By Jaxon McGinn
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
Sunny South News
Picture Butte and Area Growing Project is reporting a successful harvest this summer.
The Foodgrains Growing Project had its 22nd year in 2021 and is expected to make $45,000 in donations and fundraising.
Tony Kok, a board member for the Picture Butte growing project, says this year’s project was back to normal for the group.
“(There’s) not a lot of difference I don’t think for this year – it (was) just a normal type of year. So, changes this year, we grew the same crop and got the same people (to) donate chemicals, and we rented the land in the same location as last year. So next year, we will have to find a new piece of land,” said Kok.
He also explained how COVID-19 has affected the group over the past several months.
“Well, it didn’t really have the effect on the crop, but it did have an effect on our little bit of our fundraising and you know, we were unable to have a harvest, you know (a) real celebration day with lots of people last year. So it was a little bit different that way but as far as growing the crop it didn’t affect us,” said Kok.
The general donation helps based on the cost of rent of the land, with it being about $3,000 an acre, so the project attempts to hit a quote of $45,000 in donations. Other contributions happen along the way, like the three seed companies donating the seed and some chemical companies that contributing chemicals. The project also gets breaks on the water irrigation for the crops.
There are 250 growing projects throughout Canada, with 39 in Alberta. Proceeds from the sale of the Growing Project crops go towards the Canadian Food Grain Bank, which then, in turn, use that money to send food to places of need or help in the project such as promoting sustainable farming techniques.
“I think it just started with a contact from the Canadian Foodgrains Bank then somebody had a had an idea ‘hey we could have our project here and there are quite a few projects (that) happen all over Alberta.’There’s one in Taber, Medicine Hat, and Lethbridge, and you know that kind of stuff, so we were just contacted by the interested in having a project in this area,” said Kok.