Chickens and goats run free around greenhouses. Fat Yorkshire sows and boars grunt and snort, as little piglets explore the world. Kit Warren’s quintessential Metchosin hobby farm is a world away from the rugby pitch or boxing ring.
Warren still looks the part of a scrappy pugilist and national level rugby player, and less so a dedicated farmer. But the Langford-born 37-year-old is working hard to transform his plot of rural, somewhat rocky property into productive land.
With nine acres, Warren’s Shadow Mountain farm has been growing veggies and raising animals for his family for about six seasons.
With new greenhouses and more animals, he is amping up the supply to break into the growing business of supplying local food.
“It’s not really farmland, but we’ve created a farm and we’ll use what we have. It’s my goal for food security to get other people growing,” Warren said while walking through one greenhouse packed with sprouting fruit trees and other plant starts.
“It’s important people know where their food comes from.”
Warren has been better known in the region as a champion tough-man fighter for about a decade. His last bout was Aug. 17, 2007 at Western Speedway’s Summer Slug Fest II, a notorious grudge match against Shane Wilson.
“I’ve had 17 surgeries altogether but I’m still playing rugby,” Warren said. “I attribute that to eating healthy food.”
The Castaway Wanderer scrum half, known as the “Commissioner,” also played internationally for Canada’s Rugby League team and Canadian Rugby Classics over 33 international squad. Warren said taking up farming wasn’t a big leap for him – he grew up on a 10 acre farm in Shawnigan Lake.
Between running a pressure washing business, boxing and rugby, he learned the ropes of organic gardening through Gaia College at Royal Roads University. He even took a stab at raising cattle by renting space on a Saanich farm.
“At eight years old I was on a farm,” he said. “I knew I needed a farm and could raise kids on a farm.”
Warren bought the land in 2006, and prides himself on using scrap wood and metals from his Zero Waste hauling business to recycle into outbuildings for plants and animals.
Spent grains from beer brewing at the Canoe Club is used to feed his pigs, which in turn, of course, produce manure for his plant starts and vegetables.
Warren admits making a living as a farmer is tough, especially on difficult land, but he is determined to make a go of it.
He plans to host a roadside market and a place where residents and kids can learn about farming and that food doesn’t come from a supermarket.
“I want this place to be like a petting zoo, but for kids to learn where their food comes from. We’ve got to be an outlet showcasing farming for children,” Warren said. “Healthy happy animals represent healthy happy food.”
Warren’s Shadow Mountain Farm is at 4901 Sooke Rd. in Metchosin.
Shadow Mountain Farm market
May 26 and 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Shop for non-GMO veggies, farm fresh eggs, jams, jellies and baked goods.
Order local meats, including pork, lamb, beef and chicken.
Bring the kids to visit the chickens and baby pigs.
For more info, call 250-889-0880.