1 week left - and we're going to celebrate!
This campaign has been a fantastic success thanks to a very supportive community...of beautiful people like YOU! As we quickly approach the finish line, we want to get together with you for a big in-person THANK YOU, and a drink or two. (Hugs are on us; beers are on you!)
Whether you have been able to contribute financially or not, we still hope to see you for this final push and social gathering. We will gladly be accepting last minute contributions, too; online, or by cash or cheque:)
Find the event details here.
With everlasting gratitude for your help and support,
The Hayes Urban Teaching Farm Team
We've been in the news!
Tuesday, February 6 was a big day for the Hayes Farm in the media. We got coverage on the radio, on the evening TV news broadcast, AND online! We are less than 2 weeks from the end of this campaign, and then only 2 short months until the training program rolls out in April...oouf! Please help us with the final funding push by donating, or sharing this page.
- Information Morning (radio interview)
- CBC Evening News (TV segment, begins at 28:10)
- Long Form Article (online text)
A little bit of context
Climate change mitigation; meaningful job creation; food security and food sovereignty; revitalizing the health of our urban and rural communities: the Regenerative Farming Certificate course will positively impact them all. This is what we’re working with:
The face of farming is changing. The majority of our new farmers are female, from an urban setting, with some post secondary education who are using ecologically-sound farming practices. They are starting small diverse farms, and connecting directly with their communities as demand for local products is high. Despite these ambitions, new and young farmers are facing big challenges when it comes to gaining a foothold in the agriculture sector. Without the knowledge that has traditionally been passed down from generations of farming families, there are major difficulties in finding training, land, capital, and equipment to get started in farming.
The current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change due to rising greenhouse gases, contributed to in large part from burning fossil fuels and agricultural production, is devastating. Food security issues are affecting many, and could affect us all, sooner than we think. By relying on imports, fragile markets, tenuous trade agreements, and the crucial skills of a few (farmers!) for the security and sufficiency of our rations, we put our faith in a fragile food system, many parts of which are already broken.
To find our way forward, we must find our way back.
Farms used to be the cornerstone of our rural communities, but in New Brunswick, they have decreased in number by 90% since the 1950’s.* Our current path (straight into the belly of climate change) is catastrophic and heightens our food insecurity. Right now, New Brunswick only grows 8% of all of the vegetables we purchase. **
The farms of the future will look very much like the farms of the past. Regenerative, human-scale, nutrient dense, and relationship-based farming has remained the norm in many parts of the world and needs to be widely adopted to mitigate climate change.
And this, my friends, is the game changer we propose...
The time is ripe to introduce of an educational program here at home to grow our local food economy and protect our environment. What does this mean? It means that we are starting a farmer training program at the historic Hayes Farm in Devon, inside Fredericton’s city limits. The program will help people reconnect to the land and their communities by teaching them the skills and the knowledge needed to make a modest yet meaningful living wage through market gardening. Participants will complete the course with a Regenerative Farming Certificate in hand.
Regenerative agriculture is a farming practice which does so much more than just grow food! This practice focuses heavily on soil health. It eliminates fossil fuels and chemical fertilizers, improves water cycles, and enhances ecosystems and bio-diversity. Our full time 32-week program (the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada!) will focus on giving a solid foundation in growing annual vegetable crops, complimented by basic farm business training, and rounded out with field trips to a variety of successful farms, orchards, and nurseries.
From a business and economic perspective, the education that the Regenerative Farming Certificate will provide comes at a critical stage, as New Brunswick’s agricultural landscape is in a dire state. By fostering new farmers who are capable of operating their own small-scale farms in a profitable, regenerative way, and expanding local food markets, farming is kept viable in our region. The potential to improve the state of our struggling rural communities, and aid in farm succession for our aging farmers is huge. It gives hope to those that have felt the need to leave the province they love, in search or a meaningful living wage.
We have very exciting plans to teach small scale design, conscientious land use, thoughtful water catchment and irrigation, and ecological diversity. Perennials, swales, ponds, trees, birds, and beneficial insects will all be a significant part of the farm.
You can join us!
The Hayes Teaching Farm project is progressing with great momentum. We spent the 2017 season preparing the farm with compost, cover crops, bed building, and garlic planting, and are eager for an early spring start. Relationships and partnerships continue to be forged with institutions and organizations throughout our community and beyond (Ontario, BC, Vermont…!).
The pilot program is set to launch this spring for 8-10 lucky participants, carefully selected to provide ongoing critical feedback on all aspect of the program to help us refine the offering for a full launch of 15 students in 2019. If you’re interested in farming in New Brunswick on a human scale, get in touch with us at [email protected] to get more info!
Starting a farm is a major undertaking. Starting a school is not for the faint of heart. Starting them together at the same time, well that’s just wacky...but we’re going for it! We are looking for $30,000 to help fund some of the essentials needed to get us on our feet. Funding for this critical pilot year will not only ensure a made-for-New Brunswick curriculum, it will also support the creation of a program template to be shared with any interested community in the province and beyond.
Your contrubution will go toward things like:
- Comprehensive hands-on training (provided by highly-qualified, experienced instructors)
- Education materials (printing and resource books)
- Tools and equipment (such as hoes, seeders, shovels, harvesting baskets, CoolBot for vegetable storage, etc.)
- Supplies (seeds and seedlings, potting soil, perennials, etc.)
- Infrastructure (market set up/produce stand, deer fencing, irrigation, produce washing station. and washroom facilities)
- Field trips (to get students off site to see ‘oh the possibilities!’)
If we surpass our goal, we will work toward:
- Building an open air teaching structure onsite for all learners
- Purchasing and installing a greenhouse to extend our season
- Purchasing a walk-behind tractor to reduce our carbon footprint and contractor needs
Project lead and local volunteer non-profit NB Community Harvest Gardens has been working hard for 2 years toward this ambitious timeline. We are excited and confident that we can reach our goal, if you can help us secure some of the crucial elements we need to get started in early 2018.
PLEASE help us out by choosing a perk or donating any amount that you are able. We will be forever grateful for your support and contribution, and you will bring us that much closer to this project becoming a reality.
From everyone involved in the Hayes Urban Teaching Farm project...THANK YOU!
Our partners and supporters include:
- Environmental Trust Fund of New Brunswick
- Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation
- Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School/Kwantlen Polytechnic University
- National Farmers Union in NB
- New Leaf Consulting
- New Entrant Initiative Round-table
- Ian Robertson & Family
- University of Vermont
- Natural Capital Healing Gardens
- Falls Brook Centre
- Locavore Foods
- UNB Sustainability
- Multicultural Association of Fredericton
- City of Fredericton
- NBCC OASIS
- ...and many more!