A new organic vegetable farm could soon be coming to Langford as Victoria Truth Centre, a church in Victoria, is hoping to purchase a parcel of land that would be worked by inmates as a centre for transformative justice.
Stretching three-and-a-half acres, the property at 960 Latoria Rd. is valued just under $1 million, but for the church, the land is worth more than that.
“This land is in the agricultural land reserve, and it can only be used to grow agriculture, and it’s not being used for that purpose right now,” said Linda Cain, the Victoria Truth Centre board’s president.
The church hopes wants to build a farm modelled on Emma’s Acres in Mission, a vegetable farm that offers work and volunteer opportunities to long-term offenders and victims’ families.
“We would love to have an Emma’s Acres here. And we’re hoping and praying they accept out proposal because it seems like a perfect fit for what the Langford community plan is,” Cain said.
The founder of Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (LINC) Glen Flett, a former inmate himself, launched the project nearly a decade ago.
Originally from Vancouver Island, Flett died in 2019 from lung cancer.
His wife, Sherry Edmunds-Flett, who’s now LINC’s executive director, said they’ve been trying to expand the farm for years.
“It would be a really good thing for him to give back to his community,” she said, with tears in her eyes.
‘They’ve done an amazing job and what they’re doing works. They have a proven history.”
While she understands there might be some hesitancy, she said there’s an extensive process to allow offenders to work.
“They have to meet a lot of criteria. They have to be close to parole. And they’ve had to already demonstrated a desire to help out their community,” she explained.
The church submitted its proposal last week are now waiting to hear back.