Mike and Marjorie Lane are the recipients of the Heritage BC Distinguished Service Award for their contribution to enhancing and maintaining the historic Ruckle Farm on Salt Spring Island. Ruckle Heritage Farm is the oldest operating family farm in the Gulf Islands.
Mike moved to Ruckle Provincial Park in 1990 as park facility operator and soon volunteered to help the elderly Ruckle family with their farm, established in 1872. It wasn’t long before he was managing and restoring the farm to its original state. With the passing of the last Ruckle family member in 2018, the life tenancy of the Ruckle family ended and BC Parks granted Mike and Marjorie a 20-year contract starting in 2021 to continue their work managing the farm as well as maintaining the heritage homes.
The farm has a Jersey cow, Highland cattle, a large flock of sheep, goats, chickens, and heritage turkeys. The Lanes maintain a large vegetable garden and orchard, incorporating regenerative practices. The split-rail fences have replaced the wire fencing, and a heritage home furnished with period antiques is available as seasonal accommodation.
The farm hosts an annual open farm day and participates in the Salt Spring Island Fall Fair with its working dogs, livestock and produce. Mike is also a director of the local farmers institute, Salt Spring Island Agricultural Alliance and Salt Spring Abattoir Society.
“Ruckle Farm is a well-known heritage asset on Salt Spring Island,” says Heritage BC chair Britney Dack. “The success of the farm is certainly in large measure because of the exceptional dedication and contributions of Mike and Marjorie Lane. Regenerative agriculture, family history, and historic livestock practices are only a few of the achievements resulting from their special kind of commitment that never seems to be limited by their contract scope.”