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Expansion project gets the green light

COOP Les Jardins de la Resistance


Publié le 30 mai 2017

The COOP Les Jardins de la Resistance has received a $41,000 grant to build a new greenhouse and coldroom at the farm in Ormstown

©(Photo - Les Jardins de la Résistance)

Following a soggy spring, the five members of the COOP Les Jardins de la Resistance are elbow deep catching up with seeding and transplanting, and with the recent awarding of a grant from the Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation, they are all about to get a lot busier.

As part of the Programme d’immobilisation en entrepreneuriat collectif, which was established by the provincial government to help social economy enterprises renovate, build or buy buildings or structures, the Coop will receive $41,000 to put toward two new structures on the farm. Construction will soon begin at the Ormstown-based market garden on a 30x30 refrigerated root cellar with a second story to be used among other things as a processing space, as well as a permanent 200x24 greenhouse, which will be minimally heated through pipes underground. The greenhouse will allow for the production of greens throughout the year, as "there is a lot of demand for greens," says Jess Elwell, who has been with the Coop for over seven years. One of the goals with the new installations will be to support two full time employees throughout the winter.

The majority of the work to construct and install the new structures will be done by the members of the Coop, starting with the greenhouse. The plan is to have all of the work completed by the end of summer with veggies in the cold room come fall.

Making locally grown food more available

The cold room is envisaged as an organic storage space, with the possibility of offering some of the smaller organic farms in the region a space to store their produce over the colder months. This will also help to increase the amount of locally grown food that will be available in the Valley throughout the year. The COOP is hoping to be able to augment their winter CSA baskets with the addition of greens, and are looking to increase local interest in the nearly year-round options they currently offer. "We are much more interested in feeding people out here than in the city because this is where we live," says Elwell, who notes the number of local basket deliveries has increased but still represents only around a quarter of their registrations. "To be able to make local food more accessible to people out here would be cool," she adds, suggesting they already donate their produce to the Family Resource Centre in Huntingdon for their community kitchen programs and are hoping to work with more restaurants as well.

The Coop also offers the option to subscribers to donate extra funds to buy a basket for someone who is unable to afford it. Dubbed solidarity baskets, the Coop was able to buy three weekly baskets for people in the Montreal area last year as a result of their partners’ generosity. The plan for this year is to offer the solidarity baskets again but at the local level.

The Jardins de la Resistance are currently taking CSA basket registrations for the 2017 season. Partners can pick-up their veggies at one of three local drop spots: Marché Sarah in Huntingdon, at the farm in Ormstown, and new this year, at the MAPAQ office in Sainte-Martine. More information is available online at: www.cooplesjardinsdelaresistance.com