Welcome to Empress Acres
“This place is perfect!” said Alex Jay, our plantation manager, the first time he visited Vancouver Island, BC in the summer of 2016. The soil, temperature and rainfall on Vancouver Island are in the goldilocks zone for our Empress cold hybrid variety which was very exciting for us as many of the staff and shareholders from World Tree live in BC.
In this article we share the story of the first Empress Tree plantation on Vancouver Island.
A Dream Come True
This summer Angela Nauta and Marlene Lewis became our first farmers on Vancouver Island, with a 15-acre planting of our Empress Trees in Cedar, Nanaimo. Angela, Marlene and their husband’s Robert and Peter bought their 69-acre farm this spring. Angela is the Chief Investment Officer for World Tree and has long had a dream of owning her own Empress Tree farm.
Marlene is a World Tree investor and a champion of the Carbon Offset Program. Together these two powerful women made a dream come true to own their own farm and gain the environmental and economic benefits of being an Empress Tree farmer.
“I’ve wanted my own farm ever since I first found out about the Empress Splendor tree,” says Angela. “I am already an investor in World Tree, I work for World Tree and now I get to grow my own trees. Thank you to World Tree for making it possible to follow my dream and do good for the planet in the process.”
Empress Acres Planting Party
The sun was out, but thankfully there were some clouds overhead because planting trees is hot work – as the team of over 70 volunteers who descended on Empress Acres found out. It was the first weekend of June when the tree planting crew turned up in force – including World Tree staff, investors, family members and champions. Even our lawyer, Kim Johnson, turned up to get his hands dirty.
Alex managed the entire planting and showed all the volunteers the proper way to plant an Empress tree. Everyone pitched in with the heavy lifting – hauling buckets of soil, digging holes, fertilizing and watering the plants – even the children were able to take part.
Two months later …
We visited Empress Acres a few weeks later to see how the trees are doing and the results were astonishing. Some of the trees are already over eight feet tall.
“The trees are really, really happy here,” says Angela. “It’s been a hot summer so we have been out in the field watering three times a week in August. During the next two years the trees will grow their deep tap roots and will be able to take care of their own drinking requirements. Until then, we will water them in the summer months.”
Below are some pictures taken between 6 and 8 weeks of planting.
Come and Visit the Farm
Join us at Empress Acres on September 30th for FarmFest. You will be able to see the trees, meet Angela and Marlene and find out what it takes to grow a plantation. After the farm tour we will host a presentation and family style brunch out on the farm.
We are looking for farmers and investors for our 2018 planting, so please invite anyone you think might be interested in our program.