Last week we had a lovely visit at Little City Farm with six farming interns from Ignatius Farm. The farm is located on a 500 acre property, just outside of Guelph on Highway 6 north about half an hour from here. It's an amazing property, that includes not only the certified organic farm and CSA program, but also apple orchards with many heritage varieties, a forest restoration project in partnership with the Grand River Conservation Authority, access to the river, community gardens, demonstration gardens, incubator farmhouse, and the Jesuit retreat centre. We have been inspired when visiting and especially love to go during apple harvest season!
The interns who visited us are part of a 6-8 month intensive farmer training program called CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance Farmer Training) on more than a dozen farms that has been set up in southern Ontario. They live and work on these organic or biodynamic farms for these months, gathering skills to either set up their own farming venture or just build life experience. Several of the interns at Ignatius were interested in urban agriculture, and so the visit to Little City Farm and learning about the scale that we work on made sense. They also participated in a permaculture workshop again led by Tracie Seedhouse, our friend who runs Earthchild Designs.
Angie, who is operating her own CSA "Fertile Ground" on 2 rented acres outside of Waterloo this summer, also participated in the CRAFT program last year. Her placement was Everdale Organic Farm and Environmental Learning Centre, near Hillsburg. Fertile Ground CSA begins drop-offs tomorrow (!!) at our Little City Farm driveway. We are really excited about this venture, and the neighbourhood involvement by members who have purchased shares.
Here are websites for Ignatius and CRAFT: