Richmond food activist Arzeena Hamir relocating to Comox Valley farm
She’s worked tirelessly to bring the issues of food-security and urban agriculture to light in Richmond, but now Arzeena Hamir will get to practise what she’s preached.
Hamir, former coordinator of the Richmond Food Security Council, has confirmed that she and her family will uproot at the end of June and relocate to a 25-acre farm in the Comox Valley.
“Well, I think that Richmond created a good one,” Hamir said by phone in response to the Straight’s suggestion that Richmond lost a good activist. “And now, I liken it to the rhubarb leaves getting really big, and they are shading out all the other crops that are coming up under it. So time to take some of them out and let the other things grow.”
Hamir and husband, Neil Turner, will head over with their two daughters once the school year is over.
“It’s mostly mixed vegetables, but we will also have chickens,” Hamir added. “As soon as, I think, June 1, we’ll be getting some chicks and then we will have eggs. And we’ll see what other kinds of larger animals we can wrangle from the farm.”
Richmond has been home for Tanzanian-born Hamir since she was three, she said, but now she said the time is right to do the very thing she has talked so much about: organic farming.
“We’re in our 40s now,” Hamir said. “It’s hard enough stamina-wise to start a farm in your 40s. I can’t imagine waiting any later. It’s for the girls really. I mean, you can only grow so much in an urban lot, right? We needed some space. Both Neil and I are agrologists. You can only make the excuse for so long that we can’t farm. We’ve got to step up to the plate for sure.”
Hamir said she knows her family was not the first to make the urban-rural switch.