on farms.  approximately  asso-  juxtaposed,  shopping c e n t r e s and b l u e b e r r y f i e l d s , housing  lots.  exhib-  feed increase  15,000 most of  Today only 5500 people,  3% of the  p o p u l a t i o n , l i v e on a g r i c u l t u r a l l y zoned land. The  p h y s i c a l landscape  of Surrey  f l o o d p l a i n s of the Serpentine  i s comprised of the  and Nicomekl R i v e r s , the  Campbell R i v e r v a l l e y i n the south and an e x t e n s i v e  upland  area i n the form of a s e r i e s of low h i l l s w i t h e l e v a t i o n s l e s s than  120 meters (see Map  2).  The best farm land i s  l o c a t e d on 4000 h e c t a r e s of lowland between the and Nicomekl R i v e r s although  Serpentine  t h i s area i s s u s c e p t i b l e to  winter f l o o d i n g , p a r t i c u l a r l y during high t i d e s i n Boundary Bay.  F a i r l y good s o i l s of g r a v e l l y and sandy loam are  found  LOWER  FRASER  VALLEY  o  i  f  i  *  Scale i n  '  * 1  '  Kilometres  39  U. S . A .  40  on 6400 h e c t a r e s of the Hazelmere V a l l e y , d r a i n e d by Campbell R i v e r , and the Mud  the  Bay uplands north of the Ser-  p e n t i n e although these s o i l s are s u b j e c t to e x c e s s i v e l e a c h i n g and  drainage.  At present, approximately  9300 h e c t a r e s , 31% of  Surrey's area, are h e l d i n farmland, 11,000 h e c t a r e s of 1961.  somewhat l e s s than  Most of the farms are l o c a t e d i n  the e a s t e r l y p o r t i o n of Surrey and more s p e c i f i c a l l y southeast around the town of C l o v e r d a l e . of  The  i n the  Municipality  Surrey uses the a g r i c u l t u r a l land r e s e r v e boundaries  d e f i n e land zoned a g r i c u l t u r a l . boundaries  the  Not  to  a l l land w i t h i n the  i s c u r r e n t l y being farmed and many farms are  l o c a t e d on land o u t s i d e the a g r i c u l t u r a l zoning.  Hobby  farms p a r t i c u l a r l y are l i k e l y to be on the more m a r g i n a l land o u t s i d e the boundaries. in  Only 47% of the hobby farms  the sample drawn f o r t h i s study are l o c a t e d i n s i d e  A.L.R. boundaries  and even fewer,  Serpentine-Nicomekl  27%,  the  are l o c a t e d on the  lowlands or i n the Hazelmere V a l l e y .  Farming i s a t r a d i t i o n a l land use i n Surrey that began the day  i n 1860 when James Kennedy rowed across the F r a s e r  R i v e r from New  Westminster, c l e a r e d a t r a i l south a m i l e  from the r i v e r bank and began c l e a r i n g bush f o r h i s farm. *"* 1  Although  other s e t t l e r s soon j o i n e d him,  there were s t i l l the d i s t r i c t ,  later  only a few t i n y communities s c a t t e r e d over  i n c l u d i n g two  still  H a l l ' s P r a i r i e and C l o v e r V a l l e y . market i n New  t h i r t y years  agricultural  today—  The opening of a farmers'  Westminster, the b u i l d i n g of a b r i d g e across  41  the F r a s e r , the c o n s t r u c t u r e of the B.C.  E l e c t r i c Railway  and f i n a l l y the formation of the Surrey Farmers'  Co-opera-  t i v e A s s o c i a t i o n i n 1921 g r a d u a l l y developed the a g r i c u l t u r a l p o t e n t i a l of the area.  L i k e much of the r e s t of the V a l l e y ,  the e a r l y mixed farms e v e n t u a l l y gave way  to the s p e c i a l i z e d  commercial farms of today. There are r e l a t i v e l y few commercial farms i n Surrey i n comparison to o t h e r areas of the V a l l e y such as Matsqui and Chilliwack.  The 1981 p r o p e r t y tax assessment r o l l s  list  836 owners of farm assessed p r o p e r t y , that i s , land produci n g at l e a s t $1600 of farm s a l e s a n n u a l l y .  Of these owners,  670 are r e s i d e n t f a m i l y owners but, based on the sample drawn f o r i n t e r v i e w i n g i n t h i s study, only about of these are f u l l - t i m e commercial farmers.  The  one-third commercial  farms i n c l u d e about f o r t y d a i r y farms each m i l k i n g between 100 and 200 cows, four or f i v e beef feed l o t s , a number of b r o i l e r and egg e n t e r p r i s e s , about twenty n u r s e r i e s , a l a r g e number of greenhouses and mushroom farms and about h e c t a r e s of v e g e t a b l e farms.  1200  Other products i n c l u d i n g  b e r r i e s , f r u i t , honey, and l i v e s t o c k such as sheep, p i g s and goats, are common hobby farms.  The farm area c e n t r e s on  C l o v e r d a l e which p r o v i d e s a number of farm r e l a t e d  services  i n c l u d i n g feed s t o r e s , tack shops, v e t e r i n a r y s e r v i c e s  and,  u n t i l very r e c e n t l y , the Surrey farmers' co-op. The Surrey farmers f a c e a l l the f r u s t r a t i o n s of r u r a l urban f r i n g e farming d i s c u s s e d p r e v i o u s l y .  Probably the  42  most s e r i o u s farm problem i n the d i s t r i c t f l o o d i n g of the best  i s the p e r i o d i c  farm land, the f l o o d p l a i n s of  Serpentine and Nicomekl R i v e r s .  Although most of t h i s  has been dyked, the drainage d i t c h e s and d e t e r i o r a t e d c o n d i t i o n and  the  constant  dykes are i n very  clearing for residential  development on the uplands has worsened the r u n - o f f The  problem.  s o l u t i o n s to water problems i n v o l v e four l e v e l s of govern-  ment, f e d e r a l , p r o v i n c i a l , r e g i o n a l and m u n i c i p a l ,  and  cost s h a r i n g p o s s i b i l i t i e s have long been under study debated e n d l e s s l y .  1 1  The  d i s t r i c t where tax c o l l e c t i o n i s very  Farmers i n t e r v i e w e d  complained of the very  low  administration  There i s l i t t l e  sees a g r i c u l t u r a l v i a b i l i t y  doubt that  the  as a low p l a n n i n g  priority.  urbanization  i d e n t i f i e s Surrey as a t r a n s i t i o n  zone between what he d e s c r i b e s end  received  development o r i e n t e d  Bryant, i n h i s a n a l y s i s of the e f f e c t s of  i n the eastern  the  i n t h i s study  l e v e l of s e r v i c e s they  of Surrey i s growth and  on farming v i a b i l i t y ,  and  low because of p r e f e r -  e n t i a l farm t a x a t i o n .  from the m u n i c i p a l i t y .  the  m u n i c i p a l i t y of Surrey i s r e l u c -  tant to i n v e s t i n drainage improvements f o r areas of  and  area  as the  of the V a l l e y and  "healthy"  farm zone  the d e t e r i o r a t e d zone 12  i n the western end  c l o s e to Vancouver.  reasonably s t r o n g farm b a s e . i n a farm area threatened Vancouver.  by  There i s s t i l l  Surrey but  the c o n t i n u i n g  There i s some q u e s t i o n  i t is definitely expansion of  Greater  as to whether Surrey  farmland can s u r v i v e the combination of p o l i t i c a l and ment i n d u s t r y pressures  a  f o r conversion  develop-  to other uses as  the  43  r e z o n i n g of farmland i s c o n s t a n t l y o c c u r r i n g i n areas outs i d e the a g r i c u l t u r a l  land r e s e r v e s .  Surrey's hobby farms  have an important r o l e t o p l a y i n p r e s e r v i n g the farmland resource and the a g r i c u l t u r a l  i n d u s t r y i n t h i s area a r o l e  which w i l l become i d e n t i f i a b l e a f t e r the nature of hobby farm l a n d use and the i n t e n t i o n s and a t t i t u d e s of hobby farm owners are d i s c u s s e d more f u l l y  i n the chapters ahead.  44  NOTES  1.  Compiled from 1881 Census, O c c u p a t i o n a l l i s t i n g s .  2.  G i b b a r d . ( E a r l y H i s t o r y of the F r a s e r V a l l e y 18081885) notes t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n was made as e a r l y as 1825 by James MacMillan of the Hudson's Bay Company. I t i s a u s e f u l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n that has s i n c e been used by o t h e r s i n c l u d i n g the Regional Farmland S t u d y ^ ( C e n t r a l F r a s e r V a l l e y R e g i o n a l D i s t r i c t , 1972) from which the f o l l o w i n g m a t e r i a l was drawn.  3.  G r e a t e r Vancouver Regional D i s t r i c t , The L i v a b l e Region, 1975, p. 6.  4.  B.C. M i n i s t r y of A g r i c u l t u r e and Food, South C o a s t a l A g r i c u l t u r e Region Report, December 1980, pp. 20-21.  5.  Drawn from the Census of A g r i c u l t u r e : 1971, 1976.  6.  See: Baxter, David, The B r i t i s h Columbia.Land Commiss i o n A c t — A Review, Urban Land Economics Report Number 8, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1974.  1961,  1966,  Manning and Eddy, The A g r i c u l t u r a l Land Reserves of British.Columbia: An Impact A n a l y s i s , Lands D i r e c t o r a t e , Environment Canada, 1978. Smith, Barry, The B.C. Land Commission Act 1973, T h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1975.  M.A.  7.  Paton, Smith and Gram L t d . , V i a b i l i t y of Farming Study, Report to the Greater Vancouver Regional D i s t r i c t , 1973, p. 2.  8.  The Land Commission Act of 1973 had o t h e r o b j e c t i v e s and powers i n c l u d i n g the p r e s e r v a t i o n of green b e l t land around urban areas and the p r e s e r v a t i o n of parkland f o r r e c r e a t i o n . The Act was amended i n 1977 to d e l e t e the l a t t e r p r o v i s i o n s and become s o l e l y i n v o l v e d with the p r e s e r v a t i o n of a g r i c u l t u r a l land.  9.  Quoted i n the Vancouver Sun,  10.  June 12, 1982,  p.  A10.  T h i s and the f o l l o w i n g h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l i s drawn from T r e l e a v e n , Fern, The Surrey Story, Surrey Museum and H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y , C l o v e r d a l e , 1978.  45  11.  Gibson, Edward, U r b a n i z a t i o n of the Georgia S t r a i t Region, G e o g r a p h i c a l Paper No. 57, 1976, p. 41  12.  Bryant, C.R. Farm Generated Determinants of Land Use Changes i n the Rural-Urban F r i n g e i n Canada, 1961-75, Lands D i r e c t o r a t e , Department of Environment, November 1976.  46  CHAPTER THREE  THE HOBBY FARMERS  Who are the hobby farmers and why do they choose t o farm as a hobby?  Are hobby farmers a d i s t i n c t i v e and  homogeneous group with s i m i l a r a t t i t u d e s . a n d m o t i v a t i o n s f o r practising a rural lifestyle? and heterogeneous  Or are they simply a d i v e r s e  group of i n d i v i d u a l s who happen through  v a r i o u s circumstances t o be s i m i l a r l y engaged i n farming? T h i s chapter e x p l o r e s the s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and attitudes attempt  of the sample group of Surrey hobby farmers.  An  i s made t o e s t a b l i s h the degree of homogeneity  w i t h i n the group i n terms of socioeconomic  f a c t o r s , back-  ground and o r i g i n s and p o l i t i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n s .  The q u a l i -  t i e s of r u r a l l i f e that a t t r a c t hobby farmers are i d e n t i f i e d as w e l l as the g o a l s they p e r c e i v e as a c h i e v a b l e through hobby farming. The s e t t i n g that hobby farmers choose i n which t o c a r r y out t h e i r l i f e s t y l e i s d i s c u s s e d i n terms of g e n e r a l l o c a t i o n i n the r u r a l - u r b a n f r i n g e , the p r o x i m i t y t o Vancouver and i n the immediate environment  o f t h e i r own p r o p e r t y .  i d e n t i f y i n g the f e a t u r e s that were important t o hobby  By  farmers  i n choosing a p a r t i c u l a r p r o p e r t y , and the improvements they subsequently made t o that p r o p e r t y , i n s i g h t the a t t i t u d e s  of hobby farmers toward  i s gained  agriculture  into  and r u r a l  47  living.  I t a l s o p r o v i d e s evidence of the l e v e l of commit-  ment hobby farmers are l i k e l y t o make toward p r e s e r v i n g farmland, the a g r i c u l t u r a l i n d u s t r y and the r u r a l way of life.  The p r e s e r v a t i o n of farmland and the maintenance of  f a m i l y farms were c e n t r a l o b j e c t i v e s of the a g r i c u l t u r a l land r e s e r v e l e g i s l a t i o n .  Perhaps the hobby farmer has a  s p e c i a l r o l e t o play i n f u l f i l l i n g WHO Age  those o b j e c t i v e s .  IS THE SURREY HOBBY FARMER?  and M a r i t a l S t a t u s The hobby farm group i n c l u d e d both s i n g l e people and  f a m i l i e s and r e p r e s e n t e d a l l age groups.  E i g h t farms were  owned by s i n g l e people, two by s i n g l e men i n t h e i r and s i x by e l d e r l y widows and widowers.  Four  twenties  elderly  couples owned farms and t h i r t y - t h r e e farms were owned by middle-aged home.  people, many with teen-aged  The remaining twenty-three  c h i l d r e n l i v i n g at  farm f a m i l i e s c o n s i s t e d  of younger couples w i t h school-aged c h i l d r e n , t o d d l e r s and babies.  Every age group was represented and no age group  predominated. O c c u p a t i o n a l Status A wide range of employment c l a s s e s are r e p r e s e n t e d i n the occupations of Surrey hobby farmers, from  unskilled  l a b o u r i n g jobs t o p r o f e s s i o n a l and a d m i n i s t r a t i v e p o s i t i o n s . However, the Surrey hobby farmers, l i k e hobby farm groups i n other s t u d i e s , have a d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e number of t h e i r  48  group i n managerial and p r o f e s s i o n a l employment. pations' of the p r i n c i p a l wage earner  The occu-  of the f i f t y - t w o Surrey  farm f a m i l i e s c u r r e n t l y employed i s shown i n Table I I .  TABLE II OCCUPATION OF PRINCIPAL WAGE EARNERS OF SAMPLE HOBBY FARM GROUP  C l a s s of Employment  Number  Managerial, Administrative ( i n c l u d i n g company owners)  13  Professional  5  Technical  3  Sales,  3  Clerical  Service  4  Transport  8  Machine  operators  5  Construction Unspecified  Thirty-seven  (blue  collar)  percent  2  of the sample hobby farm operators  i n a d m i n i s t r a t i v e p o s i t i o n s , were self-employed or owned a company employing s e v e r a l workers. spouses were a l s o employed i n teaching, v a r i e t y of managerial, c l e r i c a l ,  were  professionals Seventeen  n u r s i n g and a  s a l e s and s e r v i c e  occupations.  49  Hobby farm groups i n Canada and the U n i t e d States have c o n s i s t e n t l y l a r g e p r o p o r t i o n s of managerial s i o n a l employment. who  and p r o f e s -  An American study surveyed  277  families  had r e c e n t l y moved back to the land across the U n i t e d  States.  1  The  group had much higher than average e d u c a t i o n a l  s t a t u s w i t h over 75% having at l e a s t one year of u n i v e r s i t y education and those w i t h p r o f e s s i o n a l or managerial t i o n s comprised  30.7%  of the group.  occupa-  Troughton r e p o r t e d  43%  of the London area hobby farm o p e r a t o r s and 20% of t h e i r spouses had m a n a g e r i a l - a d m i n i s t r a t i v e or p r o f e s s i o n a l 2 employment.  Carvalho  over-represented  found the Winnipeg exurbanites were  i n the m a n a g e r i a l - p r o f e s s i o n a l - t e c h n i c a l  group and noted the dramatic those w i t h managerial  i n c r e a s e i n the p r o p o r t i o n of  and a d m i n i s t r a t i v e p o s i t i o n s i n the  sample from 16% of the t o t a l between 1956 after  1971. The  to  35%  3  Surrey sample group a l s o shows a s t a t i s t i c a l l y  significant  i n c r e a s e i n the m a n a g e r i a l - a d m i n i s t r a t i v e -  p r o f e s s i o n a l group i n the l a s t decade. who  and 1961  began hobby farming b e f o r e 1973  Only  18% of  those  were i n t h i s c l a s s but  45% of the post-1973 group were i n c l u d e d i n i t (see Table I I I , page 50).  Hobby farming has a wide appeal  i n c r e a s i n g l y a t t r a c t i n g b e t t e r educated, earners who  and:.is  higher income  can be somewhat f l e x i b l e i n t h e i r time and  can  a f f o r d both the i n i t i a l high land cost and the subsequent c o s t s of improvements, maintenance and farm o p e r a t i o n .  50  TABLE I I I PROPORTION OF HOBBY FARMERS IN MANAGERIAL-PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT CLASS  Before 1973 1973  and a f t e r  ManagerialProfessional  Other  Total  7 (18%)  32  39  13 (45%)  16  29  Chi square = 5 .83 with 1 degree of freedom S i g n i f i c a n t at N.B.  .02 l e v e l  1973 was the year the A g r i c u l t u r a l  Land  Reserves were e s t a b l i s h e d .  T h i s growing  appeal of r u r a l l i v i n g t o a wider group of  people i s a l s o documented i n l i t e r a t u r e a s s e s s i n g the broader urban t o r u r a l movements now underway.  De Jong and Humphrey  found m e t r o p o l i t a n t o non - m e t r o p o l i t a n migrants were younger and of h i g h e r socioeconomic s t a t u s than the t o t a l p o p u l a t i o n , and noted that these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s became i n c r e a s i n g l y 4 evident d u r i n g the decade o f the study.  While Surrey hobby  farmers cannot be t y p i f i e d as young, they c e r t a i n l y exemplify an i n c r e a s i n g l y high l e v e l of socioeconomic  status.  Urban Background of Hobby Farmers Most of the hobby farm group moved from non-farm r e s i dences t o t h e i r present farm p r o p e r t i e s .  Forty-eight  51  f a m i l i e s , 70% of the sample group, moved from homes i n Vancouver the  or i t s suburbs, Burnaby,  Richmond, D e l t a , Langley,  North Shore, or other p a r t s of Surrey.  remaining twenty owners had immediate the  Fourteen of the  past farm addresses i n  Lower F r a s e r V a l l e y w h i l e s i x were from the P r a i r i e  p r o v i n c e s and European  countries.  Fifteen families in this  farm group had l i v e d on hobby farms p r e v i o u s l y w h i l e f i v e had l i v e d . o n commercial  farms.  However, urban o r i g i n i n terms of past addresses alone is  somewhat m i s l e a d i n g because only eighteen f a m i l i e s were  f u l l y urban i n that no f a m i l y member had ever l i v e d on a farm.  The remainder had at l e a s t one f a m i l y member, and i n  many cases both husband in  and w i f e , who  the past, u s u a l l y i n c h i l d h o o d .  farm was  a r e t u r n to r u r a l l i f e  had l i v e d on a farm  For many owning a hobby  a f t e r a p e r i o d of c i t y  living,  sometimes an extended p e r i o d of twenty or t h i r t y  years.  A few of these people expressed t h e i r d e s i r e t o  have a farm l i k e the one they had grown up on i n Richmond, or  Saskatchewan,  or I t a l y .  One French-Canadian hobby  farmer who made syrup from the maple t r e e s on h i s p r o p e r t y admitted, "I'm  r e l i v i n g my  c h i l d h o o d i n Quebec."  T h i s o f t e n n o s t a l g i c r e t u r n to farming has  interesting  i m p l i c a t i o n s i n terms of both farm management and expectat i o n s about the q u a l i t y of r u r a l l i f e . d i s c u s s e d more f u l l y to  These i d e a s w i l l  be  l a t e r , but perhaps i t i s s u f f i c i e n t  say at t h i s p o i n t that i n d i v i d u a l a t t i t u d e s to farm  life  52  c o u l d sometimes be understood  i n terms of p l e a s a n t c h i l d -  hood memories r a t h e r than more r e a l i s t i c c u r r e n t farming Length  a p p r a i s a l s of the  situation.  of Ownership  Hobby farming has been d e s c r i b e d as a recent ment i n r u r a l land ownership.  develop-  Layton found 53% of farm  owners around London, O n t a r i o , were hobby farmers i n  1971  compared with only 18% ten years e a r l i e r , and 6% twenty years b e f o r e , making them a very recent group of a r r i v a l s i n 5 p a r i s o n to the f u l l - t i m e  and p a r t - t i m e farm owners.  comThe  length of ownership of Surrey hobby farmers v a r i e d  from  l e s s than two  inherited  years to l i f e f o r two owners who  the f a m i l y farm. 12.7  had  The mean number of years of ownership  with 76% of the group a r r i v i n g w i t h i n the l a s t  years.  Those hobby farmers with p r e v i o u s non-farm  was  fifteen addresses  and no farm backgrounds f o r e i t h e r husband or w i f e were the most recent a r r i v a l s , averaging 9.3 suggests r u r a l l i f e  years of ownership.  This  i s becoming more appealing and more  a c c e s s i b l e t o a wider  segment of the p o p u l a t i o n .  P o l i t i c a l Orientations Although hobby farmers were not asked to s p e c i f y political affiliations, responses  a s u r r o g a t e measure was  r e g a r d i n g government farm p o l i c i e s and  toward the a g r i c u l t u r a l c o n s e r v a t i v e viewpoint  land r e s e r v e system.  their  p r o v i d e d by attitudes  Those with a  and a f r e e e n t e r p r i s e o r i e n t a t i o n  were i d e n t i f i e d by comments that c a l l e d f o r fewer r e s t r i c t i o n s  53  on farm o p e r a t i o n ,  l e s s government involvement, the removal  of a l l s u b s i d i e s and  supports to farmers and  of marketing boards.  This conservative  i n comments such as, "I  don't want any  "I'm  dead against  help or any  the a b o l i t i o n  stance was  a l l government  "the  c o s t s to a l l "  l e s s government the b e t t e r f o r us a l l . "  The members of' t h i s c o n s e r v a t i v e to the a g r i c u l t u r a l land reserve  group were a l s o opposed  system although only  farmers were p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y opposed to t h i s type of use  l e g i s l a t i o n which they p e r c e i v e d  r e s t r i c t i o n on p e r s o n a l the B.C. A few  help,"  r e s t r i c t i o n s , " "I don't b e l i e v e  i n handouts," "government involvement i n c r e a s e s and  suggested  system was  r i g h t s and  land  as d i s c r i m i n a t o r y or a  freedoms.  Others  u n f a i r l y imposed or p o o r l y  suggested there should  nine  felt  administered.  never be government c o n t r o l s  on land as i t i n v a r i a b l y f o r c e d up  land p r i c e s and  inter-  f e r e d with the land market. The  majority  of owners favoured government c o n t r o l over  a g r i c u l t u r a l land use  and  farm marketing and o p e r a t i o n .  group supported p o l i c i e s which provided  economic  This  assistance  to farmers i n the form of lower i n t e r e s t r a t e s , crop i n s u r ance programmes, farm development i n c e n t i v e s and to cover machinery and  f u e l purchases.  subsidies  Many c l e a r l y  dis-  t i n g u i s h e d between the needs of f u l l - t i m e , commercial farmers and  the part-time  and  hobby groups which they f e l t  not r e q u i r e or deserve to r e c e i v e government However, a few  felt  s m a l l s c a l e farming was  assistance. desirable  should be encouraged by government p o l i c i e s , not the same as those.needed f o r l a r g e - s c a l e  did  and  necessarily  operations.  54  The m a j o r i t y group was  a l s o s t r o n g l y i n favour of  agri-  c u l t u r a l zoning as an a p p r o p r i a t e mechanism to preserve a g r i c u l t u r a l land, unused farmland. stance was was  A few  c a l l e d f o r a s p e c u l a t i o n tax on  The most extreme expression of  a r t i c u l a t e d by one  owner who  felt  a l l farm land  a p u b l i c good and t h e r e f o r e should not be  owned.  He  felt  privately  farm land should be banked and  those w i l l i n g to use  and care f o r i t on an  this  l e a s e d to  ecologically  sound b a s i s that would ensure i t s p r e s e r v a t i o n f o r f u t u r e generations. The hobby, farmers  sympathetic  to government  involvement  i n a g r i c u l t u r a l l a n d use a l s o showed s t r o n g support  of the  A.L.R. l e g i s l a t i o n .  completely  Twenty-seven respondents were  i n favour of a g r i c u l t u r a l zoning and t y p i c a l comments i n cluded:  "We  has been l o s t farmland  need a l l the farmland we a l r e a d y , " and  should be  lost."  can get," "too much  "not another  square i n c h of  Other owners were g e n e r a l l y sup-  p o r t i v e of the l e g i s l a t i o n but f e l t  there were problems with  the o r i g i n a l boundary d e s i g n a t i o n s and the subsequent t r a t i o n of the r e s e r v e s .  The most commonly  adminis-  identified  q u a l i f i c a t i o n s were the l i m i t a t i o n of u s i n g p h y s i c a l capa b i l i t y as the s i n g l e measure to decide i n c l u s i o n of land, and the s u s c e p t i b i l i t y to p o l i t i c a l of  land.  Some f e l t  land that was  pressures f o r the removal  too marginal  in quality  and  too s m a l l i n p a r c e l s i z e should not have been i n c l u d e d . The hobby farms i n the sample were f a i r l y between l o c a t i o n s i n s i d e and o u t s i d e the A.L.R.  evenly d i v i d e d boundaries.  55 Each, owner was nation.  asked whether he agreed w i t h h i s own  Fourteen  owners d i d n ' t know whether t h e i r land  i n the r e s e r v e or d i d n ' t c o r r e c t l y i d e n t i f y t h e i r tion.  desigwas  designa-  E i g h t of these owners i n c o r r e c t l y assumed the  farm  d e s i g n a t i o n f o r property tax purposes meant they were a g r i c u l t u r a l l y zoned. own  designation.  Eighteen farmers d i s a g r e e d with Eleven f e l t  their  t h e i r farm should not be i n  the r e s e r v e because of i t s s i z e or marginal q u a l i t y .  A  r a t h e r s u r p r i s i n g number, seven owners whose farms were not i n the r e s e r v e , f e l t  they should be i n c l u d e d i n the boundar-  i e s because they s t r o n g l y favoured the i n c l u s i o n of a l l useable farmland, tricting  i n c l u d i n g t h e i r own.  By v o l u n t a r i l y r e s -  a l l f u t u r e uses of t h e i r land, t h i s group o b v i o u s l y  d i s p l a y e d a very s t r o n g i n t e r e s t  i n a g r i c u l t u r a l land p r e s e r -  vation . It was  hypothesized  that there might be d i f f e r e n c e s i n  a t t i t u d e toward the land r e s e r v e system between those whose land was chased  i n or out of the r e s e r v e or between those who  pur-  t h e i r land b e f o r e or a f t e r the i m p o s i t i o n of the  r e s t r i c t i v e zoning:  However, as Table IV suggests,  was  s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between the  no s t a t i s t i c a l l y  groups f o r e i t h e r measure.  Those f a v o u r i n g the  there  agricultural  land zoning were as l i k e l y to be w i t h i n the r e s e r v e s as o u t s i d e and were as l i k e l y to have purchased p r e v i o u s to i m p o s i t i o n of the boundaries the owners' responses circumstances  had  t h e i r land  as afterwards.  can be t r u s t e d , t h i s suggests  If  personal  l i t t l e b e a r i n g on o r i e n t a t i o n toward the  56  p r e s e r v a t i o n of a g r i c u l t u r a l land.  The v a r i a t i o n s i n  o p i n i o n s simply r e f l e c t e d v a r i a t i o n s i n p h i l o s o p h i c a l and p o l i t i c a l orientations.  T h i s suggests d i v e r s i t y i n p o l i t i c a l  viewpoints and a t t i t u d e s as w e l l as i n socioeconomic  charac-  teristics .  TABLE IV ORIENTATION TOWARD AGRICULTURAL.LAND  L o c a t i o n of Farm U n i t  Strong Agreement  RESERVE SYSTEM  Qualified Agreement  Disagreement  In r e s e r v e  13  13  5  Outside r e s e r v e  13  17  5  Chi  square = .83 with 2 degrees  Not  significant  of freedom  at the .05 l e v e l  Time of Purchase Before A.L.R.  15  19  5  A f t e r A.L.R.  11  11  5  Chi  square = .61 w i t h 2 degrees  Not  significant  of freedom  at the .05 l e v e l  57  WHY  DO  HOBBY FARMERS CHOOSE A RURAL LIFESTYLE?  Q u a l i t i e s of R u r a l L i v i n g The  Surrey hobby farmers,  terms of socioeconomic  a f a i r l y d i v e r s e group i n  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and p o l i t i c a l  orien-  t a t i o n s , have a l l chosen to l i v e i n the c o u n t r y s i d e . q u a l i t i e s of r u r a l l i f e e n t i c e hobby farmers  to move from  t h e i r urban homes to a d i f f e r e n t s e t t i n g and way the c o u n t r y s i d e ?  Can  What  of l i f e i n  s i m i l a r i t i e s be i d e n t i f i e d i n l i f e -  s t y l e p r e f e r e n c e s and  goals?  Owners were asked  to i d e n t i f y p o s i t i v e q u a l i t i e s of  t h e i r r u r a l l i f e s t y l e i n an open ended q u e s t i o n that brought both s i n g l e and m u l t i p l e responses  (see Table V ) .  The most commonly mentioned a t t r i b u t e was  the oppor-  t u n i t y f o r p r i v a c y , peace and q u i e t and s e c l u s i o n t y p i c a l l y expressed  i n comments such as "I'm  "When I d r i v e i n t o my  yard I'm  away from i t a l l "  i n a d i f f e r e n t world."  second most common q u a l i t y i d e n t i f i e d was of  a farm s e t t i n g f o r r a i s i n g c h i l d r e n .  expressed of  hard work through  desirability  Usually this  the care of animals or doing  was  general  It also, allowed c h i l d r e n the "freedom to roam"  a s a f e environment where they  A s a t i s f a c t i o n with r u r a l l i f e uncrowded environment with was  the  The  as the o p p o r t u n i t y f o r t e a c h i n g c h i l d r e n the value  farm.chores. in  and  a l s o expressed by many.  "can't get i n t o t r o u b l e . "  i n terms of l i v i n g i n an  "open areas" and l o t s of  space"  T h i s d e s i r e f o r "elbow room"  i s c l o s e l y l i n k e d to the d e s i r e f o r p r i v a c y and the opport u n i t y to l i v e i n a h e a l t h y environment.  The  other  58  TABLE V POSITIVE QUALITIES IDENTIFIED WITH EURAL LIFESTYLE ON A HOBBY FARM  Number Mentioning  Quality Opportunity f o r p r i v a c y , s e c l u s i o n , peace and q u i e t  32  Good environment f o r r a i s i n g children  25  Uncrowded environment:  space,  open area, " l o t s of room"  21  Opportunity t o grow own food, self-sufficiency  18  Healthy environment:  fresh/  clean a i r , opportunity f o r outdoor  life  Opportunity t o keep  16 animals  15  Always wanted t o l i v e on a farm (or r e t u r n t o a farm) Good  neighbours  10 7  Close t o c i t y amenities but i n 6  country Independence, freedom, q u a l i t y of  life,  "mental s a n i t y "  6  -  59  f r e q u e n t l y mentioned a t t r i b u t e was self-sufficient  the a b i l i t y to become  or at l e a s t to grow as much of one's food  supply as p o s s i b l e . The of  Surrey farmers' p e r c e p t i o n s of p o s i t i v e  qualities  a r u r a l l i f e s t y l e are s i m i l a r to ones i d e n t i f i e d by r e s -  pondents i n other s t u d i e s .  C o f f i n and L i p s e y found  self-  s u f f i c i e n c y i n terms of ownership of land and food p r o d u c t i o n was  i d e n t i f i e d by almost  h a l f t h e i r respondents  as the  key  6 a t t r a c t i o n f o r moving back to the land.  Other f r e q u e n t l y  mentioned goals were to pursue s p e c i f i c pastimes outdoor  a c t i v i t i e s or a cottage i n d u s t r y and to  such  achieve  a more p e a c e f u l , r e l a x e d and simple l i f e s t y l e w i t h p o s s i b i l i t y of freedom and  independence.  the f o l l o w i n g a t t r i b u t e s as most important farmers:  as  Troughton  the lists  to O n t a r i o hobby  f r e s h a i r , p r i v a c y , peace and q u i e t , h e a l t h y  environment, a good p l a c e f o r c h i l d r e n and a chance to grow 7 one's own  food.  T h i s study found some s i g n i f i c a n t  ences i n the ranking of important  values among f u l l - t i m e ,  p a r t - t i m e and hobby farmers, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the of for  differ-  importance  a p e a c e f u l s e t t i n g and an o p p o r t u n i t y f o r food p r o d u c t i o n hobby farmers  farmers farm way  and. the r e l a t i v e l a c k of importance hobby  attached to t r a d i t i o n a l r u r a l s o c i a l l i f e , of l i f e  and good neighbours.  h i g h e r by f u l l - t i m e and p a r t - t i m e Many Surrey  These were a l l ranked  farmers.  farmers were t o t a l l y  development and management.  the f a m i l y  absorbed  in their  farm  Some mentioned they were  i n v o l v e d i n no " o u t s i d e " a c t i v i t i e s and never took a v a c a t i o n  60  from t h e i r farm.  T h i s t o t a l commitment at times  on s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n from the l a r g e r community.  bordered Almost h a l f  the sample farm owners d e s i r e d p r i v a c y and s e c l u s i o n and only 10% mentioned the importance of neighbourly or r u r a l community f e e l i n g .  contacts  Many had l i t t l e knowledge of  the a c t i v i t i e s of t h e i r neighbours  and there was no sugges-  t i o n of communality or the s h a r i n g of ideas o r knowledge. They d i d n ' t g e n e r a l l y seek h e l p or advice from o u t s i d e but took p r i d e i n r e a c h i n g goals by s e l f - d i s c o v e r y and e x p e r i mentation.  T h i s d o - i t - y o u r s e l f approach i s c o n s i s t e n t with  a philosophy of s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y  and s e c l u s i o n .  T h i s s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n i s noted Coffin  i n two other s t u d i e s .  and L i p s e y found the back t o the l a n d e r s i n t h e i r  sample group d e c l a r e d an i n t e n t i o n to m a i n t a i n s o c i a l tacts after  they l e f t  con-  the c i t y but a f t e r t h e i r move, "while g  most d i d not want t o be i s o l a t e d ,  many were."  Punter  also  notes the g e n e r a l l y few s o c i a l c o n t a c t s w i t h i n the l o c a l area of, Toronto  area e x u r b a n i t e s and suggests  owners spent  c o n s i d e r a b l e time on t h e i r own property pursuing t h e i r own 9 interests.  He a l s o notes  "exurbanites are not known f o r  t h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s t o share t h e i r amenities  . . . because  t h i s c o n f l i c t s w i t h t h e i r d e s i r e f o r peace and p r i v a c y . Self-imposed  separation i s also frequently  in a desire f o r s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y r a i s i n g one's own food. some although achieve.  i n terms of growing and  T h i s seemed an important  full self-sufficiency  An adequate annual  reflected  goal t o  i s very d i f f i c u l t t o  supply of p r o t e i n and d a i r y  61  products and f r u i t  and vegetables had been achieved by t h r e e  of the Surrey farm owners but most were f a r from t h i s goal.  The d e s i r e f o r s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y  realizing  reflects  the  appeal of s e p a r a t i o n or i s o l a t i o n as i t i s a d e l i b e r a t e attempt  t o remove o n e s e l f from depending  society.  on the  larger  T h i s s u r v i v a l i s t m e n t a l i t y can p o s s i b l y be  p r e t e d as a f e a r of the f u t u r e or an i n s e c u r i t y  inter-  associated  with dependency on o t h e r s . The  Setting Surrey hobby farmers p e r c e i v e themselves  as t r u l y  rural.  Some w r i t e r s c h a r a c t e r i z e hobby farmers as having s t r o n g urban t i e s but t h i s was farmers.  c l e a r l y not the case w i t h Surrey  The farm o p e r a t o r s were asked to i d e n t i f y  f r e q u e n t l y they t r a v e l l e d pose.  how  t o Vancouver and f o r what pur-  From t h e i r responses i t was  obvious they  displayed  a s t r o n g anti-urban, b i a s and p e r c e i v e d Vancouver as crowded, d i r t y , n o i s y and dangerous. theft  A few suggested vandalism,  and t r e s p a s s i n g i n r u r a l areas was  comparison  to what was  insignificant in  l i k e l y to occur i n the c i t y .  twelve owners worked d a i l y  Only  i n Vancouver and t h r e e of these  v o l u n t e e r e d the comment they would much p r e f e r to remain on t h e i r farms. to shop and v i s i t  Three women i n t e r v i e w e d s a i d  they  f r i e n d s i n Vancouver and f i v e  liked  families  made o c c a s i o n a l t r i p s to Vancouver f o r hockey games and theatre.  Almost h a l f  of those i n t e r v i e w e d s a i s they very  seldom or never v i s i t e d Vancouver and t h e i r  comments  62  suggest t h e i r n e g a t i v i t y toward the c i t y : go i f we can help i t , " "We go as l i t t l e  "We don't ever  as p o s s i b l e , " "I  f e e l c l a u s t r o p h o b i c i n the c i t y , " "We never go u n l e s s we're desperate," and "I hate the c i t y . "  Most of the hobby  farmers had l i v e d f o r some time i n the c i t y and had chosen to  leave.  The " p u l l " of the c o u n t r y s i d e was probably matched  by a v a r i e t y of "push" f a c t o r s from the c i t y .  Many of t h i s  group o b v i o u s l y f e l t uncomfortable i n a s t r e s s f u l and crowded urban m i l i e u .  Some were escaping from the p r e s s u r e s a s s o c i -  ated with urban l i f e  and were seeking the open space and  p e a c e f u l s e c l u s i o n of the r u r a l environment to achieve a more s a t i s f y i n g  lifestyle.  WHAT SETTING DO HOBBY FARMERS CHOOSE FOR THEIR RURAL LIFESTYLE? Location Surrey's hobby farmers have g e n e r a l l y p o s i t i v e toward t h e i r r u r a l - u r b a n f r i n g e environment,  They  feelings perceive  t h e i r s e t t i n g as r u r a l r a t h e r than suburban y e t a few are very aware of the a c c e s s i b i l i t y of t h i s l o c a t i o n t o shopp i n g c e n t r e s and freeways.  T h i r t e e n owners i d e n t i f i e d the  l o c a t i o n of t h e i r p r o p e r t y as i t s most v a l u a b l e f e a t u r e . The owners were asked to i d e n t i f y s p e c i f i c p o s i t i v e t i e s of t h e i r area.  T h i r t y - t w o mentioned p r i v a c y ,  and peace and q u i e t as the most d e s i r a b l e  qualiseclusion  characteristics  Almost one t h i r d of the group mentioned space and open area  63  and a f u r t h e r s i x t e e n commented on the f r e s h a i r and  clean,  h e a l t h y surroundings. The contentment environment  hobby farmers f e e l toward  their  suggests they are not p a r t i c u l a r l y d i s t u r b e d by  the r a p i d changes and land use c o n f l i c t s of an urban setting.  U n l i k e commercial  farmers who  fringe  are f r u s t r a t e d by  the changing nature of t h e i r area, hobby farmers have chosen to l i v e i n t h i s s e t t i n g .  As a group they have come  more r e c e n t l y when the freeways, shopping m a l l s and  sub-  d i v i s i o n s were i n p l a c e nearby and are l e s s a f f e c t e d by the r e s t r i c t i o n s that an i n c r e a s i n g l y urban s e t t i n g  imposes  on a g r i c u l t u r e such as l i m i t a t i o n s on n o i s e l e v e l s s p r a y i n g r e s t r i c t i o n s , problems  and  of moving farm equipment on  busy roads and v a n d a l i s m . r e p o r t e d by the D e l t a farmers r e f e r r e d to p r e v i o u s l y .  Over one t h i r d of those i n t e r -  viewed c o u l d not i d e n t i f y a s i n g l e problem a s s o c i a t e d with hobby farming i n the r u r a l - u r b a n f r i n g e . However, not a l l were content.  Thirty-five  farmers  i d e n t i f i e d problems  that were l o c a t i o n a l i n nature r a t h e r  than a g r i c u l t u r a l .  The complaints could a l l be c o n s i d e r e d  i n c o m p a t i b i l i t i e s w i t h nearby  land uses and were f a i r l y  evenly d i v i d e d between n e g a t i v e e f f e c t s from farms and problems  commercial  a s s o c i a t e d with neighbouring urban uses.  The c l o s e p r o x i m i t y of commercial  farms brought  complaints  of odours, dust and n o i s e a s s o c i a t e d s p e c i f i c a l l y with f e e d l o t s , mushroom farms and p o u l t r y farms.  Leaching and run-  o f f from next door farms were mentioned  by t h r e e owners and  64  two complained of c a t t l e wandering nearby d a i r y  into their f i e l d s  from  farms.  Those r u r a l r e s i d e n t s i d e n t i f i e d by hobby farmers as " c i t y people" l i v i n g i n s u b d i v i s i o n s or on one-acre h o l d i n g s were accused of s t e a l i n g , vandalism and t r e s p a s s i n g .  Six  farmers s a i d dogs b e l o n g i n g to " c i t y people" were allowed to run l o o s e h a r a s s i n g l i v e s t o c k and k i l l i n g c h i c k e n s . Other "urban" problems i n c l u d e d s p r a y i n g complaints, the spread of weeds from non-farm p r o p e r t i e s and speeding increased t r a f f i c  l e v e l s on r u r a l roads because  and  of r e c r e a -  t i o n a l l a n d uses such as the g o l f course at Hazelmere and the race t r a c k . Although almost a l l hobby farmers were e n j o y i n g t h e i r community at present, many expressed u n c e r t a i n t y about  the  f u t u r e of r u r a l Surrey and were p e s s i m i s t i c about  over-  coming a n t i c i p a t e d c o n f l i c t s .  little  There seemed t o be  confidence present a g r i c u l t u r a l zoning would be i n p l a c e much longer.  Owners were aware of. the r a p i d l y  changing  nature of areas o u t s i d e the A g r i c u l t u r a l Land Reserves rumours of impending the d i s t r i c t . something  Almost  and  changes were apparent everywhere i n everyone  i n t e r v i e w e d had heard  about  going on " j u s t down the road," a p i g g e r y , an o i l  depot', a shopping c e n t r e , a g o l f course e x t e n s i o n , or a condominium development.  Many assumed the area would  i n e v i t a b l y become u r b a n i z e d and they would be f o r c e d to move. Some no doubt were a n t i c i p a t i n g the r i s i n g p r o p e r t y v a l u e s that would, i n e v i t a b l y accompany l a n d use change.  65  Features Important In  i n Choice of Property  order t o assess the a g r i c u l t u r a l o r i e n t a t i o n s o f  the hobby farm group i t was necessary t o e s t a b l i s h what p a r t i c u l a r f e a t u r e s had a t t r a c t e d them t o choose a s p e c i f i c property and what improvements they had subsequently made to  t h e i r farm.  I t was assumed that owners committed t o  farming would choose p r o p e r t y with d e s i r a b l e farm f e a t u r e s as w e l l as amenity  f e a t u r e s and would i n v e s t i n making what-  ever improvements were necessary t o make the farm a smoothly f u n c t i o n i n g and v i a b l e p r o d u c t i o n u n i t .  The owners were  asked to i d e n t i f y the f e a t u r e or f e a t u r e s of the p r o p e r t y that were important (see  to them i n the d e c i s i o n to purchase  Table VI, page 66). The  f i n d i n g s are r a t h e r i n t e r e s t i n g because a l l owners  were seeking a farm, r a t h e r than j u s t a r u r a l home, and y e t very few mentioned any farm f e a t u r e s as important choice.  Only 16 of 95 responses were f e a t u r e s of a farm  nature such as good s o i l , The of  i n their  good drainage or a good barn.  l o c a t i o n and p r i c e of the p r o p e r t y and a whole range amenity  f e a t u r e s such as a p r e t t y s e t t i n g , view,  stream  on the p r o p e r t y , type of house were a l l mentioned more f r e q u e n t l y than any farm f e a t u r e .  In view of the f a c t  that  owners intended t o farm when they bought the p r o p e r t y , t h i s suggests they f e l t  the p h y s i c a l q u a l i t y of the l a n d was  c o n s i s t e n t throughout  the d i s t r i c t  important v a r i a b l e , or they f e l t  and was t h e r e f o r e not an  as long as they had a p i e c e  66  TABLE VI FEATURES IDENTIFIED AS IMPORTANT IN THE CHOICE OF A PROPERTY (Arranged  1.  i n order of frequency  mentioned)  L o c a t i o n ( c l o s e t o Vancouver, near freeway, near workplace, c l o s e t o r e l a t i v e s )  2.  Attractive physical setting (pretty  13 area,  l o t s of t r e e s , p l e a s a n t l o o k i n g )  9  3.  S i z e , type of q u a l i t y of house  9  4.  Affordable price  8  5.  P r i v a c y ( q u i e t area, secluded)  7  6.  View  6  7.  Water f e a t u r e s on property  8.  Good drainage  9.  " Q u a l i t y of l a n d "  4  10.  A p p r o p r i a t e zoning f o r intended use  4  11.  Good s o i l  3  12.  Good investment  3  13.  Others  (pond, stream)  (high land, dry land)  4 4  (mentioned once each) good barn,  sunny p r o p e r t y , good barn, good farm l a y o u t , r i g h t s i z e , park across  street,  good f o r horses, had a r t e s i a n w e l l ,  history  of the area i n t r i g u i n g , reminded of former farm, farm improvement 14.  possibilities  Don't know, not sure, chance, i n h e r i t a n c e  11  67  of farmland  they c o u l d choose to develop  i t as they wished.  Both of these p e r c e p t i o n s are i n a c c u r a t e and r e f l e c t  a  c e r t a i n n a i v e t e on the p a r t of the buyer. Previous Status of Property Hobby farmers have sometimes been accused of o u t b i d d i n g farmers  f o r v i a b l e farm u n i t s and then a l l o w i n g v a l u a b l e  farmland  to be wasted through  were questioned  underutilization.  The  owners  about the s t a t u s of t h e i r property at the  time of purchase to compare types and l e v e l s of usage b e f o r e and a f t e r purchase. vague and probably  While some of the responses  were  i n a c c u r a t e the f i n d i n g s are s u g g e s t i v e .  Only twelve of the s i x t y - e i g h t p r o p e r t i e s were commercial farms operated on a f u l l - t i m e b a s i s by the p r e v i o u s owner and three of these had been s u b d i v i d e d j u s t p r i o r to One  32 acre hobby farm had been p a r t of a 104  two  f i v e acre h o l d i n g s were both s u b d i v i s i o n s of 20  purchase.  acre u n i t  and  acre  farms (see Table 7, page 68). Twenty-two p r o p e r t i e s were not farmed by the p r e v i o u s owner.  Eleven of these were r e s i d e n c e s only although at  l e a s t two time.  and probably more had been farmed at some e a r l i e r  These p r e v i o u s l y r e s i d e n t i a l p r o p e r t i e s were r e l a -  t i v e l y recent purchases 7.7  years.  purchased ing.  Only  and had been owned an average of  The other eleven farms were undeveloped l a n d when and were subsequently  improved by c l e a r i n g and  f o u r of these were recent purchases,  b e i n g a 1977  purchase of boggy, bush covered  fill-  the newest  lowland that  has r e q u i r e d c o n s i d e r a b l e work on the p a r t of the owner.  68  TABLE VII PREVIOUS STATUS OF HOBBY FARM PROPERTY  Hobby farms  purchased  b e f o r e December 1972 Full-time:  Hobby farms  purchased  Total  a f t e r December 1972  10  12  Part-time, Hobby farm:  10  18  28  Non-farm, Residential:  3  11  7  11  Non-Farm Undeveloped:  (Status  undetermined  6)  The remaining farms were p r e v i o u s l y farmed on a p a r t time or hobby b a s i s .  These too tended to be f a i r l y recent  purchases w i t h 18 of the 28 bought  w i t h i n the l a s t ten y e a r s .  It was i m p o s s i b l e to determine how i n t e n s i v e l y these farms were used as the responses were vague and u n c e r t a i n such as, "He kept a few c a t t l e l i k e owner s o l d h i s hay." were commercial  I do" or "I t h i n k the l a s t  I t i s very l i k e l y that some of these  p a r t - t i m e farms, more i n t e n s i v e l y  and more p r o d u c t i v e than now.  farmed  Some owners d e s c r i b e d  their  land as " n e g l e c t e d " or "run down" at time of purchase.  It  seems, reasonable t o s p e c u l a t e that many of these farms were  69  economically  marginal e n t e r p r i s e s which became non-competi-  t i v e to the p o i n t of s a l e .  A few had been bought from  retirees. Since the i m p o s i t i o n of the land f r e e z e i n December there have been twelve new  farms developed and only two  previously f u l l - t i m e operations,  put to l e s s i n t e n s i v e  T h i s i s a r a t h e r i n t e r e s t i n g f i n d i n g because i f i t can  1972, farms,  use. be  g e n e r a l i z e d i t suggests a t r e n d to i n c r e a s i n g numbers of producing reported 528  farms i n t h i s area. i n the 1976  of the 1971  The  Census was  Census, but  ment r o l l l i s t s over 800  number of Surrey  516,  the 1981  farms.  farms  twelve fewer than property  Confirmation  tax  assess-  of an  increase  of t h i s magnitude must await the r e s u l t s of the most census but ing  the  recent  t h i s i n c r e a s e almost c e r t a i n l y r e f l e c t s the grow-  number of hobby farms w i t h i n Surrey.  I t does not,  however, suggest e i t h e r an i n c r e a s e i n the number of commerc i a l farms or an i n c r e a s e i n a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n the d i s t r i c t  as many hobby farms are o p e r a t i n g  within  at minimum  l e v e l s of p r o d u c t i o n  to achieve  purposes.  means a g r e a t e r number of p r o p e r t i e s  are being  I t simply  farm s t a t u s f o r t a x a t i o n  used as farms and more people are i n v o l v e d i n  farming. Hobby Farm S i z e and Land Q u a l i t y The bility six  s m a l l s i z e of many hobby farms l i m i t s the p o s s i -  of t h e i r becoming v i a b l e commercial u n i t s .  percent  Seventy-  of those i n the sample were ten acres or  less.  70  TABLE V I I I HOBBY FARM SIZE  Size  Number  Percentage  5 acres or l e s s  26  38  6 to 10 acres  26  38  11 t o 20 acres  9  13  21 t o 51 acres  7  10  C l e a r l y a v i a b l e farm s i z e i s l i n k e d t o the type of prod u c t i o n b e i n g attempted.  Most commercial  farms w i t h  fruit,  v e g e t a b l e s , d a i r y i n g o r l i v e s t o c k need c o n s i d e r a b l y more than t e n acres t o achieve reasonable f i n a n c i a l r e t u r n s . Small acreages are s u f f i c i e n t f o r i n t e n s i v e e n t e r p r i s e s such as mushroom farms,  feed l o t s and p o u l t r y o p e r a t i o n s  but these r e q u i r e c a p i t a l i z a t i o n , s p e c i a l i z e d equipment and t e c h n i c a l s k i l l s beyond the means of hobby farmers. Hobby farmers understood farms.  the s i z e l i m i t a t i o n s of t h e i r  When asked t o s p e c u l a t e on p o s s i b l e purchasers f o r  t h e i r farm only f i v e of the s i x t y - e i g h t f e l t were l a r g e enough to be commercially these owners had r e l a t i v e l y  their  units  farmed and t h r e e of  large properties.  Many of those  questioned commented t h e i r p r o p e r t y was "too s m a l l f o r anyt h i n g but hobby farming."  71  When the s m a l l s i z e of hobby farm p r o p e r t i e s i s c o n s i d ered i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h the q u a l i t y of land the problem of economic v i a b i l i t y  as commercial u n i t s becomes more obvious.  Owners were asked t o r a t e t h e i r s o i l q u a l i t y and c o n d i t i o n with p a r t i c u l a r r e f e r e n c e to drainage.  Only t e n farmers  r a t e d both the s o i l q u a l i t y and drainage and "good", "very good" or " e x c e l l e n t " .  Almost h a l f the group r a t e d t h e i r  s o i l q u a l i t y as " f a i r " or "poor" mentioning rocky or g r a v e l l y composition.  problems of  F i f t y - f o u r percent r a t e d  t h e i r drainage as " f a i r " o r "poor" mentioning  low, swampy  areas, rock o r c l a y l a y e r s under t h i n t o p s o i l and summer drought  on s l o p e s .  Those with upland farms o f t e n had good  drainage but i n f e r t i l e ,  stony s o i l w h i l e owners o f r i c h  peat and loam bottom l a n d on the f l o o d p l a i n had frequent w i n t e r f l o o d i n g and poor drainage f o r s e v e r a l months of the year.  Only nine farms had u n d e r d r a i n i n g , an e f f e c t i v e but  expensive  s o l u t i o n t o drainage problems.  farm response  The u s u a l hobby  t o drainage problems was t o widen, deepen  and c l e a n out e x i s t i n g d i t c h e s , an inexpensive but f a r from s a t i s f a c t o r y long term The  solution.  a c t u a l land c a p a b i l i t y of Surrey's farmland  the hobby farmers' assessment of t h e i r l a n d .  confirms  There i s no  C l a s s I l a n d and only very s m a l l p a r c e l s of C l a s s I I and C l a s s I I I land, mostly Serpentine R i v e r s .  1 1  l o c a t e d between the Nicomekl and Most Surrey farmland i s C l a s s IV and  C l a s s V, d e s c r i b e d as land with s o i l and c l i m a t e l i m i t a t i o n s  72  demanding s p e c i a l management and s e r i o u s l y r e s t r i c t i n g the range of crops, p o s s i b l y l i m i t i n g the land t o forage crop 12 usage.  Manning and Eddy found 93.6% of t h e i r farm sample,  randomly drawn from w i t h i n the Surrey A.L.R. boundaries, had predominant or  a g r i c u l t u r a l c a p a b i l i t y r a t i n g s of C l a s s IV  Class V. ^ 1  The p h y s i c a l q u a l i t y of the land r e s o u r c e was not an important f a c t o r i n the choice of a p a r t i c u l a r farm p r o p e r t y for  most owners i n t e r v i e w e d .  mentioned  Only eleven hobby farmers  s o i l q u a l i t y , adequate  drainage or q u a l i t y of the  land as a f e a t u r e a t t r a c t i n g them when they were seeking a property to purchase.(see Table VI, page 66). many owners n e g l e c t e d t o make an adequate land q u a l i t y b e f o r e purchase.  It i s l i k e l y  assessment  of the  Some farmers expressed  frus-  t r a t i o n i n d e a l i n g with the l i m i t a t i o n s of the land and were d i s a p p o i n t e d with crop y i e l d s .  Some undoubtedly  had u n r e a l -  i s t i c expectations. Improvements Made t o P r o p e r t i e s The improvements hobby farmers made t o t h e i r v a r i e d c o n s i d e r a b l y i n types and i n investment money, time, and energy. ing,  l e v e l s of  Farm improvements such as c l e a r -  d i t c h i n g and barn c o n s t r u c t i o n were f a i r l y w e l l balanced  w i t h amenity  improvements such as l a n d s c a p i n g and home reno-  v a t i o n (see Table IX, page 73). to  properties  some extent s i n c e purchase  changes.  A l l farms had been  improved  although eight had only minimal  Eleven farms were developed from raw land so were  73  TABLE IX RESIDENCE AND AMENITY  FARM  IMPROVEMENTS  IMPROVEMENTS  Constructed new house  27  Constructed new barn  31  Renovated house  19  Renovated barn  15  ( a d d i t i o n of rooms, updating) Landscaping  22  ( e x t e n s i v e - 7) Paved driveway added  6  Pool added  1  Tennis court added Miscellaneous ornamental a d d i t i o n s  (re-roofed, increased or decreased s i z e , cement f l o o r added) Constructed new o u t b u i l d ings  26  (storage sheds, chicken house, s t a b l e , greenhouse) Renovated/removed outbuildings Drainage  - improvements - ditching - undertiling  (entrance archway, fountain)  6 37 21 9  Clearing - o r i g i n a l - subsequent  11 15  Pasture f e r t i l i z a t i o n - regular  38  Pasture r e s e e d i n g - regular - occasional  4 8  Orchard  8  planted  Blueberry  acreage  Infilling,  levelling  Miscellaneous ( w e l l , root  cellar)  3 3 3  74  totally  "improved" w h i l e ten o t h e r s ,  had been e x t e n s i v e l y changed and  purchased more r e c e n t l y ,  improved.  Three proper-  t i e s were i n f a i r l y d e t e r i o r a t e d c o n d i t i o n w i t h poor q u a l i t y houses, u n t i d y The  grounds and  remaining 36 p r o p e r t i e s had moderate improvements made  by the present  owners.  Many owners had and  disintegrating outbuildings.  r e p l a c e d o l d e r s t y l e frame  farmhouses with modern homes or had  and updated the e x i s t i n g home.  The  cottages  extensively  renovated  i n s i d e renovations  were  sometimes s u r p r i s i n g i n r e l a t i o n to the r u s t i c farmhouse exterior.  Almost a l l homes had  the  conveniences of sub-  urban homes such as modern k i t c h e n s w i t h dishwashers  and  microwave ovens, bedrooms with en s u i t e bathrooms and to w a l l c a r p e t i n g . q u a l i t y , very  E i g h t of the homes were of  and  superior  l a r g e , modern and w e l l - f u r n i s h e d w i t h  rooms, games rooms, e x t e n s i v e swimming p o o l s .  The  lawns and  wall  sun  gardens, p a t i o s  other homes were more modest  and  had more p r a c t i c a l improvements such as the a d d i t i o n of a bedroom or f a m i l y room. garden borders and ing paint  ornamental shrubs.  c o l o u r and  outbuildings  and  i n t o a cohesive  Most were n e a t l y landscaped w i t h  decorative  area r a r e l y r e f l e c t  The  u n i f y i n g the  property  commercial farms i n the  t h i s , choosing i n s t e a d to separate  home from.the farm b u i l d i n g s .  match-  t r i m on house, barn, s t a b l e ,  sometimes fences, unit v i s u a l l y .  Some farms had  Perhaps t h i s can be  as v i s u a l evidence of the c o n t r a s t i n g viewpoint of d i s t i n c t i v e groups of landowners, the hobbyist  who  the  regarded two views  75  the farm as a l i f e s t y l e and the commercial  farmer/who sees  the farm as a l i v e l i h o o d . Four of f i v e p r o p e r t y owners had added f e n c i n g to t h e i r property.  Most chose board or r a i l  u s u a l l y white.  f e n c i n g , always p a i n t e d ,  Wire f e n c i n g i s cheaper to i n s t a l l  and  m a i n t a i n and i s more p r a c t i c a l f o r farm purposes but doesn't have the a e s t h e t i c appeal of board f e n c i n g , so was  seldom  used at l e a s t around the v i s i b l e p a r t s of the p r o p e r t y . People with horses used e l e c t r i c f e n c i n g i n s i d e the white r a i l paddock f e n c i n g . The improvements of a farm nature i n c l u d e d barn and o u t b u i l d i n g c o n s t r u c t i o n and r e n o v a t i o n , fence b u i l d i n g , drainage i n s t a l l a t i o n , brush c l e a r i n g , o r c h a r d p l a n t i n g pasture maintenance. built  new  and  Almost h a l f the hobby farmers had  barns and f i f t e e n o t h e r s had renovated barns.  many cases t h i s was  a replacement process w i t h l a r g e ,  In  older,  d e t e r i o r a t i n g barns being r e p l a c e d with s m a l l e r , b e t t e r c o n s t r u c t e d barns more a p p r o p r i a t e to present needs.  Some  owners had added cement f l o o r s and r e - r o o f e d t h e i r barns but i n o t h e r cases the o b j e c t i v e seemed to be to t i d y  up  and b e a u t i f y r a t h e r than to make them more f u n c t i o n a l . Very few of the barns and o u t b u i l d i n g s were metal i n c o n t r a s t to most commercial h i n t that appearance was cality .  sheathed  farm b u i l d i n g s , perhaps a  at l e a s t as important as p r a c t i -  76  Drainage and pasture improvements were c a r r i e d out e x t e n s i v e l y but perhaps i n a l e s s r e g u l a r f a s h i o n than on commercial farms.  Many hobby farms cleaned  out d i t c h e s  "when they need i t " but only nine had attempted t o deal with drainage problems by u n d e r t i l i n g t h e i r f i e l d s .  Many knew  t i l i n g would improve t h e i r land q u a l i t y but simply missed i t as being was worth.  too expensive or c o s t i n g more than i t  Almost a l l had f e r t i l i z e d t h e i r pastures,  on an annual b a s i s but t e n r e p o r t e d it."  dis-  many  i t "was not worth doing  Only a few had any i d e a o f the n u t r i t i o n a l value of  t h e i r hay crop.  Three farmers reseeded a s e c t i o n of t h e i r  land each year on a r o t a t i o n b a s i s and e i g h t had reseeded once or more. needs  Some s a i d they planned to do i t "when i t  it." A r a t h e r s u r p r i s i n g amount of t r e e c l e a r i n g had been  done.  The eleven  farms developed from raw l a n d had a l l  been c l e a r e d e x t e n s i v e l y and f i f t e e n others c l e a r i n g , o f t e n the removal of scrub  t r e e s such as v i n e  maples and a l d e r s t o i n c r e a s e pasture s i z e . c l e a r e d s e v e r a l acres with c o n t r a c t e d and  rock removal and l e v e l l i n g .  had done some  A few had  b u l l d o z i n g f o r stump  Only e i g h t owners had p l a n t e d  an acre or more of t r e e s although most had added a few fruit  t r e e s , berry bushes, ornamental evergreens and garden  shrubs.  I t i s perhaps i n t e r e s t i n g that many commented on  the b e a u t i f u l s e t t i n g of t h e i r farms and s i x s p e c i f i c a l l y mentioned choosing t h e i r property  because there were l o t s  of t r e e s , and yet t r e e c u t t i n g was a common p r a c t i c e .  Again  77  the c l e a r i n g  seemed to r e f l e c t a compromise between the  t h e t i c and the p r a c t i c a l .  One  aes-  farmer mentioned h i s c a t t l e  needed access to f o u r acres of woods f o r summer shade, so he had s e l e c t i v e l y c l e a r e d so i t would "look l i k e Stanley Park". Perhaps the hobby farm group c o u l d be c h a r a c t e r i z e d as b e i n g good c a r e t a k e r s of a g r i c u l t u r a l maintained  t h e i r land to at l e a s t  the p r o p e r t i e s was weeds.  a minimum l e v e l .  None of  t o t a l l y n e g l e c t e d or overgrown with  Many of the p r o p e r t i e s were very w e l l cared f o r i n  a e s t h e t i c terms, p a i n t e d and decorated, and appealing to the eye. was  land i n that they  The  neatly  landscaped  c r o p l a n d and pasture land  cared f o r on a somewhat " h i t and miss" b a s i s as need  demanded and time, money and i n t e r e s t  allowed.  This casual  approach to farm land care i s i n keeping w i t h the hobby o r i e n t a t i o n of the owners.  The  farm was  not needed f o r  income purposes so the improvements were made on the b a s i s of choice r a t h e r than economic need, and p r a c t i c a l i t y functionality  and  were o p t i o n s .  The r e l a t i v e unimportance the Surrey owners p l a c e d on farm f e a t u r e s i n t h e i r choice of a p r o p e r t y and  the  type of improvements they made are t y p i c a l of hobby i n other p a r t s of Canada.  Found and Morley  r e p o r t the most  commonly sought a f t e r property c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i t e s i n the Toronto  by  r e g i o n were r o l l i n g or h i l l y  w i n t e r ploughed roads, access to Toronto  farmers  exurbanterrain,  and streams and wood  78  l o t s on the p r o p e r t y . for  exurban  Punter surveyed 500  advertisements  p r o p e r t i e s from the Toronto D a i l y S t a r and  the most o f t e n mentioned  found  f e a t u r e s , and t h e r e f o r e presumably  the most a p p e a l i n g t o customers, were water f e a t u r e s , wooded areas on the p r o p e r t y , high r o l l i n g topography,  s c e n i c or  15 p i c t u r e s q u e s e t t i n g , views and a c c e s s i b i l i t y .  Farm  f e a t u r e s , other than s t a b l e s and barns, were t e n t h on the list. Troughton  found s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t  differences  among f u l l - t i m e , p a r t - t i m e and hobby farmers i n the London area i n both t h e i r choice of p r o p e r t y f e a t u r e s and i n recent 16 improvements they had made. land that was  C l a s s One  F u l l - t i m e farmers  sought  a r a b l e with t i l e drainage  installed  w h i l e hobby farmers sought p r o p e r t y on r o l l i n g  land w i t h a  stream,  improvements  lake, pond, wood l o t and orchard.  The  made by f u l l - t i m e farmers were b u i l d i n g s i l o s ,  installing  t i l e drainage and f e n c i n g land; p a r t - t i m e farmers put i n f e n c i n g and renovated t h e i r homes; hobby farmers b u i l t renovated homes, landscaped and p l a n t e d t r e e s .  or  Clearly  hobby farmers everywhere are choosing p r o p e r t y and making improvements that h o l d the promise of a comfortable l i f e s t y l e i n amenable surroundings. ing  They are not simply  choos-  a f u n c t i o n a l s e t t i n g where p r o d u c t i o n p o s s i b i l i t i e s  optimum and economic r e t u r n s most a c h i e v a b l e .  are  79  Summary The hobby farmers are a f a i r l y heterogeneous group i n terms of s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s although a d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e number are employed i n p r o f e s s i o n a l and managerial  capacities.  Most moved r e c e n t l y to t h e i r present p r o p e r t i e s from  non-  farm s e t t i n g s i n urban or suburban l o c a t i o n s but many had l i v e d on a farm i n t h e i r c h i l d h o o d .  They showed no common  p o l i t i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n s although most of them favoured, at l e a s t p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y , the p r o v i n c i a l zoning l e g i s l a t i o n to preserve a g r i c u l t u r a l land. The o p p o r t u n i t y to l i v e i n a q u i e t , s a f e , uncrowded area seemed the most important the hobby farmers.  In t h i s r e l a x e d s e t t i n g they f e l t  could be somewhat independent own  q u a l i t y of r u r a l l i v i n g to  of o t h e r s by growing t h e i r  food, c a r i n g f o r t h e i r animals  w i t h the v a l u e s they espoused.  they  and r a i s i n g t h e i r  children  For some, c r e a t i n g and manag-  i n g the farm became t o t a l l y absorbing, and t h i s , along with a d e s i r e f o r p r i v a c y and independence, tended to i s o l a t e them from the community. Surrey hobby farmers are g e n e r a l l y s a t i s f i e d with r u r a l - u r b a n f r i n g e l o c a t i o n although some complained nuisance f a c t o r s a s s o c i a t e d with neighbouring such as feed l o t s .  The  their  of  land uses  sample group c o n s i d e r e d  themselves  to be a r u r a l p o p u l a t i o n and d i s p l a y e d a somewhat s u r p r i s i n g degree of anti-urbanism.  The urban t i e s , so commonly men-  t i o n e d i n other s t u d i e s , had been severed with the move to  80  the country by most of the Surrey sample group. e n t l y had t r i e d and r e j e c t e d c i t y  life  They  appar-  as s t r e s s f u l and  unpleasant. P a r t i c u l a r p r o p e r t i e s were u s u a l l y chosen on the b a s i s of t h e i r amenity  f e a t u r e s such as a view, an a t t r a c t i v e or  secluded s e t t i n g or a p a r t i c u l a r house s t y l e r a t h e r than farm f e a t u r e s such as good s o i l o r adequate  drainage.  Most  of the p r o p e r t i e s were s m a l l and many were of marginal quality.  Almost  a l l of the p r o p e r t i e s had been  improved  s i n c e purchase with a combination of farm and amenity improvements.  A great deal of c o n s t r u c t i o n and r e n o v a t i o n  had been completed many p r o p e r t i e s .  as w e l l as c o n s i d e r a b l e " t i d y i n g up" of Farm improvements such as f e n c i n g and  c l e a r i n g tended t o be done on a c a s u a l b a s i s  reflecting  the hobby o r i e n t a t i o n of t h e owners. D e s p i t e the d i v e r s i t y of the group some common threads can be i d e n t i f i e d i n the s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , goals and c h o i c e s of hobby farmers.  attitudes,  The s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h  the hobby farm s e t t i n g and the l e v e l of improvements t o p r o p e r t i e s suggest most of the hobby farm group i s f i r m l y committed  t o an a g r i c u l t u r a l  lifestyle.  81  NOTES  1.  C o f f i n , Raymond and L i p s e y , Mark, "Moving Back to the Land: An E c o l o g i c a l l y : R e s p o n s i b l e L i f e s t y l e Change," Environment and Behaviour, Volume 13, Number 1, January 1981, p. 47.  2.  Troughton, M.J., Land Holding i n the Rural-Urban F r i n g e Environment: The Case of London, O n t a r i o , Lands D i r e c t o r a t e , Environment Canada, O c c a s i o n a l Paper No. 11, Ottawa, 1976, p. 104.  3.  Carvalho, Mario, The Nature of Demand f o r E x u r b i a L i v i n g , Winnipeg Region Study, U n i v e r s i t y of Manitoba, 1974, p. 42.  4.  De Jong, G. and Humphrey, C , " P o p u l a t i o n R e d i s t r i b u t i o n , " R u r a l S o c i o l o g y , Volume 41, Number 4, Winter 1976, p. 536.  5.  Layton, Ronald, Hobby Farming: A C h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . A Case Study of the Rural-Urban F r i n g e of London, O n t a r i o , Unpublished M.A. T h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y of Western O n t a r i o , 1976, p. 42.  6.  C o f f i n and L i p s e y , op. c i t . ,  7.  Troughton, op. c i t . ,  8.  C o f f i n and L i p s e y , op. c i t . ,  9.  Punter, John., The Impact of Exurban Development on Land and Landscape i n the Toronto Centred Region: 19541971. C e n t r a l Mortgage and Housing, Ottawa, 1974, p. 314.  p. 49.  p. 121. p. 53.  10.  I b i d . , p. 333.  11.  Taken from A g r i c u l t u r a l C a p a b i l i t y and Land Use Map 92 G2, (G.V.R.D.) S e l e c t Standing Committee on A g r i c u l t u r e , Talisman P r o j e c t s , 1979.  12.  A g r i c u l t u r e and Land C a p a b i l i t y i n B r i t i s h Columbia, B.C. Environment and Land Use Committee S e c r e t a r i a t , A.R.D.A. P r o j e c t , Number 89077, September 1976.  13.  Manning, E. and Eddy, S., The A g r i c u l t u r a l Land Reserves of B r i t i s h Columbia: An Impact A n a l y s i s , Lands D i r e c t o r ate, Environment Canada, 1978, p. 47.  14.  Found and Morley, A Conceptual Approach to R u r a l Land Use (1972), r e p o r t e d i n Punter, op. c i t . , p. 14.  82  15.  Punter, op. c i t . , compiled from Toronto D a i l y Saturday E d i t i o n , A p r i l 17-July 17, 1971.  16.  Troughton,  op. c i t . , pp. 70 and  85.  Star,  83  CHAPTER FOUR  THE HOBBY FARM  Hobby farmers c l e a r l y c o n s i d e r themselves not merely owners of r u r a l p r o p e r t i e s . f i e d themselves  farmers and  A few even i d e n t i -  o c c u p a t i o n a l l y as "farmer" d e s p i t e f u l l - t i m e  o f f - f a r m employment, low farm r e t u r n s and s m a l l s c a l e production.  R e t i r e d people p a r t i c u l a r l y were l i k e l y t o c a l l  themselves viously.  farmers although none had farmed  full-time  pre-  Other people, u s u a l l y the young and the most  recent a r r i v a l s , c a l l e d themselves r e s i d e n c e but not o c c u p a t i o n . immediately  c l a s s i f y themselves  farm people i n terms of  They were most l i k e l y t o as hobby farmers and e i t h e r  s t a t e d or i m p l i e d t h e i r needs and e x p e c t a t i o n s were q u i t e different  from those of commercial  farmers j u s t i f i e d  farmers.  i n c a l l i n g themselves  Are hobby  farmers?  Does hobby  farming have a l e g i t i m a t e r o l e t o p l a y i n the a g r i c u l t u r a l industry?  Or, are hobby farms merely playgrounds f o r those  who want t o have fun p l a y i n g farm? T h i s chapter attempts t o document the a g r i c u l t u r a l aspects of hobby farming by a s s e s s i n g the c u r r e n t s i t u a t i o n on Surrey hobby farms with r e s p e c t to land use, p r o d u c t i o n , marketing, "fit"  labour i n p u t s and i n f o r m a t i o n g a t h e r i n g .  of hobby farming w i t h i n the a g r i c u l t u r a l  can then be b e t t e r understood. t i o n p r o v i d e the s a t i s f a c t i o n s  The  industry  Does the a c t u a l farm  situa-  hobby farmers s a i d they were  84  seeking and does i t f u l f i l  t h e i r g o a l s and e x p e c t a t i o n s ?  What do the f u t u r e i n t e n t i o n s of hobby farmers r e v e a l t h e i r commitment to hobby farming?  Some owners may  about  be  content to continue t h e i r farming i n i t s present form w h i l e others p l a n t o expand t h e i r h o l d i n g , change t h e i r t i o n , make f u r t h e r improvements or s e l l t h e i r In s h o r t , we  attempt  produc-  properties.  to i d e n t i f y the present nature of the  Surrey hobby farm and assess i t s s t a b i l i t y as a c o n t i n u i n g form of a g r i c u l t u r a l  enterprise.  THE PRESENT SITUATION Land  Use What use are hobby farmers making of t h e i r  farmland  that has p r e v i o u s l y been i d e n t i f i e d as s m a l l i n s i z e often marginal i n q u a l i t y ? sample group was  and  Land on each h o l d i n g i n the  c l a s s i f i e d as c r o p l a n d , pasture or unused  land, e x c l u d i n g the area used f o r b u i l d i n g s , lawns and the f a m i l y v e g e t a b l e p l o t .  driveways,  Most farms used  80%  or more of t h e i r acreage f o r income g e n e r a t i n g purposes. The most common l a n d use was  p a s t u r e , with s i x t y of  the s i x t y - e i g h t hobby farms having at l e a s t some p a s t u r e . In most cases t h i s pasture was  improved  fairly  regularly  with f e r t i l i z i n g , manuring and o c c a s i o n a l r e s e e d i n g . was  It  u s u a l l y used f o r g r a z i n g beef c a t t l e , although some was  used f o r d a i r y c a t t l e , horses, sheep or goats. farms had both pasture and cropland:  Twenty-two  twelve had p a s t u r e  and hayland, nine had pasture and acreage i n v e g e t a b l e s or  85  fruit,  and one had p a s t u r e , hayland and vegetable  Only s i x farms were a l l c r o p l a n d : and vegetables, one i n Christmas stock.  The remaining  The  acreage.  two i n hay, two i n hay t r e e s and one i n nursery  farm had only r a b b i t  hutches.  amount o f unused.or i d l e farmland on hobby farms  was s u r p r i s i n g l y s m a l l .  T h i r t y - n i n e of the farms had no  unused land of any type i n c l u d i n g wooded areas.  Ten farms  had unused land, but i n f i v e cases t h i s was unusable i t was swamp, r a v i n e l a n d or creekbed.  because  The other f i v e farms  had i d l e l a n d t o t a l l i n g 13 a c r e s , the only r e a l l y  "wasted"  land i n the sample of p r o p e r t i e s , and s i x of these acres were being c l e a r e d at the time of the i n t e r v i e w i n g . Nineteen  farms had wooded areas ranging i n s i z e  from  a h a l f acre to e i g h t acres, averaging two and a h a l f a c r e s . In no case d i d the wooded area exceed  17% of the farm  area  and at l e a s t h a l f of these areas had been c l e a r e d of scrub and underbrush.  Eighteen of the nineteen farms w i t h wooded  areas had browsing  c a t t l e and some owners commented on the  value of wooded areas as summer s h e l t e r f o r t h e i r  cattle.  Two mentioned the a e s t h e t i c value of wooded areas. It was c l e a r hobby farmers were making some use of almost  a l l t h e i r land but an i n t e r e s t i n g c o n t r a s t was the  amount o f useable but i d l e l a n d h e l d on f i v e of the twelve commercial farms whose owners were a l s o i n t e r v i e w e d .  The  mink farm had two unused acres of a f i v e acre h o l d i n g w h i l e the two b r o i l e r o e p r a t i o n s , both on ten acre h o l d i n g s had seven  and e i g h t and a h a l f acres of i d l e l a n d .  The nursery  86  owner had almost h a l f of h i s nine acres uncleared he considered  i t f u t u r e expansion land.  although  One of the two  d a i r y farms i n the sample had 25 acres of i d l e land on an 80 acre farm.  The land on four of these f i v e farms was  "excess" i n t h a t the h o l d i n g s i z e was i n a p p r o p r i a t e to the i n t e n s i v e nature o f the e n t e r p r i s e and y e t the land not be s u b d i v i d e d  could  and s o l d because i t was h e l d w i t h i n the  a g r i c u l t u r a l land r e s e r v e .  These f u l l - t i m e farmers d i d  not have the time or money resources  to make use of land  that was s u r p l u s to t h e i r commercial e n t e r p r i s e .  In the  case of the d a i r y farm t h e 25 acres was not improved and used because he had a marginal o p e r a t i o n  and could not a f f o r d the  i n c r e a s e d cost of a d d i t i o n a l shares of d a i r y quota to make use of h i s i d l e land t o i n c r e a s e the s i z e of h i s d a i r y herd. H i s land t o o was i n the r e s e r v e and was not s u b d i v i d a b l e . While f i v e f u l l - t i m e farms cannot be c o n s i d e r e d a l e g i t i m a t e sample, there i s a h i n t i n these f i n d i n g s of an i n t e r e s t i n g circumstance i n Surrey.  The hobby farmer, with  the freedom t o choose an a p p r o p r i a t e  s i z e d holding,  to make very r a t i o n a l use of h i s land. who buys an e x i s t i n g u n i t with  i s able  The commercial farmer  the needed f a c i l i t i e s and  c o r r e c t zoning may w e l l have land excess t o h i s intended purposes that he cannot s e l l .  Perhaps i t i s i d l e  " l o c k e d " i n i n a p p r o p r i a t e l y s i z e d commercial that i s r e a l l y the "wasted" farmland.  land  holdings  87  Farm P r o d u c t i o n Hobby farms produce  a great v a r i e t y  o f products but an  important d i s t i n c t i o n must be made between p r o d u c t i o n f o r income-generating  purposes  and p r o d u c t i o n f o r f a m i l y use.  Most of the a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n of hobby farms i s used by the farm owners, d i s t r i b u t e d occasionally  t o f a m i l y and f r i e n d s , or  exchanged f o r other farm products.  of hobby farms produce  The m a j o r i t y  only one item i n marketable q u a n t i -  t i e s so w h i l e 82% o f hobby farms have three o r more types o f products, an equal p r o p o r t i o n s e l l only one or two products.  TABLE X NUMBER OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRODUCTION PER FARM Number of product  types  1  2  3  4  Number o f farms  5  7  13  15  28  Percentage  7  19  22  41  o f farms  10  5+  NUMBER OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRODUCTION FOR INCOME PURPOSES PER FARM Number o f types of products  1  2  3  4  5+  Number of farms  38  18  10  1  1  Percentage  56  26  15  1  1  of farms  sold  88  Hobby farms are c l e a r l y mixed e n t e r p r i s e s . of  five  the 68 i n the sample were producing a s i n g l e product  type and the group of  Only  as a whole were i n v o l v e d i n most types  a g r i c u l t u r a l e n t e r p r i s e p o s s i b l e w i t h i n the c l i m a t i c  l i m i t a t i o n s of Surrey, as Table XI suggests. The most common l i v e s t o c k found on hobby farms are beef c a t t l e , kept on f i f t y of the sample farms. obvious c h o i c e f o r hobby farmers because of  T h i s i s an  of the low l e v e l  care necessary and the r e l a t i v e ease of marketing.  i s a popular product f o r f a m i l y use and i s r e a d i l y p r i v a t e l y or at the l o c a l a u c t i o n .  Beef  sold  Most hobby farmers  w i n t e r over t h e i r animals, although a few buy c a l v e s i n the s p r i n g and s e l l or s l a u g h t e r then i n the f a l l  t o save  w i n t e r feed c o s t s .  dairy  Other l i v e s t o c k kept i n c l u d e d  c a t t l e , p i g s and sheep and goats, u s u a l l y :kept on m a r g i n a l grazeland. Hobby farmers are p o p u l a r l y i d e n t i f i e d as the horse owners o f the F r a s e r V a l l e y but the Surrey farms had s u r p r i s i n g l y few.  Seven farmers bred horses, f o u r of them  s p e c i a l i z i n g i n race horses.  Only t h r e e other f a m i l i e s  kept horses as p e t s , a s i n g l e horse or ponies f o r t h e i r children.  The low l e v e l of horse ownership  can probably  be e x p l a i n e d by a number of f a c t o r s , p a r t i c u l a r l y the s m a l l s i z e of the farms and the l a c k of t r a i l s s u i t a b l e f o r r i d i n g i n Surrey. horse ownership  and open areas  Some farmers d i s m i s s e d  as b e i n g too expensive and o t h e r s claimed  89  TABLE XI TYPES OF PRODUCTION ON SAMPLE FARMS Production  Type  Beef c a t t l e  Number of Farms 50  Dairy c a t t l e  8  Sheep  9  Goats  6  Pigs  5  Horses (breeding)  7  Chickens (eggs)  39  Ducks  11  Geese  10  Rabbits  ( f o r meat)  5  Vegetables  50  Fruit, berries  35  Hay ( c u t t i n g )  14  Honey bees  3  Nursery stock  2  Nut t r e e s  2  Christmas t r e e s  1  Maple syrup  2  Trout  1  Show b i r d s ( t u r k e y s , peacocks, canaries)  3  90  horses r u i n e d pasture f o r any other use and s a i d they p r e f e r r e d t o keep t h e i r l i m i t e d supply of g r a z e l a n d f o r c a t t l e , sheep or goats. to ing  A few even s a i d they were too busy farming  spend a l o t of time c a r i n g f o r a horse, c l e a r l y  relegat-  horse ownership to the category of a f r i v o l o u s  pursuit.  Chickens were a popular c h o i c e of hobby farmers as a source of both eggs and meat.  Ducks and geese were kept  a dozen farms and r a b b i t s , r a i s e d f o r meat, were kept on others. needing  on five  A l l of these are i d e a l l y s u i t e d t o hobby farming low l e v e l s of care and very l i t t l e  space.  Eggs  are e a s i l y marketed. Almost a l l farms had vegetable gardens o f t e n as l a r g e as an acre i n s i z e . f u l l y planned  The vegetable p l o t was  usually care-  t o p r o v i d e both v a r i e t y and s u f f i c i e n t  to be f r o z e n , preserved or s t o r e d f o r w i n t e r use. people grew enough v e g e t a b l e s t o s e l l s u r p l u s e s . h a l f the farms had some f r u i t  acreage  Some More than  t r e e s and b e r r y bushes, par-  t i c u l a r l y apples and b l u e b e r r i e s . c i e n t hay  yield  Fourteen farms had  to supply t h e i r own  suffi-  winter l i v e s t o c k feed  and s i x s o l d hay s u r p l u s e s . There was  a v a r i e t y of s p e c i a l t y items, some more  e x o t i c than o t h e r s , produced  on hobby farms.  The mundane  i n c l u d e d nuts, honey, nursery stock and Christmas the e x o t i c s were c a n a r i e s , peacocks, syrup.  One  farm generated  trees;  show turkeys and maple  income from s a l e s of t r o u t  i n l a r g e ponds to f i n a n c e the owner's f i r s t p r i s e , breeding race horses.  raised  choice of e n t e r -  91  The v a r i e t y of produce from a s i n g l e s m a l l farm o f t e n q u i t e s u r p r i s i n g and c e r t a i n l y i n d i c a t i v e of hobby aspects of t h i s k i n d of farming. experimenting  was  the  Many owners were  with d i f f e r e n t types of p r o d u c t i o n and  par-  t i c u l a r breeds of l i v e s t o c k f o r a v a r i e t y of reasons w i l l be d i s c u s s e d more f u l l y  later.  which  The v a r i e t y a l s o  r e f l e c t e d an attempt by some owners to be  self-sufficient  i n terms of food p r o d u c t i o n , a g o a l a few had  almost  reached. Perhaps a d e s c r i p t i o n of the p r o d u c t i o n of two sample farms w i l l exemplify  this variety.  The  first  of the farm  i s a w e l l managed f i v e acre h o l d i n g owned by a young f a m i l y with goals of a f a m i l y - f o c u s s e d l i f e s t y l e and i n food p r o d u c t i o n . c a t t l e , keeping Two  The  f a m i l y r a i s e s and breeds  s i x head .on t h e i r three acres of 4  are s l a u g h t e r e d annually, one  for sale.  The  and house s c r a p s . The  f o r t h e i r own  Highland pasture.  use and  one  son i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the care of e i g h t to  ten p i g s which are kept penned and  size.  self-sufficiency  f e d p a r t i a l l y on garden  These are s o l d as they reach optimum  daughter feeds the three dozen chickens whose  eggs are used by the f a m i l y and s o l d to s e v e r a l r e g u l a r customers.  The  kinds of f r u i t  farm has an acre of orchard w i t h s e v e r a l t r e e s , grape v i n e s used f o r j u i c e and wine  making, three kinds of b e r r y bushes and garden.  Produce i s s t o r e d i n two  a large  f r e e z e r s and  c o n s t r u c t e d root c e l l a r f o r w i n t e r use.  Every  vegetable a recently February,  92  weather p e r m i t t i n g , the f a m i l y taps the l a r g e maple t r e e i n t h e i r f r o n t yard and makes syrup to g i v e t o t h e i r  "city  friends". Another  f i v e acre hobby farm i n the same  neighbourhood  keeps two m i l k cows, s e v e r a l goats, chickens, geese, and honey bees.  The f a m i l y i s v e g e t a r i a n and makes cheese  and yogurt from both cow's m i l k and goat's m i l k . diet  ducks  i s supplemented  by t h e i r own  Their  vegetables and f r u i t ,  and  they s e l l m i l k , k i d s , and honey t o p r o v i d e enough income to m a i n t a i n and improve  their  farm.  Farm Sales and Marketing Arrangements Over h a l f the hobby farms i n the sample group s e l l only one product, u s u a l l y beef, and o n l y twelve farms s e l l t h r e e or more p r o d u c t s .  The range of products s o l d i s l i s t e d i n  Table X I I . Beef c a t t l e are e a s i l y s o l d , although o f t e n at l e s s than s a t i s f a c t o r y p r i c e s .  Many hobby farmers have a few  head of t h e i r c a t t l e s l a u g h t e r e d and butchered l o c a l l y year and then s e l l r e g u l a r customers. for  each  s i d e s or q u a r t e r s of beef to f r i e n d s or There i s a p p a r e n t l y no shortage of buyers  what i s p e r c e i v e d as h e a l t h y , g r a s s - f e d beef  "without  a l l those hormones i n j e c t e d i n them", as one farmer e x p l a i n e d . Other farmers s e l l t h e i r animals l i v e at the Surrey a u c t i o n which was  c r i t i c i z e d by a few owners as paying much lower  p r i c e s to hobby farmers than to commercial  farmers.  s a i d they were f o r c e d to accept whatever p r i c e was  Some offered,  93  TABLE X I I MARKETED HOBBY FARM PRODUCTION  Product  Number of Farms  Beef  50  Eggs  12  Milk:  cow  1  goat  2  B r o i l e r chickens  2  Sheep:  meat  6  wool  1  Pigs  4  Rabbits  3  Ducks  1  Geese  2  Foals  7  Hay  6  Vegetables  4  Blueberries  3  Fruit  2  Honey  1  Other sources of farm income: Canaries Horse boarding Dog kennel Nursery stock Christmas t r e e s Trout  94  even when they knew i t was  too low, or they would have to  pay the r e t u r n t r u c k i n g c o s t s f o r t h e i r animals.  The  reason f o r the low p r i c e might w e l l be the p o t e n t i a l l y  poorer  q u a l i t y of hobby farm beef because a few owners d i d n ' t seem to have a good understanding of n u t r i t i o n a l needs f o r t h e i r livestock.  Others s o l d at an i n a p p r o p r i a t e time when p r i c e s  were low or b e f o r e t h e i r c a t t l e were optimum weight. a l l y t h i s was  Usu-  necessary i n order to generate the income  necessary to c l a i m a farm property tax exemption. Almost  a l l other products are s o l d d i r e c t l y t o con-  sumers through p r i v a t e c o n t a c t s , r o a d s i d e stands or by means of farm gate a d v e r t i s i n g .  A l l the eggs, f r u i t  t a b l e s produced were s o l d t h i s way farmer who  and vege-  with the e x c e p t i o n of  one  s o l d p i c k l i n g cucumbers to the Surrey vegetable  co-op on a c o n t r a c t b a s i s .  Lambs, r a b b i t s and t r o u t were  s o l d p r i v a t e l y to restaurants." i n Vancouver.  Three or f o u r  owners of goats and sheep s o l d lambs and k i d s to Greek and I t a l i a n e t h n i c o r g a n i z a t i o n s f o r f e s t i v a l days.  One  hobby  farmer s o l d ducks to neighbouring Chinese vegetable growers who  a p p r e c i a t e h i s " o r g a n i c a l l y " r a i s e d products. The marketing  s i t u a t i o n i s very i n f o r m a l but seems to  be reasonably s a t i s f a c t o r y . s a i d they had no problem  Almost  a l l who  sold  privately  f i n d i n g customers f o r t h e i r  produce.  Many commented that c i t y people l i k e d to d r i v e out to the c o u n t r y s i d e on the weekend to buy  f r e s h o r g a n i c a l l y grown  v e g e t a b l e s , brown eggs from chickens that are allowed to roam f r e e l y , b l u e b e r r i e s that have not been sprayed with  95  chemicals, b l a c k sheep wool f o r weaving f r e s h from the source.  and goat's m i l k  The e l i m i n a t i o n of middle marketing  l e v e l s o f t e n means lower p r i c e s to buyers and higher r e t u r n s to hobby farmers.  However, the r e a l a t t r a c t i o n f o r the cus-  tomer i s probably the a l t e r n a t i v e source of supply to the supermarket. the  D e s p i t e l a c k of q u a l i t y c o n t r o l and r e g u l a t i o n ,  customers' p e r c e p t i o n seems to be that they are r e c e i v i n g  f r e s h e r , h e a l t h i e r food from d i r e c t farm s a l e s .  Perhaps  they  l i k e the i d e a of s m a l l s c a l e p r o d u c t i o n and enjoy the f r i e n d l y f a c e - t o - f a c e contact w i t h the producer. By d e f i n i t i o n the hobby farm sample was farms with low v a l u e s a l e s w i t h l i t t l e to  farm income.  l i m i t e d to  importance a t t a c h e d  The farm income tended to vary c o n s i d e r a b l y  year by year and many farmers s a i d i t was  sometimes a  s t r u g g l e to meet the $1600 s a l e s requirement f o r p r e f e r r e d property t a x a t i o n . c r i t e r i a was  One of the f r u s t r a t i o n s of the  exemption  the n e c e s s i t y of having s a l e s of at l e a s t $1600  every year by a s p e c i f i e d date, sometimes f o r c i n g  farmers  to s e l l : c a l v e s b e f o r e optimum marketing weights or other l i v e s t o c k that could be used to b u i l d up a f l o c k or herd to more v i a b l e l e v e l s . crops was  A r a i n y season w i t h poor b l u e b e r r y  causing concern f o r t h r e e farmers who  blueberry sales.  depended on  Because marketing i s i n f o r m a l economic  r e t u r n s are h i g h l y  variable.  There are two main reasons f o r hobby farmers to t h e i r farm produce.  sell  Many save c o n s i d e r a b l e amounts of  property tax by a t t a i n i n g farm c l a s s i f i c a t i o n f o r assessment  96  purposes, as i n d i c a t e d .  Others attempt  to s e l l enough to  fund improvements and pay annual maintenance farm.  Few make any s i z e a b l e p r o f i t  each year.  c o s t s on  and some c l a i m  their  losses  I t i s p o s s i b l e to c l a i m up to a $5000 farm income  l o s s each year against p e r s o n a l income f o r f e d e r a l tax purposes.  Four farm owners who  income earners w i t h t h e i r own claimed the f u l l  farm l o s s .  were i n t e r v i e w e d were high  b u s i n e s s and a l l r o u t i n e l y T h i s i s a c o n t r o v e r s i a l deduc-  t i o n which Punter c a l l s a " l e g a l form of tax evasion."" " 1  However, as he goes on to suggest, " i t has l e d to the maintenance of p r o d u c t i v e land i n good a g r i c u l t u r a l and has l e d to i n c r e a s e d maintenance the  v i s u a l enjoyment of a l l who  Ontario." Valley.  condition  of the landscape f o r  use the r u r a l landscape i n  The same i s undoubtedly  t r u e f o r the F r a s e r  P r o p e r t y and income tax savings are necessary  i n c e n t i v e s , at l e a s t f o r some of the hobby farmers, to make very good use of t h e i r farmland. L i k e commercial  farmers, hobby farmers are f e e l i n g the  e f f e c t s of the c o s t - p r i c e squeeze.  They are e x p e r i e n c i n g  r a p i d l y e s c a l a t i n g input c o s t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y high i n t e r e s t r a t e s on mortgages and loans and s o a r i n g c o s t s f o r f u e l , feed, seed and f e r t i l i z e r U n l i k e commercial  w h i l e farm r e t u r n s remain  low.  farmers, hobby farmers do not depend on  t h e i r farm income so can postpone purchases, decrease prod u c t i o n l e v e l s or change types of p r o d u c t i o n .  They u s u a l l y  have low investments i n s p e c i a l i z e d equipment and can t h e r e f o r e be more f l e x i b l e i n t h e i r adjustments and  approach.  97  The a t t i t u d e toward farm income i s p o s s i b l y the most c l e a r l y d i s t i n g u i s h i n g f e a t u r e of hobby farmers.  They do  not depend on farm income f o r t h e i r l i v e l i h o o d and t h e r e f o r e they are not as f r u s t r a t i n g when s a l e s are poor and are h i g h . sive."  One  farmer suggested, "Hobbies  The e x p e c t a t i o n was  are always expen-  that s a l e s would cover c o s t s of  p r o d u c t i o n and p o s s i b l y p r o v i d e funds f o r f u r t h e r ments. minor  expenses  improve-  But i f s a l e s d i d not reach a n t i c i p a t e d l e v e l s , only adjustments  i n e x p e c t a t i o n s were necessary.  Only s i x t e e n hobby farmers i d e n t i f i e d any farm product i o n or marketing problems.  Low  p r i c e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y of  beef c a t t l e s o l d at the a u c t i o n , high c o s t s of i n p u t s and the l a c k of farm l a b o u r e r s were the t h r e e problems most f r e q u e n t l y identified.  Lack of f a c i l i t i e s f o r s l a u g h t e r i n g sheep  p r o c e s s i n g r a b b i t s were mentioned.  In g e n e r a l , those  and inter-  viewed were f a r more concerned about the nuisance f a c t o r s i n t h e i r area, as d i s c u s s e d p r e v i o u s l y , than any a c t u a l farming problems.  Most were reasonably content with t h e i r own  farm  situation. Farm Labour Requirements Almost  and.Sources  a l l hobby farm labour i s done by hobby farmers  themselves without h i r e d h e l p . men.run t h e i r farms alone.  F i v e women and f o u r t e e n  Almost h a l f the farms were run  by husband and w i f e and sometimes c h i l d r e n were a l s o i n v o l v e d with animal care.  There was  sometimes a s t r u c t u r e  to the chores with each member of the f a m i l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r some aspect of the farm management.  Some c h i l d r e n  received  98  the p r o f i t s from the s a l e s of t h e i r own animals and p a r t i c i p a t e d i n 4H a c t i v i t i e s .  Farmers r e c e i v e d o c c a s i o n a l h e l p  from other r e l a t i v e s , notably g r a n d c h i l d r e n , nephews and sons-in-law and some depended on f r i e n d s to h e l p at busy times such as haying o r b l u e b e r r y p i c k i n g . farmers mentioned  A few hobby  t h e i r c i t y f r i e n d s l i k e d t o come out and  h e l p on t h e farm once or twice a year and one h e l d an annual " h a r v e s t " p a r t y which was a s o c i a l o c c a s i o n as w e l l as a work day on the farm f o r h i s f r i e n d s . Only f i v e farmers had r e g u l a r h i r e d h e l p , a l l p a r t time.  These farm h e l p e r s were i n v o l v e d i n p l a n t i n g and  weeding, c a t t l e care, and horse t r a i n i n g and e x e r c i s i n g . Three farmers h i r e d students f o r f u l l - t i m e work each summer. Three other owners complained  that they wanted r e g u l a r help  but were unable t o f i n d t r a i n e d , r e l i a b l e farm l a b o u r e r s i n Surrey. Many of the farmers used o c c a s i o n a l custom s e r v i c e s . Although t w e n t y - f i v e had never r e c e i v e d any a s s i s t a n c e , the remaining f o r t y - t h r e e mentioned  a v a r i e t y o f s e r v i c e s they  used from time t o time, p a r t i c u l a r l y hay c u t t i n g and b a l i n g (see Table X I I I ) .  These s e r v i c e s u s u a l l y r e q u i r e  specialized  equipment which i s too expensive f o r hobby farmers t o purchase.  Custom work i s almost always  done by commercial  farmers  i n the area and p r o v i d e s a source of cash income f o r them. One commercial  farmer who was i n t e r v i e w e d owns a modern b a l e r  which keeps h i m s e l f , h i s w i f e and two teenaged sons busy a l l summer c u t t i n g hay on neighbouring farms  i n the Hazelmere  99  TABLE X I I I CUSTOM FARM SERVICES USED BY HOBBY FARMS  Service Hay  Number of farms u s i n g s e r v i c e  c u t t i n g and b a l i n g  19  B u l l d o z i n g , ploughing, tototilling  11  Land c l e a r i n g , t r e e or stump removal Drainage tiling,  9 improvements, underditching  (backhoe)  8  D i g g i n g of fence post holes  5  Custom b u t c h e r i n g (on farm)  2  Manure s p r e a d i n g  2  Berry p i c k i n g  1  Cattle hauling  1  Liming of f i e l d s  1  General r e p a i r s  1  Farrier services  1  V a l l e y of Surrey.  He operates on a non-cash b a s i s , as many  others do, t a k i n g a share of the crop as payment. his  He keeps  own s i z e a b l e herd of c a t t l e i n w i n t e r feed without  u s i n g h i s own pasture f o r hay and s e l l s s e v e r a l hundred b a l e s each year.  Another  commercial  farmer i n t e r v i e w e d  does c a t t l e h a u l i n g f o r cash income and a t h i r d operated a backhoe s e r v i c e .  100  The h i r i n g of custom commercial  farm s e r v i c e s i s a great h e l p to  farmers, and sometimes t h e i r sons, who  can b e t t e r  r a t i o n a l i z e the purchase of expensive equipment f o r t h e i r own  farm i f they know they can use i t to generate cash  income when time permits.  The use of custom  services  sometimes l e s s than o p t i m a l f o r hobby farmers.  was  They had no  o p t i o n but to wait u n t i l the s e r v i c e could be p r o v i d e d and t h i s sometimes meant w a i t i n g past the best time f o r ploughing or hay c u t t i n g .  Some farm o p e r a t o r s complained they had  d i f f i c u l t y h i r i n g anyone to do s m a l l jobs such as c u t t i n g three acres of hay, d i g g i n g a short l e n g t h of d i t c h or r o t o tilling  a vegetable p l o t .  Most hobby farmers chose to do as much of t h e i r  farm  work as p o s s i b l e p a r t l y f o r f i n a n c i a l reasons and p a r t l y to avoid the f r u s t r a t i o n s of t r y i n g to h i r e someone to get a job done when i t was  required.  However, t h e r e was  also  c o n s i d e r a b l e s e l f - s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h h a n d l i n g t h e i r own and g e t t i n g the job done themselves. i n t h e i r accomplishments terms was  a worthy  and f e l t  needs  Some expressed p r i d e  s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y i n labour  g o a l to s t r i v e f o r .  A few hobby farmers  e i t h e r owned, or were p l a n n i n g to purchase equipment that d i d n ' t seem j u s t i f i a b l e i n r a t i o n a l economic terms f o r use on a f i v e acre farm.  Some hobby farms had q u i t e a b i t of  equipment and the ownership of a s m a l l t r a c t o r was One  common.  hobby farmer, a r e t i r e d e x e c u t i v e , drove h i s t r a c t o r  a c r o s s h i s expansive, well-trimmed of h i s home f o r the i n t e r v i e w .  lawn t o the f r o n t  door  Apparently owning a t r a c t o r  i s an important part of at l e a s t the image of farming.  101  Information Flow It was hypothesized that hobby farmers, many with no farm background  and most with no recent farm experience,  would need c o n s i d e r a b l e t e c h n i c a l advice i n e s t a b l i s h i n g and o p e r a t i n g t h e i r farm e n t e r p r i s e .  The hobby farmers i n the  sample were asked t o i d e n t i f y t h e i r i n f o r m a t i o n sources, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n terms o f formal farming courses and h e l p from the d i s t r i c t  agricultural office.  The data suggest  the l a c k of economic success and the v a r i e t y o f p r o d u c t i o n problems encountered by hobby farmers can be p a r t i a l l y accounted f o r by t h e i r i n f o r m a l approach  to gathering i n f o r -  mation . None of the hobby farmers had taken any k i n d of a g r i c u l t u r a l t r a i n i n g except f o r Surrey o r Langley School Board night s c h o o l courses, although the son of one owner was c u r r e n t l y e n r o l l e d i n the F a c u l t y of A g r i c u l t u r e at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia.  T h i r t e e n hobby farmers had  taken a v a r i e t y of n i g h t s c h o o l courses i n c l u d i n g p o u l t r y r a i s i n g , o r g a n i c farming, p i g farming, horse  training,  v e t e r i n a r y care, bee keeping, s m a l l farm management and, the most popular c h o i c e , beef c a t t l e r a i s i n g .  These courses  were s h o r t - t e r m and i n t r o d u c t o r y i n nature, but were desc r i b e d as u s e f u l by most of the t h i r t e e n . Fewer than h a l f of the hobby farmers had ever sought h e l p o r advice from the M i n i s t r y of A g r i c u l t u r e o f f i c e i n C l o v e r d a l e d e s p i t e the f a c t the o f f i c e i s w e l l - s t a f f e d , h i g h l y v i s i b l e and a maximum twenty minute d r i v e from a l l  102  the sample farms.  Some hobby farmers had read the pamphlets  i s s u e d through the o f f i c e and some had attended f i e l d an o n - s i t e i n f o r m a t i o n a l meeting type of farm e n t e r p r i s e .  days,  on some aspect of a s p e c i f i c  A few farmers had sought  individual  advice, most o f t e n on treatment of stock or p o u l t r y , or cont r o l of i n s e c t i n f e s t a t i o n s on crops. varied.  Reaction to the advice  Some found i t u s e f u l w h i l e others s a i d the help came  too l a t e o r was not of p r a c t i c a l v a l u e .  I t seems l i k e l y i n  some cases the e x p e c t a t i o n s f o r help were too high so c o u l d not be s a t i s f i e d and i n other cases the advice was r e j e c t e d by the farmer who was r e l u c t a n t to i n v e s t the money needed for  changes or t o make changes that were p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y  unacceptable such as chemical s p r a y i n g . A few people found sources of help i n neighbouring comm e r c i a l farmers. moving toward  Three young f a m i l i e s , i n c l u d i n g a f a m i l y  f u l l - t i m e farming, had e s t a b l i s h e d a good  r e l a t i o n s h i p with an o l d e r , experienced farmer and depended on h i s advice f o r d e c i s i o n making.  Others sought  advice  from f r i e n d s and f a m i l y , the Surrey co-op, the stock s e l l e r s and the seed  suppliers.  There was o b v i o u s l y a s e r i o u s shortage of time to take courses or seek i n f o r m a t i o n i n any s t r u c t u r e d way.  Many  f a m i l i e s had both a d u l t s working  chores  took up v i r t u a l l y a l l f r e e time.  full  time and farm  However, t h e r e a l s o seemed  to be a c u r i o u s r e l u c t a n c e t o seek advice.  Many suggested,  w i t h a c e r t a i n amount of p r i d e , they had l e a r n e d on t h e i r own from books o r experience.  Some farmers were c l e a r l y  103  r e l u c t a n t to f o r m a l i z e t h e i r i n f o r m a t i o n g a t h e r i n g and "hit  and miss" experimentation as p a r t of the l e a r n i n g  experience.  The  q u i t e apparent ted  saw  independent,  do-it-yourself attitude  although some would have undoubtedly  from some k i n d of o u t s i d e h e l p .  "knew how  themselves  benefit-  Others simply s a i d they  t o farm" because they were r a i s e d on a farm,  g e s t i n g c u r r e n t farm p r a c t i c e s were apparently of concern.  There was  almost  was  a d e l i b e r a t e attempt  sug-  little  to d i s t a n c e  from the type of knowledge that might demand more  r a t i o n a l , r a t h e r than w h i m s i c a l , d e c i s i o n making.  These  people were choosing farming as a hobby and were d i s a s s o c i a t ing  themselves  from the type of farming one would p r a c t i c e  for  a livelihood.  In d e l i b e r a t e l y r e f u s i n g to f o r m a l i z e ,  they were e n s u r i n g farming would be "fun". LEVELS OF SATISFACTION Surrey hobby farmers are s t r o n g l y committed to a r u r a l l i f e s t y l e and, farm l i f e .  i n g e n e r a l , are s a t i s f i e d and content w i t h  They expressed p l e a s u r e i n t h e i r  accomplishments  and regarded o p e r a t i o n a l problems and p r o d u c t i o n f a i l u r e s p a r t of the l e a r n i n g process. money was  C o n s i d e r a b l e time, energy  as and  i n v e s t e d i n farms with low economic but high p s y c h i c  returns. The e x p r e s s i o n s of p l e a s u r e and contentment w i t h hobby farm l i f e to  suggests these farmers made a wise c h o i c e i n moving  the country.  The d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s expressed were minor i n  nature and complaints tended to be focussed on changes i n  104  the  community which were p e r c e i v e d as t h r e a t e n i n g ,  l a r l y the  i n f l u x of u r b a n i t e s to one  t h e r e f o r e the had  been r e j e c t e d .  culture scale and  potential  quiet.  acre p r o p e r t i e s  nuisance f a c t o r s  largepeace  problems a s s o c i a t e d w i t h hobby  r u r a l - u r b a n f r i n g e were merely  annoyances and  the  and  agri-  farming that r e s t r i c t e d p o t e n t i a l  In g e n e r a l , the  that  a s s o c i a t e d with  farming i n the  Coffin  and  r e p l i c a t i o n of an urban m i l i e u  Negative f e a t u r e s of commercial  were u s u a l l y  or i n t e n s i v e  particu-  satisfaction  irritating  l e v e l s were h i g h .  L i p s e y comment:  C o n s i d e r i n g the r i g o r s of r u r a l l i f e ( p a r t i c u l a r l y when s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y i s a g o a l ) the f i n a n c i a l l o s s that accompanied the move f o r most of the sample, and the discrepancy between l i f e s t y l e d e s i r e d and that a c t u a l l y a t t a i n e d , i t i s p e r t i n e n t to ask whether anyone was happy with the outcome. On balance the answer was a resounding 'yes'.2 E i g h t y - e i g h t percent of t h e i r respondents s a i d r u r a l was  " s a t i s f y i n g " or  "very s a t i s f y i n g " and  "somewhat discouraged". s a t i s f i e d and g e n e r a l , are and  only 7% were  Surrey hobby farmers too  far less frustrated  by  the  environment than the  were i n t e r v i e w e d .  have i n t e n t i o n s  in  Hobby farmers  few  commercial  cheerfully and  few  to s e l l , move or make major changes i n  t h e i r farm management or r u r a l l i f e s t y l e .  t h e i r chosen hobby has and  a  economic problems  accept temporary set-backs, enjoy t h e i r s e t t i n g ,  either  are  contented group of r u r a l landowners and,  rural-urban fringe  farmers who  life  s a t i s f y i n g way  of  become an engrossing, life.  For many  challenging  105  THE FUTURE The hobby farmers i n the sample were asked about f u t u r e i n t e n t i o n s i n terms of ownership,  changes i n l e v e l s  and types of p r o d u c t i o n and intended improvements. f u r t h e r p r o b i n g a f t e r the i n i t i a l group s t a t e d t h e i r farm was  their  Despite  response, almost h a l f the  " f i n i s h e d " and they had no plans  beyond, m a i n t a i n i n g t h e i r present p r o p e r t y and  lifestyle.  Some had put c o n s i d e r a b l e time and e f f o r t i n t o developing t h e i r farms and perhaps would agree with one owner  who  s t a t e d q u i t e e m p h a t i c a l l y , "Enough changes have been made— it's  resting  time!"  Only twenty-three farmers planned f u r t h e r to  their properties.  Ten had p l a n s to b u i l d a new  renovate t h e i r e x i s t i n g one,  drainage systems,  c l e a r i n g and i n f i l l i n g  fencing,  r e s e e d i n g of p a s t u r e s and  of swampy areas.  further  Most owners were  q u i t e vague about the s c h e d u l i n g of these intended ments.  house or  or add a barn or o u t b u i l d i n g s .  Other planned improvements i n c l u d e d a d d i t i o n a l improved  improvements  improve-  However, i n view of the amount of e f f o r t which had  already been expended on most of the farms i n the sample it  seemed l i k e l y these changes would a l s o be c a r r i e d out as  time and money p e r m i t t e d . to  Some depended on produce  sales  f i n a n c e changes to t h e i r farms and recent low p r i c e s ,  p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r beef, had d i s c o u r a g e d them. Twenty-two farmers had p l a n s to i n c r e a s e t h e i r  produc-  t i o n l e v e l s or change t h e i r type of p r o d u c t i o n and t h r e e had  106  bought a d d i t i o n a l land i n the l a s t year.  Layton found 26.7%  of London area hobby farmers were a n t i c i p a t i n g a move t o f u l l - t i m e farming and a f u r t h e r 9.9% were moving toward 3 p a r t - t i m e farming.  One might assume some owners i n Surrey  would a l s o use hobby farming as a s t e p p i n g stone toward a p a r t - t i m e or f u l l - t i m e e n t e r p r i s e as c a p i t a l , e x p e r t i s e and circumstances permitted.  However, s u r p r i s i n g l y few hobby  farmers had any plans to farm on a commercial b a s i s i n the forseeable future.  Only one Surrey hobby farmer was p l a n n i n g  to farm f u l l - t i m e and f o u r others were hoping t o achieve prod u c t i o n i n c r e a s e s which would allow them t o farm w h i l e supplementing The  part-time  t h e i r income with some o f f - f a r m work.  f a m i l y with f u l l - t i m e i n t e n t i o n s was a young couple  with s m a l l c h i l d r e n .  Both husband and w i f e worked  time to b u i l d up c a p i t a l t o purchase f u l l - t i m e c a t t l e breeding.  full-  a larger property f o r  They were seeking a p r o p e r t y  o u t s i d e Surrey because they couldn't a f f o r d the high land c o s t s of the F r a s e r V a l l e y .  Both husband and w i f e had urban  backgrounds and were hobby farming i n order t o b u i l d up the e x p e r t i s e necessary to move s u c c e s s f u l l y i n t o  commercial  farming. The  f o u r who were moving toward p a r t - t i m e e n t e r p r i s e s  were p l a n n i n g t o breed horses, r a i s e p i g s and i n c r e a s e the s i z e o f t h e i r c a t t l e herds t o more v i a b l e l e v e l s .  Three .  of these had bought a d d i t i o n a l a d j o i n i n g land to allow f o r expansion.  A l l were hoping t o cut back on t h e i r o f f - f a r m  employment as the income from the farm i n c r e a s e d .  107  Three other f a m i l i e s were i n c r e a s i n g p r o d u c t i o n but  saw  no l i k e l i h o o d of ending t h e i r f u l l - t i m e o f f - f a r m employment. The  farm of one of these f a m i l i e s was  run by the woman who  seemed q u i t e s e r i o u s i n her i n t e n t i o n to b u i l d her sheep f l o c k t o commercially v i a b l e l e v e l s although her husband would continue to run h i s c o n s t r u c t i o n company. was  T h e i r farm  l a r g e and had r e c e n t l y been improved with u n d e r t i l i n g  and the c o n s t r u c t i o n of a new  barn.  She had sought  from other sheep breeders and the d i s t r i c t  advice  agriculturalist  to ensure her expansion p l a n s were f e a s i b l e .  A rabbit  pro-  ducer hoped to s o l v e p r o c e s s i n g problems so he c o u l d f i l l h i s newly c o n s t r u c t e d r a b b i t shed to i t s f u l l rabbits.  c a p a c i t y of  400  He kept fewer than 100 r a b b i t s at the time of the  i n t e r v i e w but had developed h i s own  market among r e s t a u r a n t s  i n Vancouver and planned to use h i s farm to generate c o n s i d e r a b l y more income i n the f u t u r e .  The t h i r d f a m i l y  was  developing a s m a l l s p e c i a l i z e d nursery b u s i n e s s which they hoped would fund the educations of t h e i r t h r e e teenagers. The s m a l l number of Surrey hobby farmers p l a n n i n g a move i n t o commercial  farming probably r e f l e c t s an awareness  of the very l a r g e step now  r e q u i r e d to move from a hobby  farming s i t u a t i o n to anything commercially v i a b l e .  The  s p e c i a l i z e d nature of modern a g r i b u s i n e s s r e q u i r e s high l e v e l s of c a p i t a l investment, t e c h n i c a l knowledge and a s t u t e management s k i l l s .  Most hobby farmers don't have  the d e s i r e to farm f u l l - t i m e and,  i f they do, they  have the r e s o u r c e s to make t h i s major move.  don't  108  The s i x p a r t - t i m e commercial p r o d u c t i o n who  farmers with s m a l l - s c a l e  were i n t e r v i e w e d were a l l s t r u g g l i n g to s u r -  v i v e economically.  Although by d e f i n i t i o n they were gener-  a t i n g about h a l f t h e i r t o t a l income from t h e i r farms t h e i r s a l e s were s t i l l  very low.  cucumber grower who  One  of these farmers was  a  had been i n b u s i n e s s f o r f i v e years  and  a n t i c i p a t e d i t would be s e v e r a l more years b e f o r e she made a clear profit.  Although she had a modern, well-equipped  greenhouse, worked long hours and s o l d through the board, she was repayments.  still  marketing  p u t t i n g a l l her p r o f i t s back i n t o loan  I t i s no longer easy t o move i n t o  commercial  farming and the gaps between the s t e p p i n g stones seem to be  widening. Fourteen hobby farmers, 20% of the sample, were p l a n n i n g  to make changes i n t h e i r type of p r o d u c t i o n i n the near future.  Experimentation was  apparent  as some farmers changed  from r a i s i n g sheep to keeping p i g s ; o t h e r s s o l d t h e i r and bought c a l v e s ; some ploughed and p l a n t e d nursery stock. t a t i o n was of  goats  over t h e i r vegetable p l o t  At l e a s t some of the experimen-  a t t r i b u t a b l e to l a c k of success, u s u a l l y because  unforseen problems.  The e x p e c t a t i o n s were not always  r e a l i s t i c and problems were not always a n t i c i p a t e d .  Some  hobby farmers expressed s u r p r i s e at the cost of f e e d i n g t h e i r c a t t l e , the expense of v e t e r i n a r y care or the c u l t y of d e a l i n g with i n s e c t p e s t s on t h e i r f r u i t  diffi-  trees.  On one farm the death of a v a l u a b l e brood mare s t i m u l a t e d a change to h o l s t e i n h e i f e r r a i s i n g .  On another the  level  109  of was  care needed f o r l i v e s t o c k became tiresome so the pasture converted t o Christmas t r e e p r o d u c t i o n .  When marketing  problems were encountered i t was sometimes e a s i e r t o s w i t c h p r o d u c t i o n type than wait out low p r i c e s and temporary setbacks.  Low beef p r i c e s at the time o f i n t e r v i e w i n g  some t o contemplate  changing e n t e r p r i s e .  farmers were t i e d t o uneconomical about  While  caused  commercial  e n t e r p r i s e s and were b i t t e r  low farm r e t u r n s , hobby farmers had low investments  and f l e x i b i l i t y  a l l o w i n g them the freedom t o change.  Much of the experimentation was by c h o i c e and very much i n keeping with the hobby o r i e n t a t i o n of the farm owners.  Some admitted they became bored w i t h one k i n d of  e n t e r p r i s e so decided t o t r y something have a l i t t l e  new.  Others wanted t o  of e v e r y t h i n g , e i t h e r t o achieve t h e i r g o a l of  s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y or t o r e c r e a t e the mixed farm o f t h e i r past experience.  Some of the improvements and r e n o v a t i o n s under-  taken were t i e d t o changes i n e n t e r p r i s e as mink sheds became chicken houses and horse s t a b l e s became sheep barns. Two or t h r e e owners admitted t h e i r f u t u r e p l a n s would be whatever took t h e i r fancy.  One hoped t o r a i s e horses  "someday" w h i l e another had plans f o r c o n s t r u c t i n g a hydroponic greenhouse with a c i r c u l a t i o n system t i e d t o an a d j o i n i n g aquaculture pond.  The sample farmers were com-  m i t t e d t o farming as a hobby and a l i f e s t y l e , exhibited l i t t l e enterprise.  but g e n e r a l l y  commitment t o any p a r t i c u l a r type of  While economic r e t u r n s were of l i t t l e  tance., the p e r s o n a l f u l f i l l m e n t of doing something ing  and c h a l l e n g i n g was of prime  concern.  imporinterest-  110  The  exceptions were those few farmers i n t e r v i e w e d who  were attempting t o develop a high q u a l i t y breed of l i v e stock f o r show or b r e e d i n g purposes.  S e v e r a l farmers  proudly  d i s p l a y e d t h e i r championship ribbons and cups f o r t h e i r Black Angus c a t t l e , purebred shorthorns, S u f f o l k sheep and Welsh ponies.  Two f a m i l i e s that bred race horses were  s u c c e s s f u l l y producing o c c a s i o n a l winners which  brought  them great s a t i s f a c t i o n and c o n s i d e r a b l e monetary r e t u r n s , as breeders r e c e i v e a p r o p o r t i o n of a l l f u t u r e winnings f o r that p a r t i c u l a r horse.  One f a m i l y had f i n a n c e d the expansion  of t h e i r farm and the c o n s t r u c t i o n of t h e i r new barn from the constant r e t u r n s from a c o n s i s t e n t winner.  These farmers too  were not so much i n t e r e s t e d i n economic r e t u r n s as p e r s o n a l f u l f i l l m e n t but they were very i n v o l v e d i n one p a r t i c u l a r e n t e r p r i s e and had c o n s i d e r a b l e e x p e r t i s e i n t h e i r  field.  T h i r t e e n landowners had d e f i n i t e plans t o s e l l near f u t u r e .  Seven of these were e l d e r l y r e t i r e d  i n the  people,  i n c l u d i n g f o u r widows who c o u l d no longer cope w i t h At l e a s t two of the remaining to maintain t h e i r p r o p e r t y . c o n s i d e r e d themselves  s i x were f i n a n c i a l l y While  farming. unable  f o u r of the t h i r t e e n  t o be "pushed" from t h e i r l a n d by  encroaching s u b d i v i s i o n s w i t h attendant nuisance  factors,  at l e a s t f o u r others were s e l l i n g t o p r o f i t  zoning  changes.  from  One farmer owned a 46 acre p r o p e r t y on C l o v e r d a l e ' s  c i t y l i m i t s which was r e c e n t l y downgraded t o q u a r t e r acre zoning.  H i s farm was s u b d i v i d a b l e i n t o 120 l o t s worth two  million dollars,  a s t r o n g i n c e n t i v e to stop farming.  Three  Ill  owners planned to s u b d i v i d e t h e i r p r o p e r t i e s , s e l l one  part  and r e t a i n the r e s t . E i g h t y percent of the hobby farm owners were o p t i m i s t i c about the land market i n Surrey.  T h i r t y - s i x owners  s a i d they would have no problem at a l l s e l l i n g t h e i r e r t y i f they wished to or were f o r c e d t o .  Nineteen o t h e r s  f e l t high i n t e r e s t r a t e s at the time of i n t e r v i e w i n g l i m i t buyers but t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n s were s t i l l toward the land market.  prop-  might  positive  Many of those i n t e r v i e w e d mentioned  the  frequent v i s i t s from r e a l e s t a t e salesmen hoping to  the  p r o p e r t y f o r s a l e and the apparent ease w i t h which other  s a l e s were'made i n t h e i r neighbourhood.  Some mentioned  list  the  s i z e or q u a l i t y of t h e i r homes or amenity f e a t u r e s such as a n i c e view as good s e l l i n g p o i n t s . a farm q u a l i t y ,  Only one owner  " c l e a r e d and fenced l a n d " as a p o s i t i v e  a t t r i b u t e although some s a i d land, and p a r t i c u l a r l y was  the "best investment  would be d i f f i c u l t .  farmland,  possible."  Only f o u r owners f e l t  the  mentioned  s e l l i n g t h e i r present p r o p e r t y  The owner of a 37 acre p r o p e r t y s a i d  l a r g e s i z e of h i s farm made i t too expensive f o r a  hobby farm purchase but the land was any other farm buyers.  too m a r g i n a l to a t t r a c t  Another owner suspected, q u i t e  c o r r e c t l y no doubt, that h i s very expensive and very unusual home, a r e p l i c a of a s i x t e e n t h century Spanish farmhouse complete with w i n d m i l l , would have a somewhat appeal.  limited  112  Owners were asked t o s p e c u l a t e on p o s s i b l e buyers f o r t h e i r farms.  Almost  70% suggested hobby farmers would be  the most l i k e l y buyers and o n l y f i v e owners saw a p o s s i b i l i t y of s e l l i n g t o a f u l l - t i m e farmer.  Three of these owners had  l a r g e p r o p e r t i e s of 20, 30 and 36 a c r e s . The hobby farm u n i t s are f o r the most p a r t not l a r g e enough f o r v i a b l e farm o p e r a t i o n s u n l e s s they are used very intensively.  The market i s l i m i t e d f o r these because of  zoning r e s t r i c t i o n s and high s t a r t up c o s t s i n c l u d i n g the purchase of market quotas.  Neighbouring commercial  farmers  who may be s e a r c h i n g f o r a d d i t i o n a l pasture or c r o p l a n d cannot  a f f o r d t o buy land with an expensive home on i t and  i n c l u s i o n i n the l a n d r e s e r v e makes home l o t s u b d i v i s i o n impossible.  Land on hobby farms i s b a s i c a l l y u n a v a i l a b l e  to f u l l - t i m e farmers except as l e a s e l a n d . Fourteen owners saw the l i k e l i h o o d of t h e i r farm b e i n g put to i n d u s t r i a l or r e s i d e n t i a l use i n the f u t u r e . A l though most, d i d not want t o l o s e t h e i r a g r i c u l t u r a l land the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of t h i s happening was o f t e n i m p l i c i t responses.  Eleven of these f o u r t e e n p r o p e r t i e s ,  i n the  totalling  137 a c r e s , have been rezoned and can now be s u b d i v i d e d and put to other uses.  Most have been changed t o one acre  r e s i d e n t i a l use but two farms have r e c e n t l y r e c e i v e d indust r i a l zoning.  The remaining t h r e e farms are p r e s e n t l y  a g r i c u l t u r a l l y zoned but they border areas r e c e n t l y downzoned.  113  Summary Surrey hobby farms are g e n e r a l l y mixed e n t e r p r i s e s producing s e v e r a l types of products f o r f a m i l y use but probably marketing  only one o r two.  Farm s a l e s are minimal,  o f t e n at a l e v e l designed t o achieve tax r e l i e f maintenance c o s t s .  Most marketing  and meet  arrangements are p r i v a t e  and i n f o r m a l but s a t i s f a c t o r y to the owners.  Hobby  use the custom s e r v i c e s of commercial farmers  i n the d i s -  trict  farmers  when necessary but g e n e r a l l y p r e f e r to remain inde-  pendent of o u t s i d e help and a d v i c e . Most hobby farmers are content with t h e i r present situation.  They are aware of the investment  value o f t h e i r  farm and the h e a l t h y l a n d market but f e e l no p r e s s u r e t o sell  at present.  They are g e n e r a l l y content t o keep t h e i r  farms s m a l l - s c a l e and very few are w i l l i n g or able t o make the move i n t o p a r t - t i m e o r f u l l - t i m e commercial p r o d u c t i o n which i n c r e a s i n g l y needs c o n s i d e r a b l e f i n a n c i a l and expertise, and a t o t a l time and energy Hobby farmers experiment through  resources  commitment.  w i t h types and l e v e l s of p r o d u c t i o n  a d e s i r e t o s u c c e s s f u l l y meet a v a r i e t y of c h a l l e n g e s .  A growing number of nuisance f a c t o r s and u n c e r t a i n t y about the f u t u r e uses of the area may push some i n t o l e a v i n g ing  farm-  e v e n t u a l l y but at present most have no plans t o s e l l and  are f i n d i n g t h e i r present l i f e s t y l e i n t e r e s t i n g , c h a l l e n g ing  and f u l f i l l i n g .  114  NOTES  1.  Punter, John, The Impact of Exurban Development on Land and Landscape In the Toronto Centred Region: 1954-1971, C e n t r a l Mortgage and Housing, Ottawa, 1974, pp. 117-18.  2.  C o f f i n , R. and L i p s e y , M., "Moving Back t o the Land: An E c o l o g i c a l l y R e s p o n s i b l e L i f e s t y l e Change," E n v i r o n ment and Behaviour, Volume 13, Number 1, January 1981, p. 54.  3.  Layton, Ronald, Hobby Farming: A Characterization. A Case Study of the Rural-Urban F r i n g e of London, O n t a r i o , Unpublished M.A. T h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y of Western O n t a r i o , 1976, p. 51.  115  CHAPTER FIVE  IMPACT, IMPLICATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS  T h i s f i n a l chapter c o n s i d e r s the impact and some of the i m p l i c a t i o n s of hobby farming and p a r t i c u l a r l y attempts t o s p e c i f y the r o l e of hobby farming as an i n t e g r a l part of the a g r i c u l t u r a l system and as p r e s e r v e r of r u r a l landscape. Having p r e v i o u s l y i d e n t i f i e d the form the hobby farm i s l i k e l y t o take, we now c o n s i d e r i t s f u n c t i o n — e s p e c i a l l y n o t i n g the p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p s between hobby farming and commercial  farming.  i s also s i g n i f i c a n t . zone beyond  The amenity f u n c t i o n of hobby farms C i t y d w e l l e r s need a s p a c i o u s green  the suburban  l i m i t s , a r i c h and v a r i e d country-  s i d e with a d i v e r s i t y of farm types and a c t i v i t i e s . THE ROLE OF HOBBY FARMING IN THE AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY As a farm e n t e r p r i s e , the hobby farm i s t y p i c a l l y different  i n s c a l e and form from the commercial farm.  has been d e s c r i b e d i n t h i s study as s m a l l i n s i z e ,  quite It  mixed  i n p r o d u c t i o n and l i k e l y t o have a low l e v e l of s a l e s achieved through i n f o r m a l marketing arrangements. hobby farm p r o d u c t i o n i s f a i r l y  insignficant  Total  i n economic  terms as both the volume of p r o d u c t i o n and the v a l u e of s a l e s are low.  Hobby farms are not competing with  farms f o r markets  commercial  and are l i k e l y to be t o t a l l y removed from  116  the  sophisticated  business i s  system of marketing i n which modern a g r i -  involved.  However, hobby farm p r o d u c t i o n does play  an  r o l e i n f u r n i s h i n g a wide v a r i e t y of products, for  the  consumer to the u s u a l commercial  F u l l - t i m e farmers have no o p t i o n but h i g h l y v a l u e d and and  plants.  alternatives  possibilities.  to produce the most  e a s i l y marketed types and breeds of  animals  They must use whatever modern a g r i c u l t u r a l  technology o f f e r s to produce the highest q u a l i t y to gain the highest r i s k y when c o n t r a c t s mortgage and The  important  prices.  must be met,  y i e l d s and  best  Experimentation i s  quotas must be  filled  and  loan payments made.  hobby farmers, l e s s c o n s t r a i n e d  generate income, can  by  the need to  e x e r c i s e more choice and  take more  r i s k i n providing  the unusual f o r a s e l e c t group of buyers.  Hobby farmers can  choose to keep t h e i r b l u e b e r r i e s  and  t h e i r f i e l d s f r e e of chemical f e r t i l i z e r s .  urban market nearby, they know they can  With a  s e l l small  of u n p a s t e u r i z e d honey, r a b b i t s , goat's m i l k and to those few add  who  seek that p a r t i c u l a r product.  to the r i c h n e s s  providing  the  and  alternatives.  Hobby farmers may  of l i f e .  1  large  amounts  duck eggs Hobby farms  d i v e r s i t y of V a l l e y a g r i c u l t u r e  o f f e r i n g amenity s p e c i a l t i e s , d e f i n e d diversionary  unsprayed"  also  by  be  as r e c r e a t i o n a l ,  or a e s t h e t i c s e r v i c e s f o r enhancing the  quality  Amenity a g r i c u l t u r e , which i s w e l l s u i t e d to  the  urban f r i n g e hobby farm w i t h i t s p r o x i m i t y to customers i n the c i t y ,  i s often  an a p p r o p r i a t e  enterprise  f o r the hobby  117  farmer w i t h l i m i t e d resources of time, labour and The  Surrey hobby farms t h a t p r o v i d e Christmas  capital.  t r e e s , paddocks  and s t a b l e s f o r boarding horses and dog kennels may  be  c o n s i d e r e d examples of amenity a g r i c u l t u r a l e n t e r p r i s e s . Throughout the V a l l e y there are a l s o "pick-your-own" b e r r y and vegetable farms,  t r o u t farms with w e l l - s t o c k e d ponds  and a pheasant s h o o t i n g preserve a l l of which p r o v i d e e n r i c h ing experiences f o r an urban p o p u l a t i o n i n c r e a s i n g l y and i n search of new Hobby farms,  mobile  diversions.  although s m a l l i n s i z e and s c a l e of pro-  d u c t i o n have at l e a s t the p o t e n t i a l of being very i n terms of labour and c a p i t a l i n p u t s .  efficient  A recent U.S.  Depart-  ment of A g r i c u l t u r e study r e v e a l e d the g r e a t e s t p r o d u c t i o n value per acre on American farms was  generated on the farms 2 owned and operated by a farm f a m i l y with no h i r e d h e l p . Another study suggested  there were no economies of s c a l e  achieved by i n c r e a s i n g s i z e beyond the one or two  operator  3  farm.  Surrey hobby farms are c e r t a i n l y not a l l o p e r a t i n g at  optimum e f f i c i e n c y , but some r a t h e r s m a l l p a r c e l s of poor q u a l i t y farmland are producing q u i t e a s u r p r i s i n g range and volume of products. Very l i t t l e  land i s l e f t unused on the Surrey hobby  farms and land i s undoubtedly  b e i n g farmed t h a t would not  be v i a b l e c r o p l a n d f o r a commercial e n t e r p r i s e .  Since  economic g a i n i s not the prime o b j e c t i v e f o r hobby farmers, low y i e l d s from marginal  land may  be acceptable r e t u r n s .  Poor q u a l i t y land i s kept i n low l e v e l s of p r o d u c t i o n which  118  i s more e f f i c i e n t or  i n a g r i c u l t u r a l terms than abandonment  conversion. There are  who  see  the  outspoken c r i t i c s of modern a g r i b u s i n e s s  specialization  and  large-scale  technological  approach to farming i n very negative terms. damage r e s u l t i n g ping, s o i l  from the  compaction by  from feed l o t s and  e f f e c t s of continuous cash cropheavy equipment, the waste products  other i n t e n s i v e  l e v e l of chemical p e s t i c i d e s tified  as major e c o l o g i c a l  of thousands of farm f a m i l i e s and  e n t e r p r i s e s and  the  Berry i d e n t i f i e s  interprets and  the  specialization,  as the  dispossession  r i s e of an  "the  agri-  abandonment of  a n c i e n t , proven p r i n c i p l e of a g r i c u l t u r a l s t a b i l i t y d i v e r s i t y , " as the and  "most degenerative, dangerous,  s o c i a l l y disruptive 5  ture."  The  Hobby farming i s not  agriculture  be  Agricultural t i o n a l land use use  and  i t has  and  i t s own  ecologically  and  l a n d h e l d i n hobby farms may  between a former commercial On  the  special  agricultural  becoming r a t i o n a l i z e d  a f u t u r e urban use.  be  competing with commercial  i n volume or s a l e s but  i s increasingly  costly  alternative,  efficient  r o l e to p l a y i n adding d i v e r s i t y to an that  through  hobby farm may  as i t symbolizes an  s m a l l - s c a l e p r o d u c t i o n which can sound.  the  achievements of American a g r i c u l -  mixed p r o d u c t i o n , family run  growing i n p o p u l a r i t y  high  i n r u n - o f f have a l l been i d e n 4  concerns.  economies of s c a l e , which he  business e l i t e ,  Ecological  industry  specialized. be  a transi-  agricultural  other hand, i t may  considered a permanent form of land use  be  i n an area which  119  supports the philosophy  of p r e s e r v i n g  a green zone of farm-  land around a major c i t y and where there  i s a desire  and  commitment on the p a r t of many owners to have t h i s k i n d lifestyle. use  Hobby farming would seem to be an i d e a l  i n a rural-urban  land more e x t e n s i v e justified  d i s t r i c t with reserves i n s i z e than can be  i n present  economic terms.  farmland as p o s s i b l e f u t u r e foodland,  i d l e which i s the only other  t u r a l reserve  land  of a g r i c u l t u r a l  realistically  If we  are  preserving  i s i t not b e t t e r to  preserve i t as hobby farm land i n p r o d u c t i o n it  of  than to  a l t e r n a t i v e use  leave  for agricul-  land?  RELATIONSHIPS WITH COMMERCIAL FARMING On  t h i s b a s i s of the f i n d i n g s of t h i s study, the  t i o n s h i p between hobby farming and be  considered  are not may  rela-  commercial farming must  more p o s i t i v e than negative.  Hobby farmers  competing with commercial farmers f o r markets, they  be p r o v i d i n g cash income f o r the commercial farmer  o f f e r i n g custom farm s e r v i c e s , and be o u t b i d d i n g land.  to  r a t h e r than commercial farmers f o r  Many commercial .farms i n the V a l l e y are i n t e n s i v e i n  nature and  r e q u i r e c a p i t a l i n p u t s r a t h e r than land, and  f a c t they may needs.  each other  they are more l i k e l y  The  have land i n t h e i r h o l d i n g  i n excess of  V a l l e y a g r i c u l t u r e that does r e q u i r e  acreages to be v i a b l e i n c l u d e s d a i r y i n g and berry production.  in  their  large  vegetable  and  Most b e r r y farms are l o c a t e d i n an upland  area of w e l l - d r a i n e d  g r a v e l l y s o i l s near Abbotsford, at a  120  d i s t a n c e somewhat beyond the commuting zone where the demand f o r hobby farm land i s h i g h .  Dairy  and  vegetable farmers,  those most l i k e l y to need land f o r expansion, are  often  l i m i t e d by t h e i r marketing board quotas to c e r t a i n production levels.  In any  case, at a time when many farmers  are  caught i n a c o s t - p r i c e squeeze, the major investment of a land purchase might w e l l be postponed, e s p e c i a l l y i f l e a s e land i s a v a i l a b l e as an a l t e r n a t i v e . Hobby farmers p l a y a p o s i t i v e r o l e i n the  land market  by purchasing farmland w i t h i n the a g r i c u l t u r a l land which has  not  reserves  s u r v i v e d the t r a n s i t i o n i n t o r a t i o n a l i z e d  a g r i c u l t u r e on the b a s i s of i t s s i z e or q u a l i t y . e s t a t e agent i n the V a l l e y who  One  real  deals e x c l u s i v e l y i n farm  p r o p e r t i e s s a i d there had been almost no demand f o r commerc i a l farm p r o p e r t i e s f o r f i v e years as marketing board quotas were no  longer r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e and  successful  commercial farms were u s u a l l y passed along  to f a m i l y members.  In h i s experience marginal e n t e r p r i s e s and  small  holdings  6 were almost always bought as hobby farms.  Hobby farmers  are the obvious buyers f o r these p r o p e r t i e s and f o r them i s high so p r i c e s are a l s o high. of f a l l i n g  land values  w i t h i n the  the demand  Earlier  land r e s e r v e s  been r e a l i z e d because of t h i s c o n t i n u i n g  fears  have not  high demand.  Another p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p between commercial  and  hobby farming i s the p o s s i b i l i t y of hobby farmers l e a s i n g land to commercial farmers.  T h i r t y - e i g h t of the  i n the sample group were too small to have any  properties  extra  land  121  but  the remaining owners were questioned  ments and p o s s i b i l i t i e s .  about l e a s i n g arrange-  Seven of t h i s group of t h i r t y were  c u r r e n t l y l e a s i n g out up to 80% of t h e i r land f o r and  crops of hay,  would c o n s i d e r  corn and potatoes.  Another seven farmers  l e a s i n g out part of t h e i r land i f they cut  back on t h e i r own  production  and  they could f i n d c a r e f u l  tenants w i t h good c o n d i t i o n s of l e a s e . not  consider  pasture  Eleven  owners would  l e a s i n g because they a n t i c i p a t e d problems such  as over-use and  constant  f e n c i n g r e p a i r s or simply  because  "the rent i s never commensurate with the l a n d value problems."  Four hobby farmers a l s o l e a s e i n land from  hobby farmers:  f i v e acres f o r horse pasture,  sheep pasture,  ten acres f o r hay  summer pasture  f o r a dozen head of beef  and  Because of the s m a l l s i z e and hobby farmland l e a s i n g i s not almost h a l f those w i t h  l e a s i n g at present. l e a s e d out by  One  s i x acres f o r  cattle.  i n t e n s i v e use of most  a viable option.  However,  are at  least  i f they are not a c t u a l l y  There i s a l s o some l a n d i n  absentee owners.  Surrey  T h i s land i s o b v i o u s l y  v a l u a b l e to commercial farmers who e n t e r p r i s e but  other  a v a r i a b l e amount of  larger s i z e d holdings  i n t e r e s t e d i n the p o s s i b i l i t y  land.  or  wish to expand t h e i r  cannot a f f o r d the very high p r i c e s of farm-  problem i s matching the l i m i t e d supply  land to the l i m i t e d demand, but  of  leasable  the most s e r i o u s drawback  to l e a s i n g arrangements i s the r e l u c t a n c e of some owners to s i g n long term l e a s e s because of the u n c e r t a i n t y of f u t u r e development p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r the land.  This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y  122  t r u e of p r o p e r t i e s owned by n o n - r e s i d e n t s . farmer  One  i n t e r v i e w e d attempted to l e a s e i n 100  commercial  acres of pasture  each year but claimed he c o u l d seldom get more than a one year l e a s e so there was  no i n c e n t i v e f o r him to improve  the pasture he rented.  Having to search out l e a s a b l e l a n d  each year i s time consuming and makes long term p l a n n i n g very d i f f i c u l t .  However, with farmland p r i c e d at $10,000  an acre many farmers have l i t t l e needed l a n d .  The  choice but to l e a s e i n  l e a s e payment can be used by hobby  farmers  as income f o r farm p r o p e r t y tax exemptions so t h i s can  be  a fairly  a  s a t i s f a c t o r y mutual arrangement.  It would be  much improved s i t u a t i o n i f there were more c e r t a i n t y that a g r i c u l t u r a l zoning was  permanent and r e z o n i n g was  not a  f u t u r e p o s s i b i l i t y d e s p i t e pressures from developers on Surrey m u n i c i p a l p o l i t i c i a n s , p r o v i n c i a l cabinet.  the Land Commissioners and  Long term l e a s e s c o u l d then be  and a h i g h e r l e v e l of care c o u l d be expected l e a s i n g i n land.  from  arranged  those  farmers  farmers.  In g e n e r a l , hobby farming seems to have an  important  r o l e to p l a y as part of the a g r i c u l t u r a l system. q u i t e comfortably  It f i t s  i n the r u r a l - u r b a n f r i n g e s e t t i n g and  r e l a t i o n s h i p s between commercial farming and hobby are g e n e r a l l y p o s i t i v e . at  the  There i s at l e a s t a good p o t e n t i a l f o r  b e n e f i c i a l l e a s i n g arrangements between commercial and hobby  the  the  farming  Jake Brown, the Dean of A g r i c u l t u r e  the U n i v e r s i t y of Saskatchewan, suggests  r u r a l r e s e t t l e m e n t by hobby farmers  "may  the t r e n d to  be p a r t of the  123  s o l u t i o n to r u r a l d e p o p u l a t i o n , b a c k - t o - t h e - l a n d e r s have a tremendous impact on the r u r a l economy. animals  They have time f o r  . . . they make good use of the land and some are 7  e x c e l l e n t farmers."  And not only do they p l a y an  impor-  tant r o l e i n p r e s e r v i n g a g r i c u l t u r e , but they a l s o preserve a r u r a l way THE  of  life.  ROLE OF HOBBY FARMING IN PRESERVING THE COUNTRYSIDE Hobby farms have a r o l e to p l a y i n p r e s e r v i n g a  h e r i t a g e and providng a r i c h c o u n t r y s i d e landscape f o r urban d w e l l e r s who  seek and need open green space.  A  recent r e p o r t to the Greater Vancouver R e g i o n a l D i s t r i c t suggests the e x i s t e n c e of the a g r i c u l t u r a l lands i n proxi m i t y to urban areas i n B.C. those urban r e s i d e n t s who The amenity Higbee  has enhanced the l i v e s even of g  choose t o remain  r o l e of green c o u n t r y s i d e i s w e l l expressed by  i n w r i t i n g about the h i g h l y u r b a n i z e d r e g i o n of  northeastern United States:  "To most people i n M e g a l o p o l i s ,  the country i s not j u s t farmland. man  i n the c i t y .  can s t r e t c h and f e e l f r e e .  I t i s open space where a  The more urban congestion  i n c r e a s e s , the g r e a t e r becomes the urge i n some people to 9 get  away to the country . . . ." The r o l e of hobby farming i n p r o v i d i n g a r i c h and  r u r a l landscape i s c l e a r . environment l a c k of men,  varied  Jackson suggests the engineered  of a g r i b u s i n e s s has "coarseness of d e t a i l ;  the  of animals, of s m a l l woodlots, of i s o l a t e d  barns and sheds"  . . . [a] f a c t o r y i n the f i e l d " has  little  124  to o f f e r the c i t y d w e l l e r .  The s m a l l mixed farm, on the  other hand, has v a r i e t y and c o l o u r .  On hobby farms  animals  wander f r e e l y r a t h e r than b e i n g hidden from view i n metal sheds and vegetable gardens,  duck ponds, f r u i t  t r e e s , ponies  and chickens are a l l v i s i b l e i n a s i n g l e farmyard. s i g h t s , sounds and s m e l l s of farmscape by to experience.  The  are t h e r e f o r p a s s e r s -  Hobby farms add a f i n e r t e x t u r e to the  c o u n t r y s i d e landscape; they o f f e r the a l t e r n a t i v e , the s m a l l s c a l e , the unusual, the d i v e r s i t y .  They enhance the image  of r u r a l c o u n t r y s i d e . V i d i c h and Bensman t y p i f y farmers as e i t h e r or t r a d i t i o n a l .  1 1  The r a t i o n a l are those who  and developed the s c i e n t i f i c ,  have adopted  t e c h n o l o g i c a l and  aspects of farming w h i l e the t r a d i t i o n a l farmer, to o l d e r ways, tends to r e s i s t innovations.  rational  commercial clinging  change and r e f u s e s to adopt  They suggest hobby farmers f i t w e l l w i t h i n  the t r a d i t i o n a l group, r e f u s i n g to t i e i n t o the o u t s i d e economic f o r c e s that would f o r c e them to i n c r e a s e t h e i r s c a l e of p r o d u c t i o n , s p e c i a l i z e and become more e f f i c i e n t . Yet they " g l o r y i n a l l the ceremonial and r i t u a l  complexity  of farming" and are " i n a p e c u l i a r sense, the c u s t o d i a n s of 12 h i s t o r i c agrarianism." i d e a l s of freedom  They espouse  and independence  a s s o c i a t e d with an a g r i c u l t u r a l way  the J e f f e r s o n i a n  and the n a t u r a l of  virtues  life.  Surrey hobby farmers r e f l e c t t h i s t r a d i t i o n on farms as they r e p l i c a t e the s m a l l mixed farm of an time when the farm f a m i l y owned a cow or two  their earlier  and some  125  chickens, grew a few v e g e t a b l e s and shared i n the work and 13 rewards of the farm.  Who  i s more l i k e l y today than the  hobby farmers t o have a r e d wooden barn surrounded by f l o w e r s and topped with a r o o s t e r wind vane?  Who  but the  hobby farmer has the names of h i s seven goats p a i n t e d above their individual stalls?  Who  but the hobby farmer  spends  hours c a r v i n g designs i n the oak beam above the door to h i s newly c o n s t r u c t e d root c e l l a r ?  Hobby farming can be  seen as n o s t a l g i c , o l d - f a s h i o n e d and even i r r a t i o n a l , but it  a l s o r e p r e s e n t s a t r a d i t i o n a l way  worthy  of p r e s e r v a t i o n .  t h e r e i s a new  of l i f e that i s probably  M i c h i e suggests, "Among the p u b l i c  p e r c e p t i o n of a unique h i s t o r i c c o u n t r y s i d e 14  which i s to be v a l u e d and p r e s e r v e d . "  At a time when we  value our past and search f o r our r o o t s , when we v i s i t  farm  museums to see t h r e s h e r s and take our c h i l d r e n to " p e t t i n g farms" so they can touch a goat or a p i g , the hobby farm i s a l i v i n g and f u n c t i o n i n g h i s t o r i c a l c u l t u r a l form.  It i s  a human s c a l e landscape, r i c h i n imagery, w i t h d e f i n i t e amenity value to an urban p o p u l a t i o n .  "Farmlands  form an i n t e g r a l part of the environment because  of urban  should man,  they are i s l a n d s of t r a n q u i l l i t y that allow the urban  d w e l l e r to be connected to two worlds: of c o n c r e t e and p l a s t i c ,  the b u s t l i n g world  and the t r a n q u i l and green world  15 of farming."  Who  b e t t e r p r e s e r v e s the t r a n q u i l and green  world of farming than the hobby farmer?  126  NOTES  1.  Cotton Mather i n P r e f a c e , Amenity A g r i c u l t u r e , I r v i n g , R., Tantalus Research, Geographical S e r i e s No. 11, 1966.  2.  U.S. Department of A g r i c u l t u r e S t u d i e s : "The One-Man Farm" (Warren) U.S.D.A./E.R.S. 519 August 1973. "Farm Income S t a t i s t i c s " U.S.D.A./E.R.S. 547 Table 3D, J u l y 1975. Quoted i n Lappe, F.M. and C o l l i n s , J . , Food F i r s t - B e y o n d the Myth of S c a r c i t y , Houghton, M i f f l i n , Boston, 1977, p. 241.  3.  Ibid.  4.  P a r t i c u l a r l y w e l l a r t i c u l a t e d i n M i l k , R., "The New A g r i c u l t u r e i n U n i t e d S t a t e s : A D i s s e n t e r ' s View," Land Economics, Volume 48, Number 3, August 1972, and i n Romahn, J . , "Mining the S o i l , " Harrowsmith, Number 23, Volume 3, October 1979.  5.  Berry, Wendell, The U n s e t t l i n g of America: C u l t u r e and A g r i c u l t u r e , S i e r r a Club Books, San F r a n c i s c o , 1977, p. 36.  6.  Konrad Loehndorf, Block B r o t h e r s R e a l t y , p e r s o n a l interview.  7.  Quoted i n Brunton, D., "The Land of the D i s p o s s e s s e d , " Harrowsmith, Number 23, Volume 3, October 1979, p. 26.  8.  D a v i s , H.C. and Rees, W., A g r i c u l t u r e and U n c e r t a i n t y : Keeping the Options Open, Greater Vancouver Regional D i s t r i c t Report, 1977, p. 9.  9.  Higbee i n M e g a l o p o l i s , Gottman, J . , Plimpton Massachusetts, 1961, pp. 318-19.  10.  Jackson, J.B., "The New American C o u n t r y s i d e : An Engineered Environment," Landscape, Volume 16, Number 1, Autumn 1966, p. 18.  11.  V i d i c h , A. and Bensman, J . , Small Town i n Mass S o c i e t y : C l a s s , Power and R e l i g i o n i n a R u r a l Community, P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1958. Quoted i n Rohrer, W. and Douglas, L., The A g r a r i a n T r a n s i t i o n i n America: Dualism and Change, B o b b s - M e r r i l l , New York, 1969.  12.  I b i d . , pp. 80-81.  Press,  127  13.  However, the r e p l i c a t i o n i s one of form o n l y . The pioneer f a m i l y depended on t h e i r farm f o r t h e i r food supply and s u r p l u s e s were marketed to buy b a s i c necessities. The hobby farmer i s not r e l y i n g on h i s farm f o r h i s economic w e l l - b e i n g .  14.  M i c h i e , G., " P e r c e p t i o n a l Change i n A t t i t u d e s Toward R u r a l Land Use i n Southern O n t a r i o , " I n t e r n a t i o n a l Geography, 1972, p. 739.  15.  de V r i e s , Jan, "The Role of A g r i c u l t u r a l Land Use i n an Urban S o c i e t y , " Paper given at Land Use i n the F r a s e r V a l l e y — W h o s e Concern? Conference, Centre f o r C o n t i n u i n g Education, 1972, p. 2.  128  CHAPTER SIX  SUMMARY  Hobby farming i s a c u r i o u s mix of the r u r a l and the urban.  Most Surrey hobby farmers spent a c o n s i d e r a b l e  p o r t i o n of t h e i r l i v e s i n an urban s e t t i n g b e f o r e moving to the countryside.and some s t i l l have urban based Although  they now c o n s i d e r themselves  s t r o n g d i s l i k e of the c i t y ,  employment.  r u r a l and express a  t h e i r p r o p e r t i e s are l o c a t e d  w i t h i n a short d r i v e of a major c i t y .  They have not f l e d  the c i t y f o r the northern f r o n t i e r or the w i l d e r n e s s but have chosen a c o u n t r y s i d e s e t t i n g that p r o v i d e s most urban amenities i n c l u d i n g b u s i n e s s s e r v i c e s , r e c r e a t i o n a l t i e s and shopping  centres.  facili-  And, u n l i k e many commercial  farmers, they p e r c e i v e the r u r a l - u r b a n f r i n g e as a s a t i s f a c t o r y and comfortable l i v i n g  environment.  Hobby farmers choose the most t r a d i t i o n a l r u r a l s t y l e and p a s t i m e — f a r m i n g ,  life-  yet few have economic goals and  the d e l i b e r a t e l y choose t o remain o u t s i d e the commercial a g r i c u l t u r e network.  They seek i n s t e a d t o c r e a t e t h e i r own  p r i v a t e , p e a c e f u l r e t r e a t s where they can r a i s e t h e i r and animals without  o u t s i d e h e l p or i n t e r f e r e n c e .  crops  They  market at l e v e l s r e q u i r e d t o meet p r o p e r t y tax exemptions and to p r o v i d e funds f o r maintenance and improvements on t h e i r farm and p r e f e r to market i n f o r m a l l y t o f r i e n d s and customers who d r i v e by t h e i r farm  gate.  129  The  s e l e c t i o n o f a p a r t i c u l a r property  again  reflects  an urban o r i e n t a t i o n as i t i s most commonly made on the b a s i s of a p a r t i c u l a r house s t y l e , a view, a wooded area or a creek,  r a t h e r than f o r d e s i r a b l e farm f e a t u r e s such as good  s o i l o r drainage.  Hobby farmers are, however, good stewards  of t h e i r l a n d and are s e r i o u s i n t h e i r i n t e n t i o n s t o keep t h e i r land i n p r o d u c t i o n . it  They do not waste land by l e a v i n g  i d l e and are l i k e l y t o make good use of a l l t h e i r  even the most marginal s e c t i o n s .  land,  Farm improvements are done  on a c a s u a l b a s i s as time and i n t e r e s t d i c t a t e , so progress i s slow, but most see the development of t h e i r property as a gradual  and ongoing p r o j e c t .  Hobby farmers e x h i b i t a s t r o n g commitment toward the p r e s e r v a t i o n of farmland and the a g r i c u l t u r a l The m a j o r i t y  industry.  are sympathetic toward the problems of the  commercial farmers and support  p o l i c i e s such as crop  insur-  ance and low i n t e r e s t farm loans designed t o keep commercial farms v i a b l e .  Most a l s o favour  a g r i c u l t u r a l land r e s e r v e comfortably  with  the c o n t i n u a t i o n of the  system.  Hobby farms c o - e x i s t  commercial a g r i c u l t u r e and may w e l l  o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r wage labour arrangements f o r f u l l - t i m e  create  and b e n e f i c i a l l e a s i n g  farmers.  Hobby farmers show h i g h l e v e l s of contentment with the rural lifestyle.  They enjoy the o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r e x p e r i -  mentation and s e l f - f u l f i l l m e n t  that l i v i n g on a hobby farm  provides.  a powerful appeal to many  Hobby farming  holds  who p e r c e i v e t h i s way of l i f e as s a t i s f y i n g , p e a c e f u l and secure.  nurturing,  130  Hobby farming i s undoubtedly  a v a l i d l a n d use and a  v a l u a b l e p a r t o f the a g r i c u l t u r a l system.  Hobby farms  o f t e n supply the a l t e r n a t i v e and unusual products and p r o v i d e the amenity s e r v i c e s that are most d e s i r e d by urban dwellers.  At a time when commercial a g r i c u l t u r e i s becoming  l e s s a t t r a c t i v e a e s t h e t i c a l l y , hobby farms add a f i n e r v i s u a l t e x t u r e to the r u r a l landscape, r e t a i n i n g a form of a g r i c u l t u r e that has e x i s t e d i n the V a l l e y f o r a hundred years but i s no longer economically v i a b l e .  Only the hobby  farmers w i t h h i s other sources of income can a f f o r d t o preserve the s m a l l - s c a l e , mixed farm so common i n the p a s t . Punter suggests  "the landsape  i s a l i v i n g r e c o r d of what  e x u r b a n i t e s d e s i r e most from l i v i n g  i n the c o u n t r y s i d e . . .  and not only does i t p r o v i d e i n s i g h t s i n t o t h e i r but  lifestyle  i n t o t h e i r a s p i r a t i o n s and m o t i v a t i o n s as w e l l . . .  the landscape generation."  1  i s the legacy which i s passed t o t o the next The hobby farmer p r o v i d e s us with a much  needed backward glimpse at a time when we tend o n l y t o look ahead. Hobby farming p l a y s a v a l u a b l e r o l e i n p r e s e r v i n g farmland that may be needed f o r f u t u r e food p r o d u c t i o n and i n p r e s e r v i n g the r u r a l i n f r a s t r u c t u r e of farm goods and s e r v i c e s — t h e feed s t o r e s and tack shops, the machinery and equipment s u p p l i e r s , the v e t e r i n a r y c l i n i c s . of  hobby farming ensures  The p o p u l a r i t y  a h e a l t h y land market i n an area  w i t h s t r i c t a g r i c u l t u r a l zoning yet pockets of land that must be c o n s i d e r e d unproductive  i n p u r e l y economic terms.  131  Hobby farming may be a permanent form of a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y and l i f e s t y l e  i n the r u r a l - u r b a n  fringe.  It  may be a t r a n s i t i o n a l land use i n an area that i s g r a d u a l l y urbanizing  or i t may be a temporary use of land that  be more i n t e n s i v e l y farmed f o r f u t u r e food needs. it  i s c u r r e n t l y a v a l i d and v a l u a b l e  strong  will  However,  a c t i v i t y that holds a  appeal t o many who w i l l no doubt f i g h t t o ensure i t s  s u r v i v a l i n a countryside nurturing  they p e r c e i v e  as an e s s e n t i a l ,  environment i n a world that i s r a p i d l y changing.  132  NOTES  1.  Punter, John, The Impact of Exurban Development on Land and Landscape i n the Toronto Centred Region: 1954-1971, C e n t r a l Mortgage and Housing, Ottawa, 1974, p. 35.  133  BIBLIOGRAPHY BOOKS, THESES, AND GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS A g r i c u l t u r e Canada. A g r i c u l t u r e i n Canada. Report by G o l d f a r b C o n s u l t a n t s , Ottawa, February 1976. A g r i c u l t u r e Canada. 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"New D i r e c t i o n s i n Land Use C o n t r o l i n B r i t i s h Columbia," Canadian J o u r n a l o f A g r i c u l t u r a l Economics, Volume 21, February 1974. Berry, David. " E f f e c t s of U r b a n i z a t i o n on A g r i c u l t u r a l Activities," Growth and Change, Volume 9, Number 3, J u l y 1978. Brunton, Douglas, "The Land of the D i s p o s s e s s e d , " smith , Number 23, Volume 3, October 1979.  Harrow-  B u t t e l , F. and F l i n n , W. "Conceptions of R u r a l L i f e and Environmental Concern," R u r a l S o c i o l o g y , Volume 42, Number 4, Winter 1977. B u t t e l , F. and F l i n n , W. " S o c i o p o l i t i c a l Consequences of A g r a r i a n i s m , " R u r a l S o c i o l o g y , Volume 41, Number 4, Winter, 1976. B u t t e l , F. and F l i n n , W. "Sources and Consequences of A g r a r i a n Values i n American S o c i e t y , " R u r a l S o c i o l o g y , Volume 40, Number 2, Summer 1975.  138  Campbell, R. and Johnson, D. " P r o p o s i t i o n s on Counterstream M i g r a t i o n , " R u r a l S o c i o l o g y , Volume 41, Number 1, S p r i n g 1976. C o f f i n , Raymond and L i p s e y , Mark. "Moving Back to the Land: An E c o l o g i c a l l y R e s p o n s i b l e L i f e s t y l e Change," Environment and Behaviour, Volume 13, Number 1, January 1981. Crown, Robert. " A l t e r n a t i v e S t r a t e g i e s f o r Urban Development and T h e i r I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r A g r i c u l t u r e , " Proceedings , Canadian A g r i c u l t u r a l Economics S o c i e t y , 1975. DeJong, G. and Humphrey, C. "Population R e d i s t r i b u t i o n , " R u r a l S o c i o l o g y , Volume 41, Number 4, Winter 1976. de V r i e s , Jan. "The Role of A g r i c u l t u r a l Land Use i n an Urban S o c i e t y , " Paper given at Land Use i n the F r a s e r V a l l e y — W h o s e Concern? Conference, Centre f o r Cont i n u i n g Education, D e l t a , 1972. D o r l i n g , M. and B a r i c h e l l o , R. "Trends i n R u r a l and Urban Land Uses i n Canada," Proceedings, Canadian A g r i c u l t u r a l Economics S o c i e t y , 1975. Hart, John F r a s e r . "Loss and Abandonment of C l e a r e d Farmland i n the E a s t e r n U n i t e d S t a t e s , " Annals of the A s s o c i a t i o n of American Geographers, Volume 58, Number 3, September 1968. Hart, John F r a s e r . "Urban Encroachment on R u r a l Areas," G e o g r a p h i c a l Review, Volume 66, Number 1, January 1976. Herbers, John. "Urban Centers' P o p u l a t i o n D r i f t C r e a t i n g a C o u n t r y s i d e H a r v e s t , " New York Times, March 23, 1980. Jackson, J.B. "The New American C o u n t r y s i d e : An Engineered Environment," Landscape, Volume 16, Number 1, Autumn 1966. Lewis, Jay. "Counting on C a l i f o r n i a — S e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y on the B r i n k i n B.C." Harrowsmith, Number 23, Volume 3, October 1979. Libby, L.W. "Land Use P o l i c y : I m p l i c a t i o n s f o r Commercial A g r i c u l t u r e , " American'Journal of A g r i c u l t u r a l Economics, Volume 56, Number 5, December 1974. Maclean's, "The V a n i s h i n g Land, Volume 93, Number 19, May 1980.  12,  139  Martin, Larry. "Land Dealer Behaviour of the Toronto Urban F r i n g e , " O n t a r i o Geography, 10, 1976. M a r t i n , L a r r y and Matthews, David. "Recent Land Market A c t i v i t y on the Toronto Rural-Urban F r i n g e , " Urban Forum, June/July 1977, Volume 3, Number 2. Mather, Eugene Cotton. "One Hundred Houses West," Canadian Geographer, Volume 7, Number 1, 1963. Meyer, P e t e r , "Land Rush: A Survey o f America's Land," Harper's January 1979. M i c h i e , George. " P e r c e p t i o n a l Change i n A t t i t u d e s Toward R u r a l Land Use i n Southern O n t a r i o , " I n t e r n a t i o n a l Geography, 1972. M i c h i e , George and Found, W.C. "Rural E s t a t e s i n the Toronto Region," O n t a r i o Geography, 10, 1976. Milk, Richard. "The New A g r i c u l t u r e i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s : A D i s s e n t e r ' s View," Land Economics, Volume 48, Number 3, August 1972. M o n c r i e f f , P a t r i c k and P h i l l i p s , W i l l i a m . I n t e r f a c e Acreage Developments: Some P u b l i c P o l i c y I m p l i c a t i o n s , " Canadian c u l t u r a l Economics, Volume 20, Number  "Rural-Urban O b s e r v a t i o n s and J o u r n a l of A g r i 1, February 1972.  Pearson, Norman. "Fraser V a l l e y — R a p e I t or Preserve I t , " Paper g i v e n at Land Use i n the F r a s e r Valley—-Whose Concern? Conference, Centre f o r C o n t i n u i n g Education, D e l t a , 1972. P i e r c e , J.T. "The Land Conversion Process W i t h i n B.C.'s A g r i c u l t u r a l Land Reserves: An E v a l u a t i o n of the B.C. Land Commission," Conference Paper, The Canadian A s s o c i a t i o n of Geographers Conference, Montreal, May 1980. Raup, P h i l i p . "Urban Threats to R u r a l Lands: Background and B e g i n n i n g s , " J o u r n a l of the American I n s t i t u t e of P l a n n e r s , Volume 41, Number 6, November 1975. Rodd, Stephen. "The Use and Abuse of R u r a l Land," Urban Forum, Volume 2, Number 3, F a l l 1976. Rodd, Stephen and van Vuuren, W. "A New Methodology i n C o u n t r y s i d e P l a n n i n g , " Workshop Proceedings, Canadian A g r i c u l t u r a l Economics S o c i e t y , 1975.  140  Romahn, James. "Mining the S o i l , " Harrowsmith, Number 23, Volume 3, October 1979. Russwurm, Lome. "Country R e s i d e n t i a l Development and the Regional C i t y Form i n Canada," O n t a r i o Geography, 10, 1976. S i n c l a i r , Robert. "Von Thunen and Urban Sprawl," Annals of the American A s s o c i a t i o n of Geographers, Volume 57, 1967. Storm, John. "Pelham South: Farmland Versus Development," C i t y Magazine, February 1978, Volume 3, Number 3. Trant, M i c h a e l . "Part-Time Farmers—Who Are They?", A g r o l o g i s t , Volume 9, Number 3, Summer 1980. Troughton, M i c h a e l . " A g r i c u l t u r e and the C o u n t r y s i d e , " Conference Proceedings, The Countryside i n O n t a r i o , 1974. Ubyssey, "The Fading Dram of Farming i n B.C.," Thursday A p r i l 2, 1981, p. 11. Urban Reader, "B.C.'s Green A c r e s , " Volume 7, Number 5/6, 1979. Vancouver  Sun:  "Hands Off Farmland!" October 27, 1979, p. 5. "The Farmer: Squeezed Two Ways," November 28, 1979, p. 5. " B i t t e r Harvest Faces Farmers," A p r i l 28, 1980, p. A l . " I n f l a t i o n Plowing Farmers Under," A p r i l 28, 1980, p. A14. " R i s i n g Costs Push Farmers to the L i m i t , " October 3, 1981, p. HI. "Socreds Weary of Land Reserve F l a k , " June 12, 1982, p. A10. "Canadian A g r i c u l t u r e at the Crossroads," June 14, 1982, p. A5. Vogel, R. and Hahn, A.J. "On the P r e s e r v a t i o n of A g r i c u l t u r a l Land," Land Economics, Volume 48, Number 2, May 1972. Walker, G e r a l d . " S o c i a l P e r s p e c t i v e s on the C o u n t r y s i d e : R e f l e c t i o n s on the T e r r i t o r i a l Form North of Toronto," O n t a r i o Geography, 10, 1976.  141  APPENDIX I  SAMPLING PROCEDURE 1.  The 1981 Property Tax Assessment R o l l f o r Surrey was used to l i s t a l l p r o p e r t i e s that had r e c e i v e d a farm tax exemption i n 1981. T h i s exemption i s a l l o w a b l e i n B.C. f o r p r o p e r t i e s of 4 or more hectares with an annual farm income of at l e a s t $1600 on the f i r s t f o u r hectares and an amount equal to 5% of the a c t u a l value of the land f o r farm purposes that exceeds f o u r h e c t a r e s .  2.  The r e s u l t i n g l i s t of 1223 p r o p e r t i e s was a l p h a b e t i z e d by owner to i d e n t i f y m u l t i p l e p a r c e l ownership. There were 836 owners.  3.  Seventy corporate owners of 147 p r o p e r t i e s were removed from the l i s t . These i n c l u d e d both farm c o r p o r a t i o n s such as Mud Bay N u r s e r i e s and Vanson P o u l t r y L t d . and development and h o l d i n g companies such as Pan American Holdings L t d . and G i l l Developments. Ninetyseven non-resident owners of 130 p r o p e r t i e s were a l s o removed from the l i s t . Most of t h i s land was being l e a s e d out.  4.  The f i n a l l i s t from which the sample was drawn i n c l u d e d 669 owners of 957 p r o p e r t i e s . M u l t i p l e p a r c e l s were owned by 138 owners and the remaining 531 owners h e l d a s i n g l e property.  5.  The sample was drawn u s i n g a random numbers t a b l e from A r k i n and C o l t o n , Tables f o r S t a t i s t i c i a n s . A t o t a l of 256 names were drawn i n three draws.  6.  The F r a s e r V a l l e y Area D i r e c t o r y was then used to e l i m i n a t e those i n the 256 who l i s t e d t h e i r occupation as farmer on the assumption these owners would be f u l l - t i m e farmers and t h e r e f o r e would not f i t i n t o the study d e f i n i t i o n of hobby farmer.  7.  As a r e s u l t of t h i s procedure, 81 owners, 32% of the sample, were removed. A f u r t h e r 36 owners could not be t r a c e d because they had s o l d t h e i r p r o p e r t y w i t h i n the previous year. T h i s y i e l d e d a f i n a l sample of 139 r e s i d e n t owners.  8.  The 139 owners were contacted by l e t t e r to d e s c r i b e the nature of the r e s e a r c h and to request an i n t e r v i e w . Each owner then r e c e i v e d a follow-up phone c a l l to arrange a s p e c i f i c i n t e r v i e w time.  142  9.  10.  Ninety-one owners agreed to be i n t e r v i e w e d . Twelve owners r e f u s e d , nine had moved and the remainder were not i n t e r v i e w e d f o r a v a r i e t y of reasons i n c l u d i n g language problems with non-English speaking owners and the u n s u i t a b i l i t y of s e v e r a l owners who were no longer farming but were l e a s i n g out a l l t h e i r land. Eighty-two owners were i n t e r v i e w e d . The remaining nine were not i n at the pre-arranged times and were r e l u c t a n t to make other arrangements although f i v e l a t e r f i l l e d i n and mailed back q u e s t i o n n a i r e s l e f t i n t h e i r mailboxes.  In g e n e r a l t h i s sampling procedure was reasonably s a t i s factory. The i n i t i a l l i s t i n g of a l l farm p r o p e r t i e s from the tax r o l l was a t e d i o u s procedure but r e s u l t e d i n a complete p o p u l a t i o n from which to draw the sample. The time l a p s e of s e v e r a l months between the c o m p i l a t i o n of the tax r o l l and the f i n a l i n t e r v i e w time r e s u l t e d i n numerous moves and changes which were f r u s t r a t i n g but inevitable. The c h o i c e of random sampling was h i g h l y s a t i s f a c t o r y because i t r e s u l t e d i n a much more unbiased and r e p r e s e n t a t i v e c r o s s - s e c t i o n than any other type of sampling would have p r o v i d e d .  143  APPENDIX II  QUESTIONNAIRE How l a r g e i s your farm p r o p e r t y ? How long have you owned i t ? Who owned i t b e f o r e you? ( f u l l - t i m e farmer, p a r t time / hobby farmer, non-farmer, don't know) Is any of your land l e a s e d out?  F o r what purpose?  Where d i d you l i v e b e f o r e coming t o t h i s p r o p e r t y ? Do you have a farm background?  Does your  spouse?  About what amount or percentage of your p r o p e r t y i s used f o r : house and farm b u i l d i n g s ? crops? pasture? Woodland? Vacant or unused land? Is your unused etc. ?  land s u i t a b l e f o r use o r i s i t swampy,  Which of the f o l l o w i n g f e a t u r e s do you have on your p r o p e r t y ? good q u a l i t y s o i l good drainage good p a s t u r e wooded area stream, pond a p l e a s a n t view i r r i g a t i o n system _. What p a r t i c u l a r f e a t u r e s a t t r a c t e d you to purchase t h i s property? What i s produced on your p r o p e r t y ? crops ( i n c l u d i n g v e g e t a b l e garden) livestock Which of these are marketed use?  (types and amounts)  and which are f o r your own  Are the t o t a l annual s a l e s from your farm: under $2500? $2500-$5000 $5000-$lQ,000 $10,000  over  What changes have you made t o your p r o p e r t y s i n c e p u r c h a s i n g i t ? (new b u i l d i n g s , r e n o v a t i o n s , l a n d s c a p i n g , f e n c i n g , drainage, e t c . ) What changes the f u t u r e ?  do you p l a n t o make t o the p r o p e r t y i n  144  16.  W i t h i n the next f i v e years do you p l a n t o : i n c r e a s e the s i z e of your h o l d i n g ? move i n t o farming f u l l - t i m e ? s e l l your p r o p e r t y ? change or i n c r e a s e your p r o d u c t i o n ?  17.  Who works on your farm p r o p e r t y ? self spouse other f a m i l y members per week) h i r e d l a b o u r r e g u l a r ? s e a s o n a l ?  18.  Are you employed  19.  Is your spouse employed  20.  What type of employment do you and your spouse have? professional service  o f f the farm? Full-time?  (hours occasional?  Retired? Part-time?  o f f the farm?  managerial transport  sales  clerical _  processing/machine o p e r a t o r  other 21.  How important are your farm s a l e s i n r e l a t i o n t o your t o t a l f a m i l y income: p r o v i d e s l e s s than 25% p r o v i d e s between 25 and 50% p r o v i d e s more than 50% _____  22.  What do you l i k e about l i v i n g on a farm p r o p e r t y i n t h i s area?  23.  Are t h e r e any problems w i t h having a farm i n t h i s  24.  Is your land i n the A g r i c u l t u r a l Land  25.  Do you f e e l i t should be?  26.  Do you f e e l a g r i c u l t u r a l land should be p r e s e r v e d as i t i s i n B.C.? Why or why not?  27.  Do you f e e l you would have a problem s e l l i n g your p r o p e r t y i f you wished t o o r were f o r c e d t o ? Why?  28.  Who would l i k e l y buy your p r o p e r t y ? ( f u l l - t i m e farmer, p a r t - t i m e farmer, hobby farmer, non-farmer)  area?  Reserve?  Why or why not?  29. . Would you agree t o l e a s e part of a l l of your l a n d i f requested? Why or why not?  145  Do you make use (.or have you made use) of the f o l l o w i n g custom farm s e r v i c e s : c l e a r i n g , plowing, h a r v e s t i n g veterinary  services  governmental  agricultural services  Have you taken courses r e l a t e d t o farming at l o c a l s c h o o l s or c o l l e g e s ? I f not, where/how were farm techniques learned? How many times a month do you t r a v e l to Vancouver? For what purpose? ( b u s i n e s s , v i s i t i n g , shopping, pleasure) Are t h e r e any government p o l i c i e s that you would l i k e to see changed or put i n p l a c e to h e l p commercial farmers or part-time/hobby farmers?  

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