What do we do
We would like to take this opportunity to respectfully acknowledge that we live and work in the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta. Akesi Farms is located on the eastern slopes of the Rockies and the closest town, Sundre, Alberta, is approximately 25 km away.
We believe we need to help each other, create community, share what we learn and be open to learning from others. Akesi Farms is (very) cold. We are in plant hardiness zone 2B. (http://planthardiness.gc.ca/) Our elevation is around 1275m or ~4,200 ft. This imposes unique challenges and opportunities for growing food. In this spirit, Akesi Farms maintains:
- Bees (honey) (Available now!)
- Chicken Eggs (Available via subscription)
- Market Vegetables (potatoes, rhubarb, garlic, tomatoes) (Available Summer 2020)
- Mushroom spawn (http://www.fungiakuafo.com) (Available now!)
Future farm products
- Food forest products (apples, plums, berries, and nuts)
Meghan and Kwesi
This was just before we left on our longest trip in 2008. Wow, twelve years ago!
- minimal baggage (just your backpack!)
- being outside
- your daily tasks include: what we do eat? where do we sleep? how do we get to the next place?
- everyday is a new adventure
Every time we got back from travelling, we felt the need to change our lives. Going to work every day and living “for the holidays” seemed shallow. We spent all our time in the city either planning our next vacation or going to events. We were “caught up”. We knew something big was about to change but didn’t know exactly what! We had a list of ideas but “farming” wasn’t on that list… We started biking and walking everywhere. We started connecting with farmers. We starting asking a LOT of questions about where “stuff” and “food” comes from. We got involved in a community garden. In travelling our own backyard and other backyards, we knew the environmental impact of our choices was massive. The cheap food and goods we were buying were being paid for by others through water misuse, pollution, loss of habitat etc. We managed to get our garbage down to a small bag a month and even reduced our recycling to a similar amount. But, it seemed peanuts to what we could do.
In 2009, Meghan went back to school to do a BA in Development Studies. It took four years of part time studies but together, we learned a lot. Although Meghan was writing the research papers, Kwesi was editing and reading along! Together we solidified what we already knew. The world is intensely interconnected and our choices DO have impacts on others. We have the power to change how we live. We learned a lot of new vocabulary and maybe too much about how big corporations and giant non-profits see the world. You can’t unlearn what you learn. So, back to the beginning. What do we have the power to control and what do we not? When you meet people who have a totally different way of living than you, you suddenly realize that there are so many possibilities in the world. We met farmers. And, becoming farmers all of a sudden became possible. After all, if they are doing it, maybe we can? (This isn’t to say that we think we “know” how to farm. All we know is how to try!) In May 2014, Meghan and Kwesi went to Gimli, Manitoba to attend a workshop with Sepp Holzer. It was a great experience and we were the only ones there who didn’t own land or a farm! Maybe that was the beginning? The idea? We aren’t really sure… What we know for sure is that on September 7, 2014, we put in an offer to buy what is now Akesi Farms. We had to wait until we had cell phone reception on the drive out but that’s when we made the offer. To this day, we say we “impulse” bought a farm!
Why a farm?
Moving to a rural area has been one enormous challenge after another. We knew we had a lot to learn but it’s only when you start learning that you realize how little you know… We didn’t know about wells, septic tanks, big dogs, chickens, geese, pasture, wild animals, water pressure tanks, hydrants, etc… We have met lots of new people and continue to maintain friendships! One amazing thing about living away is that when people come to visit, they spend the whole day with you! You get time to find out how they are doing and really talk. We didn’t get that in the city. We now drive a lot. We went from almost not driving to driving everywhere. That’s probably the only downside to living at the end of the road. Thank you for taking this journey with us. We appreciate all the energy and time that has gone into building Akesi Farms. We have many years of building left but we are off to an amazing start. Meghan Vesey and Kwesi Haizel
Akesi Farms was founded on October 31, 2014!
What does Akesi mean?
In Fante, one of the Akan languages in Ghana, Akesi means “Great” or “Big” things. The idea for the name came from Kwesi’s sister.