Rural Proposals

Please feel free to leave constructive comments and suggestions regarding potential partnerships or programs and information that might be beneficial to the proposed projects. When leaving a comment below, please mention the title of the project along with the comment.  These project descriptions will be available for viewing until February 10th, 2012, when we will begin the grant decision making meetings to choose which projects will be funded in each region.

Bunny Ranch
To create a large scale, organic, free-range, efficient, low-maintenance, as close to self sustainable mini ecosystem for growing rabbits as possible, and allow natural selection to customize rabbits best suited to survive our environment, and possible complications, yet have the advantage of high yielding genetics provided by domestic breeding lines. Within the year I hope to have the funds to be able to move my rabbit colonies out of the barns and smaller enclosures(30’X30′ complete with dirt burrowing hill as shelter and housing), and into a larger pasture setup where the bucks can reside and we can create a balance between butchering and reproduction naturally and determine the adequate size to provide for such a program year round. I really just want to make it through the winter in an outdoor setup and still have a productive herd.

 

Food for the Future

Oak Lake and Area Economic Development Board
The project will begin in February of 2012 with an open meeting at the school.  Here we will introduce the concept of food self-sufficiency and sustainability, inviting students to share ideas about this concept.  Thereafter, monthly gatherings will include participatory projects which will teach the gardening process from the beginning (seed selection, soil preparation, starting bedding plants etc.)  Experienced gardeners from the community will help teach these sessions.

In May the community garden will be planted and tended by the students.  A coordinator will be hired to organize and oversee the project.  As garden produce becomes available it will be harvested, students will be encouraged to take their share home and they will be given instruction on how to prepare and preserve it.  Weekly, produce will be collected by students for sale at the local farmer’s market.  Profits from sales will be divided among the students who work a designated number of hours.  Students will also receive an honorarium from project funds at the end of the project in September, 2012.

This project is designed to promote an awareness among students and citizens of the importance of regaining the knowledge of how to grow food and the empowerment that goes with that knowledge, the importance of building a sustainable local food economy, the benefits to physical health from eating and growing fresh organic produce, the community spirit that comes from the exchange of information between generations and to give young people opportunities to acquire work and job skills in a small community where jobs are scarce. Promoting physical activity and a healthy lifestyle will be ancillary benefits of the project.

 

Grow to Give 

Landmark Elementary School
Landmark Elementary School has been undertaking a Waste Reduction pilot project. During Waste Reduction Week in October of 2010 and 2011, our students began to look at the garbage being produced in our school. We had a initiated the “Coffee Can Challenge” that week to cut our garbage down to no more than a coffee can full each day. That meant we had to consider how we could reduce the amount of garbage in each class. We increased our recycling by determining that we could recycle more items than we had until then. We challenged students to bring “litterless” lunches. Finally, we found ways to compost by using a vermi-composters and introducing industrial composting practices at the school. After the week in 2010 was over, we concluded that to stop all these efforts would not make sense. We then began our full scale Waste Reduction Pilot Program. The result: 75% reduction in garbage. Instead, bags of compostable material (paper towels, food waste, nasal tissue, and compostable serving ware) became a part of fertile soil.

We are now at the next stage of our school journey called, “Grow and Give.”  We want to model with our students the cycle of using the compost (produced in the vermi-composters, backyard composters and the industrial composting facilities) to grow plants. To take on this task, we want to establish a greenhouse at LES. This structure will allow us to have space for each class to grow plants. We want to invite Landmark Collegiate Institute students and local seniors to help our students learn about plants and their care. To further the cycle we will have the students take the plants home to transplant into their gardens. In the fall, students will bring produce to school to be used for making some delicious food which will be shared with community members. The fundraising proceeds from this community celebration will be used to support a local and global charity that LES will be involved with through the “WE SCHOOLS” challenge that we are now part of, together with other schools from across Manitoba.

The greenhouse will serve as the hub for work with plants and our community members, as well as serve as our outdoor location for our backyard composting initiative.

 

Bridging the Generations 

Sandy Bay Health Centre
Bridging the Generations will provide opportunities to greatly increase production and awareness of local food sources.  It is envisioned that five adults with experience in raising poultry will mentor up to ten youth.  Support from the project will include: purchase of baby chicks, fencing, adequate and appropriate chicken coops, waterers and feeders and brooding lamps.  With 25 chickens per flock for the youth, potentially 250 chickens could be raised.  It is expected that the experienced poultry raisers could each raise 50 to bring the total potential to 500 chickens.  The Heritage breed component will comprise much smaller flocks, perhaps up to 25 birds.

The square foot gardening component will be aligned with the tunnel greenhouse objective of the project.  Opportunities to start seedlings indoors will be provided through a variety of hands on workshops in greenhouse construction and maintenance.  A school based approach at the Senior High school level would provide students with the classroom experience in starting seeds.

Research on long term Geo Thermal greenhouse gardening will be led by a Graduate student and involve local youth and community members in general.

 

Westridge Community Gardens

Brandon Community Garden Network
This area of the City does not currently have a garden space for residents to utilize. Even with Network expansion of existing gardens, supply has not been able to keep up with demand, resulting in annual waiting lists for garden space.  This project would relieve some of the increased demand by providing garden space close to home for residents in the Westridge area, and provide opportunities for new gardeners to partake in the local gardening program. As well through the use of instructional workshops, new gardeners would be able to increase gardening knowledge, and meet fellow gardeners at the same level of expertise.

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