The Hayes Farm aims to inspire and mobilize New Brunswickers toward a resilient and thriving food system. We do this in the spirit of honouring Indigenous culture and food ways, integrative principles of land-based learning, and reconnection. Hayes Farm is an intentional embodiment of the Peace & Friendship treaties.
An Urgent Call to Action
A recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report concluded that preventing climate catastrophe will require rapid, far reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. We have less than 11 years to make drastic systems change and maintain a livable climate here on Mother Earth.
We’ve got this folks, and we’re going to do it together through our relationship to food. The Hayes Farm Regenerative Farming Certificate program is our urgent grassroots response to 1) ongoing food insecurity, and 2) the narrow window to mitigate the human causes of climate change.
The present business perspective favours quick profits and unsustainable growth over deliberate generational planning - all too often at the expense of our environment. Such short-term thinking is in conflict with long-term solutions, as practiced by Hayes Farm, such as building a healthy, well-educated farm community (both growers and eaters), and focusing on building a healthy soil food-web on farm.
Hayes Farm’s Regenerative Farming Certificate (RFC) program is a holistic community-led program that provides the skills, expertise and support to practice human-scale agriculture. By demonstrating this model of seasonal food production, we address local food security, financial responsibility, and personal and spiritual fulfillment.
RFC program participants are immersed in action. In our third year of programming this 2020 season, they will be actively involved in feeding local folks through a community farm model - gaining practical experience by performing hands-on farm roles and deepening their knowledge through courses in Crop Production, Farm Economics, and Beyond the Farm. The full program outline at HayesFarm.ca.
Our community-led farm model aims to change the way we feed our community by:
- being member-led: by paying membership fees (or making any size contribution to this campaign!) you become a member of NB Community Harvest Gardens, complete with discounts to other program offerings and voting rights to help determine our direction;
- reshaping how good food gets distributed: going beyond the grocery store and farmers’ market and connecting with other local organizations to redefine 21st century food pathways;
- implementing a ‘pay-what-you-can’ model for all produce sales: ensuring healthy local food reaches people who need it most and have difficulty accessing and/or affording it; and
- recognizing that a farm has more to offer than just the products it provides: numerous educational opportunities, calming greenspaces, and skills development to name a few.
A Transition to the Gift Economy
The ultimate vision of the community farm model is the creation of many small scale community farms. Each in turn will serve their immediate area to meaningfully feed those who genuinely need access to good, clean food while providing opportunities for skills development and a green oasis for spiritual fulfilment and mental health. Indeed, this is exactly what we are educating Hayes Farm learners to do. With enough time, support, and momentum, the community farm will become an essential service to the community it serves. With enough community farms, together we can make a real impact on food security in both urban and rural areas, while educating eaters on food issues through on-farm educational opportunities.
Ideally, knowledge should be shared, not bought and sold. At Hayes Farm, we choose the abundance model - one that recognizes that Mother Earth provides everything we need. In keeping with that spirit, we have created and openly shared a ‘living handbook’ titled How to Start Your Community Farm to make it easier for other communities to take up the torch (see below).
Community-led; Community supported!
Our small dedicated team is taking big ideas and putting them into action for the betterment of all, but educating people is both labour-intensive and cost-intensive. Our program is most appealing to a growing group of people who want not only to survive, but to thrive. It is vital that our program fees remain affordable to learners, however the fee remains a barrier for many.
This is where you come in! As a community-based farm, we are changing our focus from maximizing profit to maximizing production for greater community impact. We are asking for the crowd’s continued help in funding this project, so that this new cohort of farm learners (10 participants for the 2020 season!!) can get a meaningful education in feeding our (their) communities without taking on an undue burden.
The Impact of Your Contribution
Your gift will help support:
- Fair compensation for experienced instructors, knowledge keepers, and local experts
- Land lease expenses and software fees to facilitate the switch to online lecture delivery
- Full sets of essential tools for each intern to keep our learners safe during a global pandemic
- Supplies (seeds, potting soil, perennials, etc)
If we surpass our goal, we will work toward improving the farm site based on community input.
We’re all in this together, and each of us has gifts to give - help us shift the paradigm to redistribute our wealth. Please give generously, and/or share the campaign widely, whatever gift you may be able to offer. No donation is too small and every effort is deeply appreciated.
Woliwon, Wela’lin, Merci, Thank you!
(Above: Participants of the 2020 RFC program)
More on Hayes Farm & NBCHG
- Explore our roots at NB Community Harvest Gardens, Hayes Farm’s mother organization
- We are very excited to share our 'living handbook.' You can find all the details of our journey in our 'How to Start Your Community Farm' handbook.
- In early 2018, the crowdfund community rallied to help us launch our pilot program (THAAAAANK YOU!). Read more of our story and check out the campaign here on Chuffed
- For our most up-to-date news and information, visit Hayes Farm’s website, or visit us on Facebook
- If anything from this campaign sparks interest or questions - including how you can access ‘pay-what-you-can’ veggies - reach out to us at [email protected].
If you would like to learn more about joining the RFC program, visit https://www.hayesfarm.ca/education