Petites idées 10 000 $

Description :

Ignatius Jesuit Centre is renowned as a ‘place of peace’, a leader in education, and for regional biodiversity. The Centre is a welcoming place, and has strong relationships with diverse communities (municipalities, Jesuits, agriculture, environmental, arts, aboriginal, area businesses). Ignatius Farm is a hub for ecological agriculture and related learning opportunities.

Our idea is to upgrade the Ignatius Farm greenhouse. The Farm’s 60-year-old greenhouse, the educational hub and life-force of Ignatius Farm, is in dire need of a retrofit. The greenhouse glass panels slide off in high winds and spring snowfalls. This results in cracks and large holes which negatively impact the temperature of the greenhouse and the seedlings’ growth. The Ignatius Farm greenhouse was moved from Burlington to Guelph’s Ignatius Jesuit Centre in the 1960s to support a farm run by the Jesuit brothers. Since then, Ignatius Farm has evolved into a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) project, ecological farmer training and educational space, and 3 acres of community garden fields.

The 9-acre CSA feeds over 200 local families (about 500 people) with fresh, organic produce every year. The CSA greenhouse and fields are tended by farmers and educators who mentor and train approximately 5 farm interns each year – that’s over 100 interns since 2001 when the CSA was launched!

Our internship program has proven to be a fantastic way to bring aspiring farmers together to learn from one another in an inclusive environment to promote sustainability. In recent years, the public has been invited to take part in portions of the intern education curriculum such as “How to Grow Seedlings” workshops, “Indoor Growing” lessons, “Season Extension” classes, and tours of the greenhouse.

Ignatius Farm’s 3 acres of community garden fields supported 183 community garden plots this year. Our community gardens are nurturing a multicultural, multigenerational community who share a love of healthy organic food, better health, physical activity and the outdoors. They are building connections: gardeners share knowledge and become responsible land stewards. Each plot is most often tended by a group of people, so about 500 gardeners are learning about the interconnectedness of healthy soil, rainfall absorption and water conservation. These gardeners are learning how our community’s ecological footprint can be reduced through locally-produced food.

Ignatius Farm provides our community with an opportunity to be directly engaged in a positive response to the desire for a healthy and vibrant food system. The Farm also demonstrates how to repurpose under-utilized land and facilities to meet a community need.

Ignatius Farm is sustained by farm members and the Jesuit Community of Guelph. The Farm is striving to cover operational costs by generating sufficient revenues. This spring the Farm expanded the quantity of organic seedlings to sell to community gardeners and the public at large to generate additional revenue and support organic gardening in Guelph. We realized that the greenhouse needs upgrades to accommodate this initiative.

We are excited about the opportunity to increase our community engagement through upgrading the greenhouse. We will be able to grow more seedlings to benefit more Guelph area gardeners and to generate more revenue to sustain our Farm. And we will be able to offer more workshops and tours that bring people together to learn about ecological agriculture: all opportunities that work to strengthen the ecological health, resilience and well-being of our community.

Broker supported

Ignatius Jesuit Centre

Emplacement : Guelph/Eramosa, ON, Canada