It's easy these days to purchase food and lose sight of where that food has come from. As a result, it can be hard to know how your money is impacting the lives of the people growing that food. YYC Growers is farmer owned for several reasons, but one reason is that it creates a huge barn-open door for the customers to access the farmers.
That's why over the next few weeks we're going to feature testimonials from our farmers about how YYC Growers has impacted their business. We want our customers to know that their Harvest Box and Farmer's Market purchases really, truly make a difference in the lives of farmers in and around Calgary. This should be a feel-good experience for you in the days of so much sad and terrifying news.
To start, we feature the Riedner Family who have started a farm near Carstairs:
We have been involved with YYC Growers for four seasons now, and honestly we probably wouldn't be in business this season if it wasn't for the co-op.
We have experienced back to back years of drought; 2016 in the spring which cost us 75% of our production and 2017 in mid to late summer which cost us 50% of our production. This is the second season we have had to cancel plans to do a CSA, and being part of a group program like YYC Growers has allowed us to continue sales when we are unable to get the higher productivity needed to run our own programs.
Beyond sales, YYC Growers is a community of farmers. We help each other out regularly. Just last week two farms took time out to help us move irrigation equipment from our (now) ephemeral pond to our new dugout. Farming is hard, doing it alone without a community behind you is exceptionally difficult. We are so glad that YYC Growers is around to provide that social help every farm needs now and again.