Historic Lodge building takes on new life

South Cariboo Agri-Culture Enterprise Centre office expanded

The South Cariboo Agri-Culture Centre office entrance is at the far right of the Lodge building. Look for the white door and the Ag Centre sign.

The South Cariboo Agri-Culture Centre office entrance is at the far right of the Lodge building. Look for the white door and the Ag Centre sign.

By Sherry Stewart

The District of 100 Mile House has approved an increase in the South Cariboo Agri-Culture Enterprise Centre office space adjacent to the old historic Lodge building.

Members are excited because they now have the room to fulfill the “enterprising” part of their name.

This will be a real plus to the 100 Mile community at large, ranging from increased support for individual local food producers and Farmers Market vendors to providing a boost for the Ag Centre operated Community Garden. It will increase local fresh food being made available through Loaves & Fishes Outreach and the 100 Mile House Food Bank to members of the community.

The Ag Centre was founded to provide a hub or an umbrella for all things “agricultural” in the 100 Mile community. This means various agriculturally centred member groups will now be using space in the new facility for their board meetings, small workshops, think-tank gatherings, as well as Ag Centre library research and more.

Some of the member groups already using the increased offices or being supported by the centre are the South Cariboo Regional Cattlemen’s Association, The South Cariboo Farmers Market, CEEDS and the Horse Lake Community Farm Co-Op (HLCFC), the Rebel Gardener and Seed Exchange groups (part of the South Cariboo Sustainability Society [SCSS]), the Community Garden, and Rick Jones’ Blended Compost Soil.

The greatly increased space includes a very large meeting room, five smaller individual office rooms, several semi-private areas, and a sizable board room. The plan is to make this space available for member use and Ag Centre user groups for their various activities, workshops, board meetings and such.

There is now space for member commodity exchange, and the ordering, drop off and pick up of bulk fruit orders in season. The lending library is growing, people are dropping in and leaving their contact information and brochures, and members are gearing up for the Ag Centre Farmers Market Booth.

There is even a great place to serve coffee, tea, and on occasion, Rita Giesbrecht’s famous cinnamon buns, which debuted for the first time on April 26.

The Ag Centre is now in place to support healthy community food production and local agriculture-based groups. The centre’s mandate is first and foremost about supporting people, and providing them with the education and experience necessary to grow their own food – and to grow healthy food for others.

The Ag Centre recently co-sponsored Seedy Saturday with the HLCFC, the Seed Exchange and the Rebel Gardener activities (co-sponsoring with the SCSS), as well as co-sponsoring the showing of the movie DIRT and an afternoon of composting displays and discussion produced by Rick and Liz Jones.

More workshops, conferences and cooking classes are being planned, including a Farmers Market appearance and weekend workshop by Sharon Hanna, author of the now famous Book of Kale.

The newly expanded Ag Centre offices can be found at the very far right of the main Lodge building. Look for the white door and the Ag Centre sign by the door.

For more information, the South Cariboo Agri-Culture Enterprise Centre (SCAEC) may be found on Facebook, at the Farmers Market starting May 10, or by calling 778-482-2216. The SCAEC Blog and website is at www.cariboo-agcentre.blogspot.ca/.