The land was bought from the Esquimalt & Nanaimo (E&N) Railway in about 1887, but our particular area wasn’t farmed until about 1908. The present farm house was built in 1923 on the foundation of the original house that had burnt down. According to my mother, the house was used in the 1920’s as a place where unwed mothers could give birth away from the judgmental eyes of society.  In 1930 the house was bought by Captain Porter, who operated a vegetable seed company called Mala Seed Farms (abbreviation of Malahat). Porter planted McIntosh, Grimes Golden, and King apple trees (still producing), planted raspberries, and raised chickens and sheep.

My parents, David and Laura Williams, bought the farm for $14,000 in 1952. The house came with one black chicken but no other livestock. Mom and Dad decided to get some sheep to keep the fields grazed. They also had a heifer cow for several years. Bruce, my older brother, cried when the heifer was sold, and asked:
“What are they going to do with it?”
“They will eat it” Dad said.
“Are they going to eat the horns too??” Bruce asked.

Chicken and Guinea fowl have been raised, and two horses named Frederick and Nicholas were kept for a long time. Heaps of raspberries were produced over the years. Many pecks of apples have been grown as well as plums. The big plum producers have been Japanese, yellow egg, green gage, Italian prune plums and, more recently, Methley plum. Dad regularly won prizes for his raspberry and plum jams at the annual Cowichan Exhibition / Fall Fair. Many pounds of wool have also been produced – which has been used the local fibre and fleece community (weavers and spinners) as well as by knitters in the Cowichan First Nation who produce the well-known Indian sweaters, vests, and toques. 

Our youth was spent running around in the nearby forests making forts and playing baseball with other neighborhood kids in the fields. I burned down an older barn when I was 5 years old – playing with matches in the hay loft with my best friend!