A project to expand the growing season of strawberries is one of three that recently received grants from the Abbotsford Community Foundation.                                Abbotsford News file photo

A project to expand the growing season of strawberries is one of three that recently received grants from the Abbotsford Community Foundation. Abbotsford News file photo

Agriculture grants awarded to three projects

Funding provided by Abbotsford Community Foundation and City of Abbotsford

The Abbotsford Community Foundation (ACF) has announced that grants totaling $130,000 have been awarded to three projects in Abbotsford.

The grants were provided through the Agriculture Enhancement Grants Program, a joint initiative between ACF and the City of Abbotsford.

ACF executive director Wendy Neufeld said the focus of this year’s program was “new technology with an environmental and sustainability focus.”

A $40,000 grant was given to KPD Consulting and Muddy River Technologies to fund their MagPi Plus Magnesium Phosphorus project.

This aims to deliver simple, cost-effective solutions for converting manure on farms into safe and odour-free agriculture products for a variety of uses on agricultural land.

Lepp Farm Market received $50,000 for their project to extend the growing season of local strawberries using a hybrid grow house comprising a mixture of greenhouse and solid high tunnels.

Mike Lepp said this system would address the challenge of high winds, permanence of the structure and the best utilization of farm land in B.C.

He said that if the project is successful, it would enhance the diversity of local food production in spring, summer and fall, specifically extending the growing season to earlier in the spring and later in the fall.

The third grant of $40,000 was awarded to Eleos Robotics for their Culture Bot: The Future of Pest Management project.

This is an intelligent robot that protects growers’ crops from weeds, insects and disease, providing a 100 per cent sustainable and automated pest-management solution.

Culture Bot would allow growers to reduce their payroll and keep pesticides out of their crops.

“We look forward to seeing the outcome of these three initiatives and the benefits that would be provided to our agricultural sector,” Neufeld said.

Contact Wendy Neufeld at 604-850-3755 or wendyneufeld@abbotsfordcf.org for more information.