Silver Cloud Farm is a small scale farm that follows the principals of organic farming, and focuses on producing a wide array of vegetables, berries and fruit. Our goal is to grow premium quality, fresh produce that is harvested at the peak of perfection. Although the farm is a year round occupation, the primary months of selling produce are May through to the end of December. With the help of apprentice farmers directed to us from SOIL, and neighbourhood volunteers trading produce for labour, the farm supplies the locals of Sooke, Metchosin and the Greater Victoria Area.
Silver Cloud Farm is located one hour west of Victoria near Sooke, BC on the stunning West Coast of Vancouver Island. We, Teresa Willman and Matt Robertson, the owners, live on the farm with our two children Kaidyn and Jasmine. We are also fortunate to have Teresa's father, Mike living on the property with us. The farm is situated near surf pounding beaches, forests and rivers, all of which provide a natural bonanza of outdoor activities that complement the small scale farming lifestyle. The name Silver Cloud is homage to the Great Grand Parents who settled in Victoria and on Salt Spring Island at the turn of the century. Their boat, Silver Cloud, was used for transportation between the Gulf Islands.
We were attracted to the area by our love of surfing at the local beaches, which led us to begin looking for land to start our farm and in 2004 we purchased our 10 acre lot. Silver Cloud Farm was originally part of the Malahat Farm. It was one of the first turn of the century homesteads that made a living farming the land and milling lumber. The original farmhouses are still next door and are living history of the area.
When we acquired the farm, there were no fields, homes or infrastructure on the property. Some selective logging had already occurred leaving many large stumps, rocks and debris. It became very apparent that we knew little of developing land for a home, not to mention a farm. With the help of neighbours, friends and good contractors we built a yurt, cleared areas for the farm and brought in two roads and power lines. In 2009 and 2010, our two children Kaidyn and Jasmine were born and a house was built to accommodate our family.
When we first acquired our property, the soil was tested and showed very low nutrient levels. We realized quickly that we would need to build up nutrients in the soil by composting and cover cropping prior to farming. After summers spent in the bush treeplanting, we would move back to the farm in the winter and resume work on the property. It took about three years for the soil to become fertile and in 2007 Silver Cloud Farm was open for business. We began selling fresh vegetables and fruits at the Sooke Country Market and the Metchosin Market. We quickly expanded to selling produce to local chefs at restaurants including Markus's Restaurant, Sooke Harbour House and Wild Mountain. We have since started a CSA weekly box program. With the support of friends, family and the organizations Sooke Food Chi, COG and ICC, we are successful small scale farm.
Teresa and her three siblings were raised in North Vancouver by their mother, a nurse and their father, who ran bakeries and later coffee shops. Teresa studied agriculture and biology at UBC, fine arts at Alberta College of Art and attained her BSc Bio from Athabasca University. While in university, Teresa played keeper for the UBC women's soccer team and challenged for the top spot on the national squad. Among other places, she has traveled to India and Spain in pursuit of spiritual fulfillment and surfed in Mexico and Hawaii. She is now settled on her farm in Sooke, BC, busy raising her two children who were born in 2009 and 2010. Her education, travel and later on, farming experience were an end product of 18 years of tree planting on the Coast and Interior of British Columbia.In the latter half of her tree planting career, Teresa was a Project Manager for large camps. This experience served as a great training ground for what was about to happen!
Matt was born in Vancouver and spent most of his life on Southern Vancouver Island with his two siblings. Matt studied Geography at the University of Victoria, traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, South America, Mexico and South Africa. Matt earned the funds needed for his travels, education and later building the farm through working a few years in commercial fishing, 20 years in silviculture and forestry and also a few restaurant jobs along the way. At present, Matt is a full time regional manager with the silviculture firm Brinkman & Associates Reforestation Ltd. When time permits, he assists the farm in planning, budgeting and sales.