YYC Growers is 5 year old!!!
Friends, can you believe it? YYC Growers, Calgary’s farmer owned food hub, will turn 5 this growing season.
What began as a beautiful concept years ago has turned into a reality because several incorrigible urban farmers wanted to work together, and 65 keen Calgarians were willing to try a CSA (community supported agriculture) produced by inner-city farmers. Those keeners, let’s call them, early-adopters and probably a couple of friends, believed the urban farms would succeed, or at least provide some food to eat. YYC Growers was born.
Recently, while attending an entrepreneur breakfast, the keynote speaker made a hilarious comment about her business, now 5 years old. Though not a mother herself, she likened her 5 year old business to a child just turning 5. Imagining the heroic efforts required to raise a child to 5, this speaker applauded the success of her 5 year old business, but wryly expressed that a 5 year old, is pretty useless. Sure they can eat, poop, walk, talk; but they’re not performing surgeries or writing epic poems.
The speaker’s sentiment really struck me. YYC Growers may be potty-trained but in no way is it an autonomously functioning business. Without the exhaustive volunteer work of its board members and farmers over the last 5 years and without the steadfast commitment of its customers, YYC Growers might not be anymore than a drooling babe. To carry the metaphor a little further: what keeps us all, farmers and customers alike, committed to raising YYC Growers into a healthy and better functioning adult, is our shared desire for Calgary to have a strong and resilient local food scene.
Looking back, what astounds me the most is the generosity and enthusiasm for local food that was always present in Calgary. Every time YYC Growers grew, we found new friends and communities thrilled to support Calgary area farmers. From those early years of 65 courageous early adopters, YYC Growers has grown to now serves around 750 families in Calgary and Airdrie. We are so thrilled to be able to write that sentence. Thank you, so much, to YOU – the incredible people of Calgary!
This growing season, YYC Growers hopes to serve even more Calgarians that are committed to local food and supporting local farms. We’re so excited to be launching our 2018 season THIS Monday, Feb. 5th! It’s going to be another incredible season of delicious food, farm challenges and new friends. We can't wait for you to join us.