Infrastructure changes and salary support to adapt to challenging circumstances.
We would like to purchase a moveable, prefabricated, wooden shed to replace the Swine Complex. We would place this structure near the swine complex on the Mac farm next to our main field. This space would be used for the storage of tools and equipment, such as drip irrigation, tomato tunnels, insect nets, hoes, shovels, etc.; as a curing room, to pack vegetables, as an office space, and to eat when it is cold or rainy. We will lay down a crushed stone foundation to ensure a stable and lasting foundation. We would also include solar-powered lighting, which will help us in reducing our ecological footprint at MSEG.
The structure of the Swine Complex serves as the base of the washing station which allows us to shelter harvested vegetables and prevent wilting. The building itself blocks sunlight during the mornings on harvest days. The loss of the Swine Complex necessitates an alternative sheltered washing station. We would like to apply for a large, walled canopy tent, which we would use as our washing station to wash and dry vegetables. Having a covered area to wash and dry vegetables is an important part of maintaining high quality produce. The crushed stone foundation will be extended from the shed to make a foundation for the washing station and to keep the area clean and mud free.
We would also like to apply for new tools and equipment. Financial stress due to COVID-19 prevented us from being able to put aside extra money for this year’s expenses, which is normally used to buy seeds, new equipment, such as drips and insect nets, and to renew our tools. We intend to buy long-lasting equipment, such as geotextile (a reusable ground cover that is used in organic weed prevention and soil moisture retention), in order to minimize the waste that we produce at MSEG, as well as maximize the efficiency of our production, which will improve our yields and increase revenue, all of which will increase our financial independence.
Finally, we would like to apply for stipends. Having guaranteed stipends will help us to recover from a financially difficult year in 2020, while allowing us to put the necessary time and energy into implementing the changes for the coming year as a way to ensure the longevity of these changes, as well as the future financial stability of MSEG. We are applying for stipends only for the late season (August through October) for a few reasons. (1) We are all full-time students and having ensured stipends will allow us to ensure the team is financially able to stay committed to their positions during these months. (2) The months from August to October are the busiest time of the year for the farm; we will be receiving our shed delivery at that time, and will have to transition all of our equipment, as well as keep up with farm responsibilities, such as daily harvests, plant care, markets, and CSA baskets.
|Contact||kayla.dowd [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Kayla Dowd)|