EDITORIAL: Sowing jobs

After one of the worst winters in a century — well, for the rest of the country — everything is growing and colourful, reaching to a warm sun.

Crops are in the ground and some local vegetables are appearing at the many and varied markets in Parksville Qualicum Beach.

It's a time of year when one can say, yes, I can do this 100-mile diet and quite enjoy it.

Before refrigerators and grocery stores, this was a much more important time of year. The work one did in the garden right now — the love, care, attention and sweat equity afforded — paid dividends in the months ahead at harvest time.

There was a sense that yes, these are the plentiful times, but serious thought was given to the lesser months, the November-March time when the earth doesn't give what it gives in the summer and fall.

For many in our region, that kind of thought process around food still exists, and good on them.

It might be a good idea for local businesses to jump aboard that train of thought, too.

It's super busy now. The restaurants, shops, stores of all shapes and sizes are in their hay-making season, a time that determines if they will have a good year or not. Such is life in a beautiful region that is so attractive to tourists.

It's not too busy, however, for businesses to think like the farmer of days gone by. What are businesses doing now that will set them up to survive in that dark first weekend of December or that rainy day in February?

Forgive the amateur economics that follow, but we had a thought. If 50 businesses in Parksville Qualicum Beach set themselves up in this busy time to get into a position to keep two employees more than they normally would for the October to March period, the economy would get a huge boost.

That would be 100 people, making, say, $2,500/month for six months. That's $1.5 million into the local economy. If two-thirds of that was spent on what these people would normally disburse — mortgage or rent, bills, food, etc. — that still leaves $500,000 to be pumped into the local economy that wasn't there previously.

One reaps what one sows, as a farmer or business owner. As we enjoy the summer months ahead, are we getting ready for the down time?

— Editorial by John Harding

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