Deacon Vale Farm is a small family run farm on Mayne
Island, British Columbia. Since 1995, the farm has been
owned and operated by two families — the Abbotts
and the McDougalls. The valley itself has a long farming
history dating back to 1870 when a Prussian immigrant
named Jacob Heck successfully worked the land. His approach
to farming was to not concentrate on single crops but
rather use a more healthy mixed crop rotation.
Today, Don McDougall and his wife Shanti manage the day-to-day
activities on the farm. Don is a chef who trained at London's
distinguished Dorchester Hotel. After working at several hotels
and restaurants around the world, Don and Shanti opened a
tiny but critically acclaimed bistro in Vancouver - the Mocha
Café. The Café served up an eclectic "Pacific
Coast" menu featuring locally grown produce, wines, and
perhaps the best muffins in Vancouver! After five successful
years, the couple decided to sell the restaurant and move
to a rural setting. Shanti has been planting and growing exceptional
gardens most of her life. What she has created in seven years
at Deacon Vale Farm is extraordinary!
We believe in nurturing the land which
produces our food. Our animals are cared for in a humane way
and in return provide us high quality meat and compost for
the health of the soil. We maintain a "closed cycle"
at our farm. The farm produces the amendments necessary to
maintain soil fertility.
Have you ever had the divine pleasure of eating a sun-warmed
tomato fresh off the vine? Unfortunately, the opportunities
to buy fresh produce are dwindling. Vancouver Island imports
90% of its produce. Most of this food has travelled thousands
of miles and has been grown in a manner that stresses shelf
life rather than flavour. All of our produce is sold locally.
Last year a small group in our community started a Farmers
Market and it was an immediate success!
Although we would never give up olive oil, we encourage everyone
to support local farmers and try growing some of their own
vegetables. After all, gardeners are "superb artisans
whose fruits and vegetables are the essence of quality cooking".
Deacon Vale Farm
380 Campbell Bay Road
Mayne Island, B.C. VON 2J0