“What made you start a greenhouse?” That’s the most common question we’re asked. It began when Tim’s brother, Alex, decided he wanted to retire from farming. Tim and I decided that we’d carry on farming the conventional way, as his family has been doing on this homestead for over 100 years.
Then it became apparent that we couldn’t farm conventionally, due to several issues –not the least of which being the fact that I can’t “fix”. That would mean that if I (while driving some kind of machinery) broke down in the field where I was, Tim would have to leave his field and come fix my break-down. Two fields down at once would become crippling.
We had decided earlier that having a small greenhouse for our own use would be nice. Then the farmer in me kicked in and the size kept changing to allow for more production and then maybe supplying the local Sobeys store in Humboldt. Now I was looking at supplementing our farming income with the greenhouse I wanted to build. Humboldt Sobeys Manager Dave Doepker was enthusiastic about the idea, and so….
Once we realized that my contributions to conventional farming would be minimal and the burden on Tim would be enormous, we gave it to God in prayer. What should we do? It came to us that we could take our “Plan B” (the greenhouse) and make it our actual program. It also came to us that this greenhouse needed to be Pesticide Free and Non-GMO. The enormous amount of illness that has swept the country like wildfire has to have a common thread–and we think that one “common thread” is “stuff” which is put into the food we eat.
By spring of 2017 we had started construction. Fr. Salihu blessed the ground the day before we broke ground. He came back and blessed the project at least twice during progress, and then when it was all completed he consecrated it to God and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. So we began “Working in His garden”. Our first production year was in 2018.
Now we are into our second year of production and the demand is so great that we are already expanding into Phase 2, which is the next 150’ to be added to the original 100’ building. While Sobeys/Safeway are our biggest buyers right now, others are calling; and we are beginning to supply other stores within Saskatchewan.
We enjoy giving tours of the facility. We love hearing the stories of how our produce has made a difference. When this person or that person tells us how they can now eat food that they haven’t been able to eat for years (and how good they feel), it’s great to know. We are so grateful to be making a positive impact on the community in the jobs added to the local economy and with the extra produce donated to the Humboldt Soup Kitchen, the Public Grade School, or another worthy cause.
The ways that God is blessing our community through His greenhouse is something that is precious to us and we are so thankful to be able to participate in.