An 18.5 acre-plot of land in southern Ontario yielded almost 3,200 bushels of corn for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB). It also yielded a new partnership between Tillsonburg (Ontario) Christian Reformed Church and its neighbor, Mt. Elgin United Church.
It was the first time either church had done a CFGB growing project. Pete Ypma, who coordinated the project, said, “Both congregations are relatively small, but both have a background which is strong in agriculture, so a growing project is a good fit.”
The acreage sits on Plank Line, part of a provincial highway between the towns of Tillsonburg and Mt. Elgin. “We were fortunate to have a parcel of land made available to us in a high visibility area for the project,” said Ypma. The churches split the cost of renting the land, raising the cash through offerings and fundraisers. All the materials and other costs were covered by local businesses and agricultural suppliers, so 100 percent of the proceeds were donated to CFGB.
The crop was sold through London Agricultural Commodities for about $13,500. With the Canadian government matching the cash four to one, the project raised almost $68,000 for CFGB.
The group learned some things along the way, including the need to start raising support early on, the diligence required to keep up with the project and keep it in people’s minds, and the joy of celebrating similarities with others in the the broader church.
Reflecting on the experience, Ypma said, “To me, the amazing thing is something we witness on the farm every year: God allows us to stick a little over seven 50-pound bags of corn seed into some of the best dirt on earth, and he provides a harvest of what looks like it’s going to be about 500 times that!”