It’s a celebration a century in the making as today people gathered to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Pollock Family Farm in View Royal.
“The land was purchased by my grandfather and his brother in 1921, it was part of the Langford farm and the original deed says it was purchased from the Hudson’s Bay land company. I can’t remember the exact amount but it was less than 10 thousand dollars,” says Farmer David Pollock.
A place where the family made so many memories.
“Playing up in the hay loft or going across to see if the chickens had laid some eggs, and of course, we all got our first driving lesson on the tractor,” says Pollock’s cousin, Malcolm Elliott.
While Pollock was introduced to farming at a very young age, he decided to pursue a career in teaching. But when his father’s health began to decline, he retired and went back to his roots.
“My grandfather was fond of little saying called aphorisms and one of them I remember him saying to me was ‘if you’re smart enough to be a farmer, you’re too smart to be a farmer,’ and he was absolutely right,” says Pollock with a smile.
Pollock, with help from family and volunteers, grows fresh produce including tomatoes, onions and carrots, and sells them at the farm gate.
“To be able to contribute to have something like this stick around for awhile longer is fun, it’s fantastic, it teaches me a lot,” says Gillian Cheney who volunteers at the farm, located at 149 Atkins Rd.
Coming off a hard season full of crazy weather events, Pollock says he worried whether their 100th season would be their last.
“I like to tease my friends that I feel every month of it, but it’s an accomplishment, I think it’s something my grandfather who didn’t start working on this property ’til he was 50 would have been very proud to have seen,” says Pollock.
100 years of hard work and dedication, and despite the constant ups and downs, the family is determined to keep the business going for many more.
“The Pollock Family Farm is a story of commitment to family and community,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture and Food. “Family farms are at the heart of our communities, and I want to thank the Pollock family for providing homegrown food to the Victoria area for over a century.”
Brothers Malcolm and Neil Pollock purchased 24 acres of land from the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1921 and cleared the land using horses, built four glass houses and started to work the land.
In 1927, the brothers were featured in a B.C. farm journal for the innovative glass houses to build crops. Neil told the reporter he was proud of the technology they used in their glass houses, including a cooling system that provided “good clean oxygen that helps with the flavour of the tomatoes.”
The glass houses were used for decades until they were removed in the 1970s due to damage sustained in windstorms.
In the 1930s a farmhouse, barn, and milk house were added, then in the 1990s, an apple orchard and berry crops were established on the land.