Port Alberni’s Healthy Harvest Farm is able to more efficiently water their one-acre garden thanks to a grant from the Alberni Valley Community Foundation (AVCF).
The Healthy Harvest Farm provides a horticulture program through the Canadian Mental Health Association that offers an opportunity for those affected by mental illness to lend a hand with maintenance tasks around the farm.
A $4,500 grant was awarded to the farm that allowed them to revamp and upgrade their irrigation system.
After a farm expansion last year, Charles Thomas, Healthy Harvest Farm coordinator, said a new irrigation system was needed in order to efficiently water the gardens.
“We knew that we couldn’t do our expansion and carry on with the system we had,” Thomas said. “The new system basically completely replaces the old one.”
Thomas said the old “jimmy-rigged” irrigation system was run on timers that were poor quality and that he is grateful to have been granted the full amount that the farm asked for from the AVCF for needed upgrades.
“They gave us everything we asked for which was excellent. It meant that we could do our expansion because we could not be watering this right now if we hadn’t got the grant,” Thomas said.
The water that is used to hydrate the crops comes from a pond on the farm’s property that Thomas said is really helpful; he added that they’ve never drained it.
John Mayba, director at the AVCF, said the foundation was impressed with the farm’s grant application.
“We’re very impressed with the farm’s project and how they work with clientele,” Mayba said.
“I encourage people to go out to the location and check it out.”
A variety of vegetables and crops are grown and sold at the farm, 4890 Beaver Creek Rd.