Kamloops farm offers work-trade solution to deal with theft problem | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops farm offers work-trade solution to deal with theft problem

The family began their farm five years ago as a hobby farm, and now have chickens, cows, goats, pigs, and lots of produce.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / Crazy 8rces
October 03, 2019 - 6:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - A thief who made away with a big pumpkin as part of a display is now being offered an opportunity to work in exchange for food.

Sharleen van Vliet runs Crazy 8cres farm in Kamloops and has taken a generous approach after finding she was the victim of theft. She says she left a big, slightly damaged pumpkin by their entrance sign and found it had been stolen from their rural property on Westsyde Road.

“We put a few pumpkins out at the front every year by our open sign so it’s festive,” van Vliet says. “It was a heavy one and it had a crack in it so I thought I'd put it out.”

She posted to Facebook about the theft but rather than be upset, she offered a compassionate comprise.

“Anybody can be angry, I was a little angry at first,” van Vliet says. “But... it’s a tough world, and we’re just going to see more and more of it. The more people get angry, it’s not going to help anything.”

The mother of six children aged between 6 and 15 understands difficult times could lead people to crime but hopes she can offer a more dignified approach to getting food for one’s family.

“I have a family of six kids, we totally get it," van Vliet says. "We have a single income and then whatever I make off the farm, so we know what it is to struggle with food, but of course, I wouldn’t go steal from somebody.”

van Vliet says they have had a theft before when they left a pay-what-you-can produce stand at the entrance of their property. She says after the stand was looted, they decided not to continue that project but want to find ways to help those in need.

“If somebody is in this position where they are needing to steal something, come help me scrape out the chicken coop or pull some weeds or things like that for food,” van Vliet says.

She says oftentimes, she will share and trade produce with neighbours. van Vliet says she gets her generous nature from her mom and dad.

“They were the kind of people who would pick up a hitchhiker and be like, ‘Hey, why don’t you come help us out around the house and well give you some food.'"

Farm life is a relatively new way of living for the van Vliet’s, who moved to the acreage and built their home five years ago. What started off as a hobby farm has evolved into the family owning chickens, cows, pigs, goats, and all sorts of produce. Van Vliet says most days on the farm are happy, but losing an animal, crop or beehive can be hard on the family.

During the summer, the family sold their wares at the Westsyde Farmers’ Market, and throughout the colder seasons, you can buy boxes of their meat, eggs and honey. They are having a 'Pumpkin Party' this weekend, from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.  

Click here for more information on the farm.

Sharleen van Vliet of Crazy 8rces shared this post to the local Facebook page Westsyde - It's Our Community.
Sharleen van Vliet of Crazy 8rces shared this post to the local Facebook page Westsyde - It's Our Community.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / Crazy 8rces

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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