By Samantha Johnson
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
It will be a night of fun, food and live entertainment Sept. 30 at Irvine School. Doors will open at 4 p.m. for the 2023 Agriculture Discovery Centre Fall Gather and Production Sale.
As with last year, the ADC student executive will be giving tours to guests. Visitors will be able to view the livestock that will be auctioned off later in the night, the garden that will be supplying some of the food served at the roast beef dinner or check out the vermicomposting trailer that was bought with money raised last year.
It has taken time to get the worm farm stable and the ADC is expecting to make the first harvest very soon.
“At this point in time the worms are very healthy and they are rapidly digesting the material we put in there,” said founder of the ADC Nichole Neubauer. “Roxanne (Doerksen) with TRAD Worms will come out and facilitate that first harvest. In doing that, we hope to have some samples on the tables for folks to take with them even if it’s just a homemade compost teabag.”
Due to high summer temperatures and additional heat generated by the worms digesting the compost, the irrigation had to be increased, but the ADC managed to get the bed stabilized.
“Now, all you do is pull away some of the cover and there are hundreds of worms just below the surface doing a good job.”
This year’s gala will be similar to the last one, with silent auction items and a video sale of livestock. Last year, Neubauer Farms donated a large pumpkin for the auction, but the ADC has managed to grow a huge pumpkin of its own for this year.
“We’ll be one pig short this year,” explained Neubauer. “We are very proud of the fact that one of our ADC hogs is going to be processed and will appear on the menu at the annual HALO fundraiser on Sept. 29. We are donating one of our finished pigs to that event to further support the very important work that HALO does.”
A few animals that can be seen on the tour but won’t be part of the auction are Oatmeal the goat and her three kids, which she gave birth to on Sept. 1 at about 10 p.m.
“They are a going concern now and a real highlight for students coming back to school. You really can’t be in a bad mood when you are watching little goats bouncing around.”
The plan is for Ty Jans, who worked at the ADC this summer and will be doing his teaching practicum at Irvine School starting this coming January, to billet the goat family over the winter.
“He has taken such incredible ownership of that place and brought his family along as well and they too have fallen in love with the goats.”
Auctioned animals will be delivered to Deerview Meats the Monday following the sale.
“All you need to do is bid and make your cutting arrangements with Deerview and pick up your fine quality, student raised beef, lamb or pork when it’s ready. We try to make that seamless and easy for folks.”
One new item on the live auction list is an aerial tour through Super T Aviation.
“Our son, Logan Neubauer, is a commercial pilot and also a graduate of the Flight Academy program at Eagle Butte High School. He’ll be the one providing the tour,” said Neubauer. “Whatever destination you choose of the area to get that bird’s-eye view of the beautiful landscape here in southeast Alberta.”
Tickets are $20 each and are available by calling Irvine School at 403-834-3783, which includes the evenings festivities, live entertainment by Rob Hudec, the meal along with speeches by students on how the program has impacted them.
A 2023 Fall Gather and Production Sale catalogue available on issuu.com for people to look through prior to Sept. 30.
Access the catalogue at https://issuu.com/mrsknixdorf/docs/2023_fall_gather_and_production_sale_catalogue.