The Path of Dreams: Community Permaculture Garden

by | Mar 17, 2023 | Heartivist Of The Week

The province of Manitoba has the second highest inflation rate in Canada making it difficult for many families to make ends meet.

“You can rebuild what was lost. You can create something out of nothing even when other people don’t believe it”, Torrence Ledwich, Ledwich Family Farm.

A person without dreams is like a ship without a rudder, someone who wanders in the world without a purpose or sense of direction. Dreams give hope and sense to our existence, they can even shape the path of our destiny from the depths of our soul without us even knowing. Torrence Ledwich, one of the founders of the animal sanctuary Ledwich Family Farm, is the living proof of the power of dreams. 

Torrence has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology with a double major in Family Violence and Child & Youth Health And Development but the dream she had at a very young age would shape the path she would later follow. 

When she was just a little girl living in Winnipeg, Canada, Torrence was asked to make a presentation for her Social Studies class in 4th grade and being an animal lover she decided to create a dog shelter. Back then she envisioned becoming a Veterinarian, and although life seemed to have taken her in a different direction, her path had already been outlined.

“When I was younger, I never thought I’d be here. But when I look back on my life, I can see that the signs were there, that this is where I was going,” remembers Torrence, who is now in charge of taking care of more than 50 rescued animals in her sanctuary.

Dignifying Animal’s Lives

Torrence and her husband Christopher are vegan and they share the same passion for giving animals a dignified life. Their first experience happened when they were asked to foster a 5 pound Japanese Chin rescued from a puppy mill in 2013. Torrence and Christopher didn’t hesitate and ended up becoming the permanent home for Diesel; they became her family. They saw how love and care made Diesel’s personality blossom and that inspired them to find a place where they could make a difference in more animals’ lives.

“In 2016, we moved into our land which is an hour away from Winnipeg, close to the town of Inwood in the province of Manitoba. The land has 320 acres and a few years later we started to receive animals. At the moment we have 53 rescued horses, ponies, cows, goats, turkeys, ducks, chickens, birds, bunnies, dogs and cats. We are in the center of Canada, but some of our animals come from as far as British Columbia,” recalls Torrence. “We want to protect them and give them a dignified life here for as long as they live.”

A New Project to Help the Community

The cost of living in the province of Manitoba, Canada, has had the fastest increase in decades, according to the provinces government. In fact, they report having the second highest inflation rate in the country. This is something that has led to providing package benefits so that Manitobans in need can afford the essentials such as buying groceries or paying bills.

One tomato in an isolated northern community in Canada can cost $8.19. The food struggle is a big problem. This is why we decided to create the Community Permaculture Garden Project, so we can grow food, teach the techniques to others, provide food for 30 families and sell the excess locally, preventing over costs,” explains Torrence.

The Needed Seed

The Community Permaculture Garden will be a project situated outside Ledwich Family Farm. It will include a walking path and one acre of edible plants grown sustainably using a vegan process. Torrence and her husband are working together with another family to make this project happen. But in order to plant the first quarter of an acre they needed help to buy over 30 packages of seeds from 10 different plants.

“We heard about TPP through the organization PEACE, with whom we have worked rescuing animals. We applied because we needed help to buy the seeds to start the Community Permaculture Garden,” says Torrence. “When I knew that we had received the grant I was amazed, happy. I cried. We are very grateful. Receiving grants like The Pollination Project means that people believe in us and that means a lot.”

Torrence smiles as she realizes how she has lived the dream she held so dear when she was a little girl: opening a shelter, taking care of animals. Although it has been difficult to overcome the financing challenges, she’s grateful to now share this path with her husband Christopher and her two boys, Hudson who is 4 and Thatcher who is 2. 

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If you are inspired by this work and have an idea for a project that addresses an issue that you are passionate about, we’d like to invite you to submit an application and together we will build a better, more compassionate future! 

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