Career skills and food security are taking root.
The provincial government is providing the Kindale Developmental Association with $27,000 to hire two people to work at the Patchwork Community Farms at Okanagan College in Coldstream.
“This is my dream job,” said Amy Kermociev, who has been hired as a farm co-ordinator along with William Adams.
“It allows me to use abilities and knowledge that I already have and to build new skills through the experiences incorporated into this project.
The farm will provide Kermociev and Adams with work experience in urban agriculture, program development, marketing and event hosting over 32 weeks.
Patchwork Farms is administered by Kindale and community partners. The produce grown at the site is shared between residents who volunteer there and organizations such as Kindale, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Upper Room Mission, Transition House and the Salvation Army.
“People are learning again how to farm,” said B Elliott, Kindale executive director.
“It’s from seed to table and people are learning how to preserve food for over winter.”
Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA, supports Patchwork Farms.
“Urban gardening has become a big deal,” he said, adding that while it provides participants with fresh produce, it also plays a role in the local economy.
“We don’t have programs for people to become farmers and this is a great way for people to start. Maybe we can encourage young people to stay on the family farm and make a good living from it.”