Salish plant nursery targets sustainability
A Tsawwassen First Nation member hopes to increase her community’s food security with a plant nursery that started up this spring.
Sarah Lang’s Salish Nursery aims to help people to grow their own produce, herbs and medicines by selling starter perennials that can be replanted in people’s gardens.
Lang partnered with her husband Karl Morgan to open the nursery, which is headquartered at the Tsawwassen Farm School.
Lang has been selling the plants in farmers’ markets and privately for now, but she eventually plans to target the Tsawwassen First Nation’s government.
She said the community is doing a lot of development and there is a requirement to dedicate some of that developed land to parks.
Lang said she hopes to “incorporate some food into that” instead of just decorative shrubbery and flowers.
“There are 15 or 20 more parks they’re going to build in amongst all the residential and whatnot, so that’s amazing,” she said. “I think it would be just really beneficial for the community, even the developers, to put some edibles into what they plant and promote that.”
This year, she has grown dozens of starter plants including mint, raspberries, rhubarb, asparagus, aloe vera and turmeric.
Lang said she had been planning to start the business for several years, but felt prepared to do it after studying farming for 10 months at the Tsawwassen Farm School.
The school is the result of a collaboration between the Tsawwassen First Nation, the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems and Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Lang was part of the farm school’s first cohort in 2015 and started building her greenhouse on the centre’s 20-acre property late last year.
“I had planned to do (this nursery) right away but I wanted to do a bit of research on it and I had to make a business plan, secure a little bit of funding, and find a greenhouse,” she said.
Now that the first year is finished, Lang said she can open next March with ready-to-sell plants.
She said focusing on food sustainability is important now more than ever, as key produce-growing state California faces an ongoing drought and groundwater reservoirs are depleted.
“I really feel like our world is in the midst of a huge crisis,” she said. “If we don’t start growing our own food here we will be hungry people if anything happened.”
More information and updates can be found on Facebook under Lang’s business page “Salish Nursery.”