Metchosin farmers Heather Ramsay and Adam Saab each write blogs about their work for an audience of city-dwellers. They also organize the Metchosin Farm Hub to connect with other farmers online.

Young farmers take the rural life online

As young people everywhere put their lives on display on networking websites, some Metchosin farmers are using social media to share the rural life with city dwellers.

  • Jul. 22, 2011 11:00 a.m.

As young people everywhere put their lives on display on networking websites, some Metchosin farmers are using social media to share the rural life with city dwellers.

Heather Ramsay, 28, was living in Vancouver before taking an apprentice at Uminami Farm, where she now spends long days working alone in the fields.

“It was a struggle to adjust to not seeing people,” she said.

Already a casual blogger, Ramsay started posting entries about her time on the farm to keep her friends and family updated. And because the 15-year-old farm hasn’t joined the online world with a website of its own, her blog also attracted attention from Uminami customers.

“People interested in local food want to know the story behind their vegetables,” Ramsay said. “Knowing I have a wider readership gives me more incentive to write.”

This season, her second with Uminami, Ramsay has chronicled the growth of her greens through a colder-than-usual spring and shared her experiments with watering techniques. Recently she wrote about planting seeds for a winter harvest in the hight of summer.

“It can be hard to find the time (to blog) when there’s so much that needs to get done around the farm,” Ramsay admitted.

But as any entrepreneur knows, holding a presence online is becoming an expected part of doing business.

Since taking charge of the Sea Bluff Farms, Adam Saab, 29, has pushed the 30-year-old farm into the digital age, opening a company Facebook, Twitter and BlogSpot account.

He’s currently finalizing logos and design to launch the farm’s first official website.

“People used to want to come out and see the farm, but now they can just look at photos online and see what we’re doing,” Saab said.

“It’s a way to nurture relationships with clients, which any small business needs to do to stick in people’s mind.”

The farm blog centres around its Bluff Box program, which delivers seasonal vegetables to homes in Victoria each week. Saab posts weekly recipes using box ingredients, including suggestions from his subscribers.

“This is all on top of the regular farm work,” Saab said. “It’s usually after the sun goes down that I have time to post.”

In the off season, Ramsay and Saab also moderate a Google group of about 30 local farmers, dubbed the Metchosin Farm Hub. They currently use it to organize and promote social events, such as potlucks and harvest celebrations for volunteer workers on all the area farms.

But they hope it could develop into a tool to stay connected with the neighbours year-round to ask advice or give warning or new pests that may be affecting crops.

“It can really become whatever people want it to be” Ramsay said. “We just started it as a way to feel less alone out here.”

Farmers in or near Metchosin who want to join the group can send a message to

Read Rensay’s blog at or Saab’s at



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Six boat wrecks wash up on Cadboro Bay beaches over the weekend

Dead Boat Society working with Oak Bay, Saanich to clear derelict boats

Former Sidney mayor calls on local MLA Adam Olsen to resign over protests

Olsen has rejected the demand, calling Price’s language divisive and responsible for polarization

UPDATED: One-sailing wait from Swartz Bay ferry terminal after morning protest

Movement in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Victoria hotel awards couples for baby-making with Valentine’s freebie

Have a baby nine months after your stay and enjoy 18-year Valentines deal

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

Poll suggests some don’t think Canada should send troops to stop genocide

The findings are being released just before the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to give refund to B.C. buyer due to puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Most Read