Ignatius Jesuit Centre is renowned as a ‘place of peace’ for spiritual contemplation. The Centre is a welcoming place with diverse relationships (municipalities, Jesuits, agricultural, environmental, arts, indigenous, area businesses & community not-for-profits). Sustainable ecological farming and restoration of lands to native forest is integral to our mission to foster an ecological way of life. Ignatius Farm is a regional hub for organic agriculture.

We are participating in the Aviva Community Fund Competition to upgrade the heart of Ignatius Farm – its greenhouse. The 60-year-old greenhouse is in need of a retrofit. The greenhouse glass panels slide off in high winds and spring snowfalls. The resulting cracks and large holes negatively impact the temperature of the greenhouse and pose a risk to our seedlings’ growth. This greenhouse was moved from Burlington to Guelph in the 1960s to support a farm run by the Jesuit brothers. Ignatius Farm has since then evolved into a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) farm with a particular strength in ecological farmer training.

The 9-acre CSA feeds some 200 local families (about 500 people) with fresh, organic produce every year. Each year approximately 5 farm interns are mentored – that’s over 100 interns since 2001 when the CSA was launched!

Ignatius Farm also supports 3 acres of community garden fields – 183 plots this year. These community gardens are nurturing a multicultural, multigenerational community who share a love of healthy organic food, better health, physical activity and the outdoors.

Ignatius Farm provides you with an opportunity to positively contribute to creating a healthy and vibrant local food system. The Farm demonstrates how we can repurpose previously under-utilized land and facilities to meet a community need.

We are excited about the opportunity provided by Aviva to bid for funding to upgrade our greenhouse. We will be able to grow more organic seedlings to benefit more Guelph area gardeners and to generate more revenue to sustain our Farm.  We will be able to offer more workshops and tours that bring people together to learn about ecological agriculture: all initiatives that will strengthen the ecological health, resilience and well-being of our community.

Please register to vote for Ignatius Farm’s Greenhouse Retrofit in the Aviva Community Fund Competition. You can vote starting September 25 through October 4th. You will receive 10 votes to allocate as you wish! The 50 projects with the most votes will each receive $10,000!

Written by: Vanessa Hyland, Development Assistant at Ignatius Jesuit Centre