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

varsha

Ontario teen fighting superbugs with an assist from Indian home cooking

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Like a lot of great discoveries, Varsha Jayasankar’s foray into how to kill superbugs with an extract from Indian food started…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Low caste teen in India burnt alive after goats stray into neighbours’ field

CEN AGENCY A poor goat herder was burnt to death after greedy land owners doused him in petrol and set him ablaze because his goats…
Continue Reading »

Police are investigated a suspected murder in Surrey, B.C.

Police investigating suspected homicide in Surrey

SURREY NOW Police say an autopsy will be required to determine how Surrey’s 14th homicide of 2014 died. The body of the victim, a man…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

varsha

Ontario teen fighting superbugs with an assist from Indian home cooking

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Like a lot of great discoveries, Varsha Jayasankar’s foray into how to kill superbugs with an extract from Indian food started…
Continue Reading »

Police are investigated a suspected murder in Surrey, B.C.

Police investigating suspected homicide in Surrey

SURREY NOW Police say an autopsy will be required to determine how Surrey’s 14th homicide of 2014 died. The body of the victim, a man…
Continue Reading »

Today in History – Oct. 20

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Oct. 20: On this date: In 1632, Sir Christopher Wren, British astronomer and architect, was born. He…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-BC-surrey

Most South Asians and Chinese in B.C. have faced discrimination based on ethnicity

A quarter reported experiencing moderate or significant amounts of discrimination DOUGLAS TODD VANCOUVER DESI  Stereotyping. Verbal harassment. Poor customer service. Workplace unfairness. Exclusion from dating….
Continue Reading »

MINOR ATACKED

False confession leads police to arrest new suspect in sexual assault of 9-year-old Surrey girl

FRANK LUBA VANCOUVER DESI A man who confessed to the sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl in Surrey has been released and a 28-year-old man…
Continue Reading »

Dilwali Fest

Diwali Fest kicks off with IndiGlam fashion-fusion show (w/ video)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI It was a classic mother-daughter argument that propelled Surrey’s Raji Khaira into a career of fashion design. Khaira, 25, grew up…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver Desi

Canada Place caught the eye of man who builds models in chalk (w/gallery)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Jagdeep Singh Bihal moved to Vancouver from India two years ago and did some sightseeing around the city,  it was…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-VANCOUVER-MUMBAI

Diwali organizer inspired by memories of Mumbai revelry

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver’s Rohit Chokhani can still recall his childhood in Mumbai when Indian streets would light up with fireworks and life would…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Desi boobs Sonakshi SInha

Sonakshi Sinha enjoyed Tamil film debut with Lingaa

IANS Chennai  – Actress Sonakshi Sinha, who is making her Tamil debut opposite superstar Rajinikanth in upcoming Tamil actioner Lingaa, says she thoroughly enjoyed working…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Irrfan Khan to head Abu Dhabi film fest jury

IANS New Delhi  – Acclaimed actor Irrfan Khan will preside over the Narrative Feature Competition Jury at the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF). The…
Continue Reading »

Rekha

Rekha’s TV presence has left tremendous impact: Indra Kumar

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS Mumbai  – Veteran actress Rekha, who has kept her distance from the small screen, has duly followed the current tradition of…
Continue Reading »