Community Resilience

Funding level: $50,000 to $100,000

Description

Emma's Acres is an agricultural social enterprise located in Mission, British Columbia. Established in 2012, it is managed by the L.I.N.C. Society. Awarded the innovative initiative award by the Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards in 2017, the Emma's Acres project was also featured on the CBC National in Oct. 2016. Here is the
link: http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/they-owe-this-farm-work-gives-convicts-and-victims-of-violent-crime-a-chance-to-heal-1.3766200
Emma's Acres is an unique project that has offenders, victims & members of the wider community working together side by side growing non spray, non gmo vegetables, fruits & herbs. The produce is sold at the local Mission City Farmers' market,on site and to non profits restaurants, stores & on site. Donations are also made to various non profits & community events as well as to anyone who is a friend or family member of someone who was murdered. (On average the farm donates to 8 to 10 survivors of homicide a week during the growing season.)

In the first years of operation, the completely forested land that the farm is on was cleared; infrastructure was built- there are six cleared acres, two 95 by 36 foot greenhouses, a quonset hut, cold storage plus drip irrigation & electricity on the site. Thirty six semi dwarf apple, pear & plum trees were planted along the sides of the property. There are 5 beehives & a free certified BC Honey Producers Association beginning beekeeping course taught by Campbell's Gold is offered three times a year that the community is welcome to take. The farm is a community space. Besides the courses taught on site, two free community long table dinners open to the public are held- one in the spring and another in the fall. Established within the Sto-lo territory, Emma's Acres also has a 29 foot totem pole that was carved on site which honours victims & L.I.N.C. workers who have passed on. There is a community sweatlodge
& a medicine garden.

Emma's Acres utilizes sustainable farming practices. We are applying for funding from the Aviva Community Fund to complete items that are part of the farm's environmental plan. They include: increasing the PH level of the soil in the fields. For the best production, the PH level should be between 6 and 7.5. Soil amendments such as: top soil, compost, lime, perlite, manure, cover crops & kelp need to be added. Up to now we have been adding these things to each prepared row. We would like to add the soil amendments to all three fields not just the rows in the spring before planting & in the fall after harvest. This would raise the PH level throughout the entire fields. 2) We want to build a chicken coop, so we can raise chickens to collect eggs. There is a lack of protein aka eggs for sale at the farmers' market. The chicken coop would help meet this need. The chicken manure will be used on the farm. 3) We will build a compost shed on site that has a concrete floor and a roof 4) Our reliance on electricity will be decreased by using solar power for the farm's electricity and heat in the greenhouses 5) With our previous Aviva Community Fund grant, we driplined the fields and our first greenhouse. With this grant, a water harvesting & retention system will be created to conserve rainwater & ground water at the farm so it can be used for production purposes. 6) A walk behind tractor will be bought for creating & preparing rows. This type of tractor is recommended by JM Fortier the Market Gardener for use in small lot farms such as ours. 7) A traditional Aboriginal smokehouse will be built that will be utilized by Emma's Acres for preserving produce and by the community for preserving meats and fish . 8)Another digital story produced & our website revised so people and organizations interested in the work we do at Emma's Acres will be able to easily access current up to date information about the project.

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L.I.N.C. (Long-term Inmates Now in the Community)

Location: Mission

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