Save The Little Farm Stand in Saanich

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We live in Victoria BC Canada and bought our forever home about two years ago. It’s a great community and we expect to remain here for many many years. This past June, for my birthday my husband built me a little farm stand to sell raspberries, peaches and blackberries growing on our property.

The stand is on our property and does not impede traffic or pedestrians.  It is a wonderful additon to our quiet neighbourhood and we were invited to pick fruit from friends and family.  We expanded to rhubarb, plums, pears, apples, strawberries, quince, blueberries and grapes from my 92 year old father in laws vines. When I tell you local I’m not kidding, it’s all in everyone’s backyard. 

After the fruit season was over we started making jams, jellies, salsa, chutney and antipasto. We named it the Little stand because our last name is Little. The stand was welcomed in our community and we found people even travelled from neighbouring communities to shop at the little stand.  The stand brings me great joy a busting sense of pride and gave me a goal to help create a family community. All the while using products that would have otherwise rotted on the ground or in someone’s compost. 

We are up to 17 different jams which include your usual favourites like raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, blueberry and peach. But we also expanded to cinnamon pear, mango, a 5 cirtrus marmalade, cinnamon apple jelly, plum, grape and quince jelly. For those that don’t know a quince, it is a cross between a pear and an apple and as hard as a softball. Took me a few recipes to replicated my mother in laws recipe for her jelly but eventually it passed the test. 

We use the Mustard Seed (an organization that feeds the less fortunate) as our commercial kitchen and have even applied to be volunteers there to give back to our community. I also successfully completed the foodsafe course.

All was going smoothly and successfully until recently. 

We had a visit from the Saanich business license officer and he explain one complaint had been made about the stand and that we might be forced to remove it. According to the official, the issue is that the stand is operating as a business and the zoning where we live does not allow for any retail stand.  This included a small farm stand, on the edge of our property in front of our home.  

The news was very disheartening.  We are now asking anyone that would like to support a small farm stand fighting to stay open to sign our petition. We will take the petition to the District of Saanich and ask them to allow the stand to continue operating. 

The feedback we have had is truly lovely and can’t believe that one complaint can ruin the stand for the entire community. We love chatting with customers and trying new recipes. We recently received a georgous painting of the stand from one of our loyal customers. And thank you to whoever left the hand written note in our honour system money box saying, “thank you for your little stand, it brings a touch of humanity to the community, it’s worth it.”

Check out my supporters on Instagram. We love getting your comments and pictures. Please keep it up. @thelittlestand

Please help us to keep our little stand. Please Take a minute to support my farm stand and keep our community connected to each other.