WATCH: Owners of a farm in Central Saanich are cleaning up today after their property was vandalized on Canada Day. A truck tore through their fields, wrecked an irrigation system and destroyed crops. And as Andy Neal tells us, it’s all left the owners seeing red.
While weeds are not a welcome visitor in a farmers’ field, even less wanted are tracks from an unknown truck that put a dampener on Canada Day at Longview Farms.
“They used this little road and probably drive back and forth two or three times, and after they start doing a big turn on the field driving on some crops and damaging two irrigation pipes,” Longview Farms Field Manager Eric Doublier said.
Seasonal workers who live up the road witnessed what happened and Central Saanich Police are investigating the vandalism.
“At 8:30 p.m., on three occasions, [the suspects] went into Longview fields and did doughnuts, damaging their irrigations system as well as their crops,” said Central Saanich Police Sgt. Greg Johnson, with Central Saanich Police, said.
While damage to the irrigation system is estimated to be $600, there is expected to be over a thousand dollars worth of harm to the chard, leeks and onion crop, which took hours of manual labour to get growing on this certified organic farm.
“We do a lot of hoeing and weeding by hand and try to be very proud of the product we grow,” Doublier said.
“And when you come in the morning, it’s July 2, you walk pretty much the full day and you see the damage on the crop. Yeah, it’s very sad.”
Meanwhile, police are looking for a white, Ford F-150 truck, that witnesses say had 4 doors.
“Hopefully the public will come forward and share their thoughts,” Johnson said.
“Somebody must have been talking about this; the truck went back to Longview Farms three times.”
Longview Farms posted pictures of the damage Sunday on Facebook, and many responses have come back from angry residents, who have even offered to come to the farm and help.
According to witnesses, a Ford F-150 white, 4 doors entered the fields of the farm located between Wallace Drive and…
“It was very surprising to me to see that many people sharing and commenting what we put on Facebook,” Doublier said.
“It’s very nice, very encouraging to have the community supporting us this way.”
“The public are generally very supportive of agricultural activities in the area and it’s very rare to have somebody damage a farmer’s livelihood,” Johnson added.
Doublier said work at Longview Farms is continuing.