By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
People have been seeing a lot of negative information via their social media and in the news, so one Castor area business is working toward giving people something to smile about.
Lady’s Hat Farms, a farm specializing in flowers near Castor, put out a notice via their social media feeds that they were collecting money to provide Castor’s Paintearth Lodge and Extendicare with fresh cut flowers while the facilities are not accepting visitors due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“During these challenging times, it’s important that we come together as a community to help our most vulnerable,” wrote Lady’s Hat Farm Owner and Operator Nikki Wiart.
“I’d like to put together a bunch of small bouquets for our seniors at the Paintearth Lodge and Long-Term Care, since visitors are no longer allowed. I hope this will bring a few smiles to the residents.”
The response from the community was overwhelming, raising over $900 in just a couple of days. Wiart’s goal was to raise $200 to offset the cost of the flowers, and she made the arrangements herself.
“I’ve decided to continue buying flowers every week and bringing them in until visitors are allowed once more,” wrote Wiart in her follow-up social media post.
Wiart is a former reporter who did her schooling and work in Ontario before moving back to the farm in March of 2017.
“I did my masters thesis on first generation farmers in Canada,” said Wiart during a recent interview.
“I realized how lucky I was to be able to access land and mentorship through my parents. These young farmers really inspired me to grow my own food and be a steward for the land,” explained Wiart about her decision to move back.
Since returning to the farm in 2017, she began growing a mix of ethically-produced vegetables and flowers.
“I grew quite a bit last year. About half vegetables and half flowers. The year before was less. This year (I’m) focusing mainly on flowers,” she said.
In addition to the funds already raised, Wiart will continue to accept donations for the short-term to continue brightening up the lives of the seniors living in the Paintearth Lodge and Long-Term Care.