In 2011, God’s Little Acre was a 30 acre hay field. Leaving the corporate world behind, Jas Singh took on the challenge of turning this hay field into a potato field for the Surrey Food Bank. He approached the Food Bank in the spring of 2011 and advised them that he wanted to grow and donate three acres of potatoes. Jas was politely thanked for his idea but the Food Bank did not expect to hear from him again.
Jas started working the land and a few weeks later, with the help of volunteers from The Way Community Church in Richmond, potatoes were in the ground. Terralink supplied the fertilizer and Jas financed the seed potatoes and covered the rest of the expenses. Jas spent numerous days working at other farms, trading old equipment for his services as well as money for diesel. To their surprise, Jas returned to the Food Bank and told them that he was ready for harvest.
The harvest successfully yielded 62,000 lbs of potatoes, all of which went to the Surrey Food Bank. Since that harvest, volunteers started showing up by the dozen: Versacold group, Envision bank, The Cadets, as well as members of the general public. Jas started receiving donations from individuals and businesses as well as a $2,500.00 donation from Farm Credit Canada as a show of support for the project.
Now, in 2013, God’s Little Acre is taking a leap into a self sustaining charity model built on supporting local folks, with local food from our local farm. You can read about our new exciting step in God’s Little Acre Brochure or here it in the words of Jas himself…
” Going into our third year of production, Gods Little Acre sure has seen it’s changes. The land itself has changed from it’s original hay field to plain and simple black dirt. There are sections on the farm that have never been planted which we look forward to watching the miracle of growth this year. The landlord relationship has changed and we have developed respectful friendships. Those who were pessimistic during year 1 and 2 know that we are here to stay and cars drive by and honk their horns acknowledging that we are here and that we exist.
For the first time I am not driving a truck to fund the charity side of the farm due to some very generous individuals and businesses. Our greenhouse finally goes up this weekend, nothing fancy but we will make it work and allow it to assist us with earlier crops. It’s funny that I have become so used to the stress of the farm and other missions in the last few year that for the first time the lack of stress often…stresses me out. Our move to become self sustainable through retail designated crops as well as club memberships has taken off and we will hopefully hit our goal of 300 members for the first year.
Along with any good farm or good project comes a group of good people. I am so excited about the new addition of individuals who have joined the farm in various roles like Callie Westlake, Jason Westlake, Kim (sorry no spell) Nico Bot, Vicki Olson as well as new business partners who have started to help us with funding. These individuals and groups are a great addition to our existing team. The group has started transforming the farm and has brought it forward to where I expected it to be two years from now. Buildings will be painted, seed orders are in, tractors and machinery have a repair budget and we are months ahead of the previous two years. New volunteer groups are starting to contact us and we look forward to their arrival. We have a few new programs like “Kids Growing Pumpkins” where elementary school kids are targeting to grow 20,000 lbs. of pumpkins to give away to needy families. Our farm goal is 100,000 lbs of vegetables to charity which I really see as an achievable goal. Thus far, the crops slated for charity will be corn, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, turnips, beets, several varieties of squash as well as whatever else we can grow with further funding.With the great support from the aforementioned, I really feel that this group has “got my back” when I’m on the tractor. We have already broken ground and have started working the fields. Along with the hard work we also plan to have some fun on the farm so watch for those events! Don’t worry, we haven’t gone all “corporate” on you and we are all just volunteers with a passion for what we do…I did buy new coveralls and boots though.
Look forward to seeing you at the farm!”
Gods Little Acre ~ 2013