Those of us who live at Fraser Common are a diverse group of people.
Our interests are as diverse as our age range (from toddler to 80+). We are not all farmers – we are woodworkers, and blacksmiths. We are community advocates and internet professionals. We are artisans and we are parents. We are friends and we are social activists. We are educators, musicians, and beer-makers. We are grandparents and we are children. And we all call Fraser Common our home.
We are some of the people who live here
I’ve been growing deep roots here, at Fraser Common, since 1980. My son and daughter were raised here. My grandchildren love to run through the fields, bounce on the trampoline, and are accustomed to holding hands for a quiet time before our evening meal.
My mother, who taught me to garden as soon as I could walk, thought this was an amazing experiment, in principle. My father, who helped build the farmhouse we live in, and is remembered each time we stoke the fire in the sauna, not so much!
I aspire to make conscious, and conscientious, choices about feeding myself and others. And to live in ways that respect the earth, the farmers, and all inhabitants of our beautiful, finite planet.
Long ago and far away there was a roving musician and tradesman. He spent many years traveling both near and far and finally decided to attend the university to better understand how the world worked. After many years of study in the sciences, humanities and visual arts he eventually completed the Media Resources Program at Capilano University in North Vancouver where he first met Heather who would later become his wife. Then, one day, something strange and mysterious happened–he got offered a job in the television industry. Things were very busy in the TV station and everyone took themselves very seriously. But Michael still wanted to travel. During his years in television he would travel across Canada and the United States, up and down the West Coast of North America, into the American desert and up into the Northwest Territories, all in his old Volvo station wagon. It was during this time that he joined Community Alternatives Society and helped build the new farmhouse at Fraser Common Farm Cooperative were he lives to this day.
During his travels he took work as a tradesman but also as Technical Director for many festivals including the BC Drama Festival, the Dawson City Music Festival, Folk on the Rocks Festival in Yellowknife and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival where he still works today. In 1986 he worked at Expo with the Northwest Territories Pavilion and got to work with folks traveling from all over the Northwest Territories.
In the 1990s he would work with the Physical Medicine Research Foundation and in 1996 he was the photographer for the FarmFolk CityFolk book. Both jobs offered lots of opportunities to meet new people and see the world. It was during these years when he realized that there are things we do for money, things we do for love, and things we do because they seem like a good idea at the time. All of them have disadvantages. These days Michael works at FarmFolk CityFolk in Vancouver as IT & Communications Coordinator where he has been since 1995.
He has done many projects that don’t appear on his resumé including:
- Fabricating the ‘Urban Composter’, a car-sized composting machine for apartment buildings and small businesses, on a project of Community Alternatives Society.
- Working with Music for Nicaragua and Tools for Peace on fundraising concerts, tours and recording projects.
- Participating in several Earthen Building projects most notably the Orchard Sanctuary at Hollyhock on Cortez Island, BC.
- In 2004 he engaged in the Applied Software Development Program at BCIT and received his certification in 2010.
And though he moves a lot slower these days due to multiple back and knee injuries he continues to be involved in various projects and seems to be willing to travel at the slightest provocation.
We are a family of five
We toddle, walk, run, jump, climb, ride and cartwheel around this beautiful piece of land that we have called home since 2004.
Climbing trees, digging in soil, planting and saving seeds, riding bikes, growing food, eating food we grow, jumping on trampolines, sharing meals, observing the wonders of nature, making art, bending metal, planting trees, marveling at the beautiful perfection of eggs and eating them on a daily basis, making compost and living amongst a community of awesome folk are just a few of the things we cherish about life at Fraser Common Farm Co-op.
Circumstances have seen me make a move from my life as a farmer to another job where I still get to work with organic produce every day, I spent four years at Fraser Common, farming with the superb team at Glorious Organics. The land is the best, the people are the best, and my time on the farm, was the best.
All the best to everyone at Fraser Common, and anyone fortunate enough to spend time at the farm – an hour, a day, a lifetime.
I used to be a graphic and web designer that grew tomatoes and herbs in my backyard. Now I’m an aspiring farmer that does a bit of design work when I’m not digging in the dirt. I’d like to say that farming has completely transformed my life – and it has – but it is perhaps more apt to say, that I made fundamental changes in my life, so that it now includes farming.
Food is good. You can’t eat a website. Find some dirt. Grow some food. Find out more about what you are eating – where it comes from, who is producing it. You’ll be glad you did.
– “Life is the moment we’re living right now.”