A Little About Us
 
Although they both have extensive farming roots, Colin and Diane Springford’s first farm together was actually just a 10-acre hobby farm, a little semi-rural spot on Blower Road in Parksville, back in 1979.
 
In 1990, they bought a 30-acre parcel of land on Edwards Road in the Dawson Valley north of Nanoose Bay.  But now with cows and chickens and a desire to do more, Colin said, “Diane, this farm’s not big enough, either.”
 
So, in 1998 they bought the current site of 225 acres on Northwest Bay Road in Nanoose Bay, and have built it into a thriving, ethical farm business.
 
They initially sold their beef, eggs, and produce on the honour system from their roadside stand. In 2014, they built their beautiful Market building to not only sell their own products but to help other local growers and producers to sell theirs. The building also houses an egg grading facility, and a business office.
 
Colin and Diane’s son Ross had been working at a John Deere equipment dealer but came back in 2008 and said, “Dad, I want to farm!” After receiving two agriculture diplomas from Olds College in Alberta, Ross and his young family are an integral part of the Springford Farm operation.
 
The Springfords are strong supporters of the local community. Springford Farm is a member of the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce, and the Southern Vancouver Island Direct Farm Marketing Association. Colin is a member and past president of the Coombs Farmers’ Institute, and a member and trustee of the Arrowsmith Agricultural Association.
 
Diane Springford – 5th Generation
On Diane’s father’s side of the family, pioneer Henry Simpson sailed from Kent, England, on a free voyage to the New World in 1853. In exchange for the passage, Henry was indentured to work at the Hudson Bay Company in Fort Victoria for five years.
 
After his term was up, Henry and his wife started a farm in Saanichton, purchasing 500 acres at a dollar an acre from the company. By 1859, Henry built The Prairie Tavern as a food and lodging stop on the rough road between Sidney and Victoria. In 1892 after a fire got the Tavern, Henry build a new structure which is today’s Prairie Inn Pub on Mt. Newton Cross and East Saanich Roads.
Henry also donated land for the original Saanich Fair, which celebrates its 150 birthday in 2017.
 
Diane grew up on the Saanichton farm, learning to pick and clean strawberries loganberries, potatoes, corn and other vegetables. They had a milk cow, and a small heard of beef cattle.
 
And then she met Colin. Working in construction at the time, Colin married Diane and took her off the farm.
 
Colin Springford – Farming Roots
Gardening and farming is in Colin’s blood. His English parents had immigrated to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan as infants. In 1941, they moved to Vancouver Island and operated a small hand-milk dairy farm in Sidney, where Colin was born.
 
At eight years old, Colin talked his Dad into plowing up some land so he could have his own vegetable garden. For six high-school summers, Colin worked at Butchart Gardens where he nurtured his love of flowers.
 
From 1948 to 1961, the family ran “The Maples”, a small country grocery store in Brentwood where Colin first learned about customer service.
 
After school, Colin worked in a bank for a while, and then construction, and only started farming with new wife Diane as a hobby. The hobby got out of hand and grew into the beautiful family farm now operating on Northwest Bay Road in Nanoose Bay.