Shorewolf Farm

The Black Creek Watershed

The Black Creek Watershed is located on Vancouver Island, within the Comox Valley, on the unceded territory of the K’òmoks First Nation. From a biodiversity standpoint, the watershed is significant due to the number of species that call the area home. Several Species at Risk (SAR) utilize the watershed, including the Purple Martin. The purple martin is the largest swallow in North America, and is a blue-listed species, meaning the species is of particular concern. The watershed is also significant for local salmon populations. Several species of salmon use the watershed, including Coho, Chinook, and Chum. For these reasons, Farmland Advantage has targeted the Black Creek Watershed, hoping to improve ecosystem services on private lands.

Riparian area newly planted, with a large Irish wolfhound posing.

Shorewolf Farm

One farm partnered with Farmland Advantage is Shorewolf Farm, owned by Jill Lamberts and her husband, Chad. Shorewolf comes from their love of Irish Wolfhounds, of which they own three: Emmy (short for Emerson), Brim (short for Brimstone), and Tully (short for Tullamore) who joined us on the tour of the property. Together, Jill and Chad grow over 50 types of vegetables, including cherry tomatoes, unusual peppers, cucumbers, squash, hops, and onions. Jill says she likes to grow anything that tickles her fancy and is currently very excited about a bunch of new raspberry varieties she is trying out. They also run a small bake shop during the summer, bring their wares to farmers’ markets, and are in the process of building a commercial kitchen to host farm-to-table dinners.

Black Creek runs at the back of the farm through a densely wooded section of the property. Visiting felt almost magical, descending from the busy farm into a peaceful wooded riparian zone. Jill also feels this way about this part of their property: “We love it back here as an oasis from the farm life and hard work. So, the more we can do to make it beautiful, the more we’re willing to do.”

Riparian area newly planted, with a large Irish wolfhound posing.

Partnering with Farmland Advantage

Jill and Chad were contacted by Ione Smith, program manager for Farmland Advantage. Ione had visited the farm and felt Shorewolf would be an excellent program location, putting them in contact with Wayne Haddow, a Farmland Advantage Advisor.

Wayne visited the farm and walked the property with Jill and Chad. He pointed out all the different species in the area and devised a plan of action to address the concerns of invasive species and erosion. Since Wayne also works with the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) program, they were able to complete an EFP simultaneously. An EFP will help the farm be eligible for other funding, including the Beneficial Management Practices (BMP) program.

One area of concern on the property was invasive species and a lack of diverse understory plants. The area had previously been filled with Nootka Rose and similar shrubby plants, which choked out tree saplings and other understory vegetation. Streambank erosion has also been a problem for Shorewolf Farm, especially during some of the larger storms in recent years. “In fact,” Jill said, “we’ve lost portions of our fence.”

Newly staked plants overlooking Black Creek.

I’m really impressed with how many trees they were able to pack into this small area. I can’t wait for them to grow up and just fill this space with more beauty.

Jill Lamberts, Shorewolf Farm

To combat these issues, a plan was made to remove the shrubs, brush, and plant various trees in the area. Elodie Roger, who owns Origins Environmental Services, one of Farmland Advantage’s restoration partners, explained how these new plantings would combat streambank erosion, “In the winter with high water velocity, the bank tends to collapse in the absence of root masses in the ground. So, by planting the riparian area with deep-rooted species, we provide the riparian zone with a chance to survive these winter events and to preserve their ecosystem services.”

Jill and Chad cleared the area in preparation for the restoration work, which Elodie and her team completed. Together, Elodie and her crew planted over 180 trees in the area, which will help to stabilize the bank as they grow. Jill was pleased with the work, saying, “I’m really impressed with how many trees they were able to pack into this small area. I can’t wait for them to grow up and just fill this space with more beauty.”

Looking ahead, ShoreWolf Farm is committed to monitoring and nurturing the newly established trees to ensure their growth and survival. Jill and Chad will safeguard the plantings from potential threats, such as browsing deer, and plan to utilize water from the creek for irrigation. The successful completion of the project highlights the effectiveness of the program’s collaborative approach.

With the support of Farmland Advantage and its restoration partners, Jill and Chad have proactively restored the riparian zone on their property by addressing concerns about invasive species and streambank erosion. Farmland Advantage is a testament to the importance of local initiatives in fostering resilience and sustainability within our watersheds and communities.

Closeup of new pine planting.

To learn more about Shorewolf Farm, please visit their website at

Farmland Advantage is working with farmers across BC. On Vancouver Island, Farmland Advantage has ongoing projects located in the Koksilah River Watershed and Black Creek Watershed. Farmland Advantage partners with landowners, municipalities, and local organizations to undertake restoration work in riparian areas on farm sites. Through the program, we hope to restore habitats for species at risk and fish populations, improve water quality, biodiversity, and soil health.

For the 2023/24 Fiscal year, IAF gratefully acknowledges the financial support to the Farmland Advantage program from: the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change and the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, the Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship, and the Ministry of Forests.

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