Thinking about leaving the big city behind and starting a new chapter in the great outdoors? Maybe you’ve been contemplating which branch of farming you’d like to try your hand at and cannot decide between ranching, crop growing, viticulture or just a bit of market gardening. If so, we have some ideas for you—the province of British Columbia offers generous possibilities to aspiring farmers of many types.
The rural regions of this province are much sought-after places to settle down in, not only for nature lovers but also for professional farmers with years of experience. Of primary importance is the climate, which is diverse enough to support many types of farming. Another advantage is that there are not as many farms as in other provinces, like Ontario or Alberta, so from a business perspective you might find less competition here.
An estimated 20,000 agricultural properties can be found in British Columbia, with activities such as livestock rearing, dairy farming, and fruit and vegetable production. The Okanagan Valley is the ideal place to practice the last of these, boasting rich soils and a temperate climate. Viticulture is practiced mainly in the southern part of the province. For raising animals, the Fraser Valley boasts good conditions, as do the drier grasslands of the Thompson River valley.
British Columbia is also great for those looking to learn more about the profession of farming. The University of British Columbia offers classes at its Faculty of Land and Food Systems and business practices can be learned in its Agricultural Economics division. Your children can also learn all the details about farming thanks to the BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation’s stimulating programme.
If we’ve managed to stir up your curiosity, you can check out a few of examples of farms for sale in British Columbia here:
#1 8165 Mountain View Road, McBride, British Columbia, 1,262 acres, $2,700,000
Kicking off our list is the most expensive farm of the three, a 1,262 acre property in the proximity of the border with Alberta and the majestic Rocky Mountains. With two separate, modern residences located on the property, running this well-equipped farm will seem like an easy task. The ranch is perfectly suited for animal husbandry, boasting corrals and various livestock facilities. With a well-functioning farmhouse, two barns in excellent conditions and great soil, there are also other possibilities at this fabulous property. Let’s not forget about the picturesque surroundings including clear streams and acres of protected land, and then there is the extensive frontage on the Fraser River—an additional asset of this unique property.
#2 1000 Mcclay Way, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, 5 acres, $535,000
Second up we have a much smaller farm and a very different location. We’re taking you all the way from near the foot of the mountains high up in the Fraser River valley to an island in the Strait of Georgia! There are several buildings here, including attractive wooden cabins with plenty of space. And the land has possibilities, as there is pasture for animals, fruit trees, and a fenced garden area which could easily be developed. The property may only have 5 acres in total but the location is very charming. You could have a very peaceful existence here and yet at the same time be just a short boat ride away from Nanaimo and all that Vancouver Island has to offer.
#3 6652 Read Road, Valemount, British Columbia, 8.9 acres, $345,000
We concluding our list with the most affordable property of the bunch, an impressive 8.9 acre ranch in the east of the province near the border with Alberta. This is a great starter farm for novice farmers, with a generous 4-bedroom house to go with it. One of the most eye-popping characteristics of this place is its prime location, nestling between the Rocky and Cariboo mountains. The property has been well-equipped by its previous owners, and features a fenced garden with productive soil, a huge barn and a spacious outdoor riding arena. The entire acreage is fenced for animals and plenty of fruit trees can be found on the property.
To summarize, the British Columbia real estate market has quite a diverse supply when it comes to properties boasting agricultural possibilities. From ranches where you can raise your animals to smaller farms where you can grow your own produce for the local market, the province has it all. Which branch of farming interests you the most and which property would you choose from the three mentioned above? Let us know in the comments section below!