Surrey farm that supplies food banks appeals for pickers to keep crops from rotting

Published: August 12, 2013

JENNIFER SALTMAN
VANCOUVER DESI

Jas Singh checks out a bin of pickling cucumbers at God’s Little Acre farm in Surrey, B.C. Monday August 12, 2013. The farm supplies local food banks and church soup kitchens with free produce and recently expanded from eight acres of planted land to 34 and has relied on volunteer help to harvest the crops. Singh needs more pickers now or a lot of the needed produce will rot. The farm is also selling pickling cucumbers so that it can be self-sufficient. (Ric Ernst / PNG)

Looking out over acres of carrots, potatoes, cucumbers and squash, Jas Singh had one thing on his mind.

“I’m thinking we need to do a lot more — it’s not enough,” he said.

Singh runs God’s Little Acre, a hay-field-turned-food-growing-farm in Surrey that has provided fresh vegetables to local food banks and soup kitchens since 2011.

In two seasons, the farm expanded from three acres producing 62,000 pounds of potatoes that were donated to the Surrey Food Bank to eight acres of mixed vegetables distributed to food banks in Surrey, Maple Ridge and other municipalities.

The farm is now in its third year and producing its largest harvest yet. It is expected that with 34 acres planted, more than 200,000 pounds of vegetables — potatoes, carrots, cabbage, turnips, beets, squash, corn and more — will be donated to local food banks and soup kitchens.

Thousands of pounds of pumpkins will also be harvested for schools to sell in support of lunch programs and other fundraising projects.

Singh is glad to have expanded and to have been able to grow so much more food, but his current crop of volunteers is not enough. Within the next few weeks, vegetables will rot in the ground if they are not picked, and Singh is appealing to the public for help.

“The only thing that’s holding us back now, because we went from eight acres to 34, is volunteers. They can barely keep up,” Singh said. “If we don’t pick (the vegetables) and they just sit there, eventually they’ll just stop producing.”

Those who can’t volunteer can support the farm by purchasing pickling cucumbers, a crop that was planted in an effort to make the farm self-sufficient and hopefully provide Singh with a modest income so that he can keep pouring his efforts into farming. He used to drive trucks on the side, but currently has no income.

“I don’t look at it as money,” Singh said of his crops. “I look at it as food and I look at it as something I’ve been gifted to grow.”

Singh believes that with the right support and equipment — and more land — his farm could produce a million pounds of food per year for food banks and other charities. He said it’s important to supply those in need with high-quality food that is grown just for them.

“It shows that somebody actually cares and loves them,” Singh said. “We actually care about the people we’re supplying.”

The Surrey Food Bank was a beneficiary of God’s Little Acre’s first and second harvests, and executive director Marilyn Herrmann said the fresh food makes a big difference when you’re serving 250 to 300 families every day.

“We always are eager to get fresh fruits and vegetables for our hampers — that’s absolutely crucial,” said Herrmann. “Working with donors like Jas is a wonderful, wonderful opportunity.

He’s got a great big heart and he’s trying so hard to help so many different groups.”

■ Volunteer pickers can show up at the farm at 16582-40th Ave. Wednesdays from 4 p.m. until dark and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until the end of October. Those wishing to volunteer on a different day or to make a donation of money, machinery or supplies can contact Jas Singh at 604-375-1172 or email jassingh65@hotmail.com. Pickling cucumbers can be picked up at the farm Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, visit godslittleacrefarm.com.

jensaltman@theprovince.com
twitter.com/jensaltman

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

narinder-kalsi-funeral1

‘She always smiled’: Community mourns Surrey domestic assault victim Narinder Kalsi

MATT LAW SURREY NOW A contagious smile and steadfast devotion, that is how Narinder Kaur Kalsi, 67, will be remembered. The Riverside Funeral Home in…
Continue Reading »

LANDS_OF_OPPORTUNITY_217255088

Lands of opportunity: Foreign markets fueling growth of US tech trendsetters, other companies

MICHAEL LIEDTKE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN FRANCISCO — Major U.S. companies are starting to reap their most rapid growth in fertile lands of opportunity far…
Continue Reading »

ramadan

Muslims mark end of Ramadan with Eid prayers, though wars in Gaza, Syria cloud celebrations

AYA BATRAWY  THE ASSOCIATED PRESS DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Millions of Muslims across the world celebrated the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Today in History – Aug. 7

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Aug. 7: On this date: In AD 117, Roman emperor Marcus Trajan died at age 65. His…
Continue Reading »

narinder-kalsi-funeral1

‘She always smiled’: Community mourns Surrey domestic assault victim Narinder Kalsi

MATT LAW SURREY NOW A contagious smile and steadfast devotion, that is how Narinder Kaur Kalsi, 67, will be remembered. The Riverside Funeral Home in…
Continue Reading »

CABS1

Heaving, hurling taxi patrons will now be charged a $75 cleanup fine

THE CANADIAN PRESS If you’re feeling queasy, step away from the cab. That’s the advice from taxi drivers across British Columbia after the province’s Passenger…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

child abuse

Indian kidnappers agree to handover boy to parents on condition of swapping him for his sister

CEN AGENCY In a bizarre demand, parents of an Indian boy who has been kidnapped, were told that they could have youngster back if they…
Continue Reading »

232-teeth tumour gum

Indian teen boy gets 232 teeth removed from “very rare” tumour in his jaw

VANCOUVER DESI A 17-year-old boy in India underwent a seven-hour long operation on Monday to have a whopping 232 teeth removed from a “very rare”…
Continue Reading »

basketball

Indian minister criticizes ‘no-headgear’ rule after Sikh basketball players told to remove turbans during Asia Cup

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI — India’s sports minister has criticized the ‘no-headgear’ rule of basketball’s world body FIBA after two Sikh players on the…
Continue Reading »

Greece

Tipsy British tourist asked to leave church after mistaking it for a disco

CEN AGENCY A tipsy British tourist had to be asked to leave a church in Crete where he started dancing after local kids told him…
Continue Reading »

Surrey-weight lifter-Commonwealth Games-Glasgow

Surrey weightlifter Parm Phangura bound for Commonwealth Games

MICHAEL BOOTH SURREY NOW FLEETWOOD — 163+205=368. That stark equation scrawled in the top corner of a chalkboard means little to a casual observer, but…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra fought with professional boxers while shooting Mary Kom

IANS Mumbai  – Actress Priyanka Chopra fought with real boxers in Mary Kom, a biopic on the five time World Champion boxer. She says it…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Akshay Kumar to host dance reality show Dare 2 Dance

IANS Gurgaon  – Bollywood action hero Akshay Kumar, who has played host of TV adventure reality series Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi in the past,…
Continue Reading »

INDIA-ARTS-CINEMA-BOLLYWOOD

What stunt scared Jacqueline Fernandez the most while filming Kick?

IANS Mumbai — Superstar Salman Khan has done a lot of action and stunts in Kick and the film’s leading lady Jacqueline Fernandez says that…
Continue Reading »