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Watching Them Grow
The Mennonite community has a long history of farming, and it is Abbotsford’s main industry, so it seemed only natural to apply for the grant in 2018 as MEI owns 19 acres on the south side of Downes Road that sits in the ALR. We are excited by the opportunities to:
- Educate our students in sustainable agriculture practices
- Connect with our alumni who are now agriculture leaders here in Abbotsford
- Grow produce for the good of the community
With the help of the agriculture industry and our MEI community, we have built a large greenhouse and converted 1/3 of an acre into a fertile garden using local organic compost. Students from all three schools are involved in growing a variety of flowers, and vegetables, with agriculture and sustainability-specific courses offered at the Secondary and Middle Schools. And although some of the produce will go to our foods programs, the remainder of the produce will go to worthy causes and charities here in Abbotsford.
There is much potential in this initiative, from planting the seeds in the farmers of tomorrow, to harvesting the wealth of knowledge from agricultural leaders in our MEI community. If you are one of these leaders, we would love to connect with you.
Much thanks already to the following: The Abbotsford Community Foundation, Devan Greenhouses, Local Harvest Market, Sardis Secondary Agriculture, Avina Fresh Mushrooms, Rossdown Farms, Van Noort Bulbs, Valley Carriers, West Coast Seeds, Blackwoods Building Centre, Cedar Rim Nursery and MEI alumni for your generous donations and expertise.
Please contact MEI Secondary teacher Gary Funk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Year’s Production:
184 – 10 and 12 inch hanging flower baskets and flower boxes.
120 – 606 trays of various bedding plants
90 – 606 trays of vegetable starters (lettuce, onions, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, etc.)
140 – vegetable seedling trays (72 count each).
2000 lbs. of Sieglinde and Warba Potatoes
850 lbs. of onions – Milano, Rubino, Walla Walla, Patterson, etc.
1800 heads of lettuce – butter, red-leaf, romaine, etc.
500 lbs. of carrots – Napoli and Bolero
We grew 70 beautiful marigolds from seed in the greenhouse and transplanted them to the field.
Various bulbs and bedding plants – daffodils, alliums, alyssum, pansies, sunflowers, tulips etc.