Hi from the Metanoia Farmers! We are a four-person cooperative working in Winnipeg to grow local and sustainable food for our neighbourhood. We use organic practices and are now seeking to further the sustainability of our farm by embarking on the rich, regenerative work of permaculture. Your donation will directly fund soil regeneration, systems for water resilience, cultivation of native plant species and support of pollinator habitats, and educational workshops and workdays for the public to learn alongside us.
Thanks to all your generosity, we have raised our goal from $2000 to $3500! If we meet this second goal, we will be able to work toward further water management solutions and plant additional perennial plants!
Twelve years ago, a small and hopeful group of Winnipeggers broke ground on a big and beautiful dream. As they took shovels to an acre of bare grass lent by Canadian Mennonite University campus, they spoke excitedly of building a barn and a greenhouse, raising chickens and goats, and most of all producing beautiful vegetables, sustainably grown and accessibly distributed. All this, they imagined, in Winnipeg – where urban communities could witness dynamic environmental repair and sustainable food production hand in hand.
This group would grow into Metanoia Farmers Workers Cooperative. We are an evolving team of young, often first-time farmers who have been pouring deep love, so much sweat, and plenty of good compost into our small piece of land next to the Assiniboine Forest every summer since 2010.
Metanoia’s first decade has indeed fulfilled this dream of growing beautiful vegetables! Each year from June to October, we harvest weekly shares of vegetables for an average of up to 70 families who participate in our Community Shared Agriculture program. We’ve built a vibrant community of city folks who visit the farm regularly each summer. So much joy and good, dirty work has come of this dream…
But so much of the dream has yet to become reality! And the time for this change is now. Recent summers have made us acutely aware of climate change on the farm. We’re noticing more extreme weather events, less predictable seasons, and fewer pollinators.
At the same time, more and more people in our communities are showing interest in sustainable food production and excitement about environmental repair. As farmers, we don’t have the luxury of pretending any of this away – our feet are buried deep in this vulnerable soil, and we are listening!
Metanoia’s Farm Development Project, which began in 2022, is our response: an active, reparative response to climate change, an answer to our communities’ desire to learn, and a carrying-forward of the big, beautiful urban-farm dream that started it all.
So far, we have:
- designed and built a small barn that doubles as a washing station. This structure provides needed storage space and ease of washing vegetables
- hired a Permaculture Consultant, Heather Unger from Northern Grove Tree Service, to create a design and plan for us shifting our practices from low environmental impact to active environmental repair
- created a project budget of $20,000 and raised funds to cover barn construction and our project designer consultation fee
Next, we will:
- regenerate our soil health and trap carbon by transitioning to no-till farming practices
- build a water collection and management system to increase our resilience in the face of increasing droughts and extreme weather events
- plant native species designed to support vulnerable pollinators
- implement both innovative and traditional vegetable-growing practices that do the work of moisture retention, weed suppression, input reduction, and pest detraction
- together with partner organization A Rocha Manitoba, host accessible public workshops and events in Winnipeg to share what we’re learning regarding the integration of sustainable food production and environmental repair.
Your donation will directly fund soil regeneration, systems for water resilience, cultivation of native plant species and support of pollinator habitats, and educational workshops and workdays for the public to learn alongside us.