Developing Sustainable Agri-Tourism: Sunflowers Mass Crop

Proj. #:4734
Description: Biodiversity in agriculture is critical to food security and sustainable living. Abbey Gardens is committed to education on biodiversity and this includes the demonstration of good gardening practices and sustainable uses of land. Abbey Gardens is a 300 acre site on decommissioned gravel pits. Throughout the property there are areas which have been remediated from aggregate use but are not considered productive or naturalized. 2017 will be the first year that aggregate will not be moving from the larger pit on site and that area will be undergoing rehabilitation. A smaller aggregate pit was rehabilitated in 2015 and had various waste water construction occur in 2016 for new businesses on site. The goal for us at Abbey Gardens is to create spaces from the rehabilitated gravel pits into areas which are inviting to the community to come enjoy and learn as well as to be revenue generating. For Abbey Gardens to effectively plan for future expansion of multi-use sustainable crops on site it would be prudent for us to model after similar agri-tourism farms in Ontario and benefit from their experiences. Research on other such sites in Ontario and review of how they use various crops for tourism and products would help provide Abbey Gardens information to base their future expansion plans. There the students will be exploring the following areas 1) Planting & Management (soil analysis, location analysis, wildlife, esthetics, soil remediation, sustainability) 2) Agri-tourism (increase pubic visits, revenue generation) and 3) Value-Added Products (create products for revenue generation).