A 2018 Agricultural Enhancement Grant Leaves Lasting Impacts on MEI Students and their Partners

22 September 2020Grants & Funding, News & Announcements

Through a partnership with the City of Abbotsford to provide grants annually to our farming community, we are pleased to share the impressive results of a successful 2018 Agricultural Enhancement Grant recipient. MEI Schools used the funds for their Agricultural Program with the intentions of revitalizing unused land in the Agricultural Land Reserve and creating more usable and productive farmland. The program included the building and implementation of:

  • A 2000 ft² heated greenhouse engineered for suspended hanging flower baskets
  • Four length-wise movable work tables for students to place flower baskets and seed trays
  • A raised-bed area for vegetable gardens


MEI happily shared the news that the project was incredibly productive. Not only did it provide educational opportunities for over 100 kindergarten to grade 12 students, the site also produced beautiful hanging baskets, vegetable seedling starter trays, bedding plants, and vegetable seed trays for the field crops. The field crop production was much better than expected for the first year of operation and from a site that was only producing poor grass and weeds, the following was produced in only one year:
Greenhouse Production

  • 184 hanging flower baskets and flower boxes.
  • 120 trays of various bedding plants
  •  90 trays of vegetable starters
  • 140 vegetable seedling trays


Field Production

  • 2000 lbs. of Sieglinde and Warba Potatoes
  • 850 lbs. of onions
  • 1800 heads of lettuce
  • 700 lbs. of carrots
  • 200 cabbage
  • 160 broccoli
  • 120 cauliflower
  • 40 lbs. of pickling cucumbers
  • 60 lbs. of squash
  • 30 lbs. of leeks
  • 25 kale plants
  • 25 celeriac plants
  • 240 purple/white turnips
  • 400 cobbs of corn
  • Various herbs


Pollinator Garden

  • Various bulbs and bedding plants – daffodils, alliums, alyssum, pansies, sunflowers, tulips etc.

 

With all of this produce, you must be wondering where it all went? As far as community benefit, 95% of the produce was delivered to the Archway Food Bank with the remaining produce going to the Abbotsford Gleaners and MEI staff. All of the hanging baskets and flower boxes were sold. Half the veggie trays were sold as well and the other half were donated to the Abbotsford Community Garden. One third of the bedding plants were sold and the remaining bedding plants were donated to Communitas Supportive Care Society or planted in the pollinator gardens.
We can’t wait to see how this project develops over time and continues to leave a lasting impact. We’re so thankful to our partner, the City of Abbotsford, for making this program possible and for grant recipients like MEI who make the program such a success.  For more information about the Agricultural Enhancement Grants program, click here.

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We respectfully acknowledge that we are located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Stó:lō people, the Semá:th First Nation and Mathxwí First Nation. As treaty People, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, we share the responsibility for the continued stewardship of this beautiful land.