Once upon a time, back in late 2008 Mary Rawson donated her eight acre farm property to the Sorrento Retreat and Conference Centre, with the provision that the land is used while maintaining the natural habitat for local songbirds.
This beautiful farm is what remains of the original Coubeaux family homestead. About three acres are the fields, the property includes critical bird habitat and orchard. Just a 5-minute walk from the lake, the cottonwood forest has grown up around the old cherry orchard and barn and several very old Douglas fir and cedar trees provide more habitat for wildlife. The heritage Finnish tongue and groove cedar barn is the oldest structure in the Sorrento area.
Over the years, the Farm has nurtured a working vegetable and fruit farm while continuing to provide important habitat for a number of local bird species. As the farm produces gorgeous fruits and vegetables, the costs to Sorrento Retreat and Conference Centre continue to rise. Whether it’s acquiring and maintaining equipment, ensuring irrigation is sufficient and field staff is recruited and retained, we need financial help in order to sustain this very special place.. Your generous support is greatly appreciated.
During the summer and fall of 2023, we’ve offered farm gate sales and a small market at Spes Bona. Our farm has been:
- a place of bounty: natural farming methods produced a bounty of nutritious food for our kitchen and for the surrounding community.
- a place of learning: the basics of permaculture and regenerative agriculture, seeding and planting and harvesting; as well as seeking to better understand our natural and spiritual relationship to the land.
- a place where work and worship come together in prayer-in-action.
The culinary offerings of our Food Services Department are being revised as we explore farm-to-table possibilities both with our own organic farm and other local farmers in the area.
Also, in fall of 2023, Farmer Angelo took on a mission to revamp the existing greenhouse to create an optimal growing environment that not only reduces time in crop cultivation, but also saves a great deal of money! The renovation and updates are complete and our produce is happy and growing strong, including the mushrooms!
As the mystic Julian of Norwich has said:
“Be a gardener. Dig a ditch, toil and sweat and turn the earth upside down and seek the deepness and water the plants in time. Continue this labor and make sweet floods to run and noble and abundant fruits to spring. Take this food and drink and carry it to God as your true worship.”