Guelph, Ontario. December 2, 2022
On Friday, the Ignatius Jesuit Centre celebrated their Ignatius Farm AgriSpirit Well with a ribbon-cutting at the new pump house. This project was launched thanks to an initial $25,000 contribution from Farm Credit Canada’s AgriSpirit Fund, and completed thanks to a community of generous anonymous donors. As costs of the project escalated, a $5000 contribution from the City of Guelph Community Fund helped purchase the required water reservoir.
Farm Credit Canada representative, Maria Domingos, was on hand to congratulate the Centre’s team and to learn more about how the well will support Ignatius Farm’s work to feed the local community. Maria remarked, “When you pass by the Ignatius Jesuit Centre, you would have no idea all that is going on here!”
Situated at the northern edge of the City of Guelph, Ignatius Farm is the 235-acre agricultural field mosaic that defines many of the walking trails at the Centre. Ignatius Farm is an organic community training farm that grows vegetables, berries, and seedlings for Community Shared Agriculture households, service agencies, markets, local businesses and gardeners. The farm includes 3.5 acres of community gardens for over 280 households, and currently hosts 13 diverse small plot farm enterprises through acreage rentals. The small plot farm enterprises can now access water on site thanks to the new well. “This is really big for us”, expressed Tish Oldrieve of May Moon Flowers.
Vanessa Hyland, retired Development Coordinator for the Ignatius Jesuit Centre, noted that several of the farm businesses grew from their experiences as community gardeners and in the Ignatius Farm New Farmer Training Program. The training program has participants from across Ontario and beyond, with 416 participants in 2022, and 40 participating in all 4 terms for their training certificate.
“Globally, Jesuit organizations are prioritizing care for the planet and accompanying youth and those who are disadvantaged to create a hope-filled future. This new well for the farm is part of this bigger vision”, said Roger Yaworski, SJ, Executive Director of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre.
“Thanks for letting us be a part of it and have an opportunity to contribute. The farm has been a really big part of my life”, reflected Matt Vermeulen, Ignatius Farm donor, community gardener & volunteer!
The Ignatius Jesuit Centre is a place of peace whose mission is to cultivate spiritual growth and ecological engagement.
Farm Credit Canada is a crown corporation whose purpose is to enhance rural Canada by providing specialized and personalized business and financial services and products to farming operations and businesses related to farming.