One of the most common questions I get asked as the owner and operator of Micro YYC is, “how did you get into farming?”. Usually I will rattle off a long list of successes and failures, on the winding path that lead me to where I am now, 3 years into operating a successful indoor farm, but the short answer to the question is, a passion for growing good food, and hard work. Last year was the ultimate test of my resilience as a business owner, and involved a whole lot of moving and asking for a whole lot of help from my community.
2017 was a huge year for Micro YYC, with not one but two moves for the business. The year started with moving my 2-year old business out of my basement, and into a shared space with the YYC Growers! Although I didn’t have much more growing space than my basement had afforded, it was SUCH an improvement in terms of work flow, storage and morale (no more long days spent harvesting alone in the basement!). Don’t get me wrong - I absolutely love the work that I do, but it was refreshing to have some company at the warehouse and being a part of the YYC Growers’ comings and goings. It also allowed me to learn a lot about just how much work it is to get those local veggies out to YYC Growers customers each week. I’ll never underestimate food distribution again; the work the the YYC Growers team puts in is really tremendous.
As much as I enjoyed cohabitating with the YYC team, before long it was very apparent that the shared space wasn’t a long term solution to Micro YYC’s growing needs. By late summer, I was on the hunt for a new warehouse space!
As anyone who has every shopped around for commercial real estate can tell you, it took awhile to find the perfect space and get all the paperwork sorted, but on a balmy day in early December, with the help of some strong YYC Growers, their trusty delivery truck, Alice, and Micro YYC staff, we picked up my operating business and moved it into its new home! (140 living trays of microgreens and all!). I have never been more grateful to this community than on that day. Watching a team of my colleagues hoist my 8-foot long, 7-foot tall, heavy, metal shelves into the back of that truck was nothing short of amazing! (You guys are the best!)
I’m currently settling into the new warehouse, loving the benefits of having more space, and also facing the new challenges that come with running an ever expanding business. I have to say that after the challenges that 2017 brought, I feel ready to take on anything. 2018 is already shaping up to be an amazing year.
Although we are roommates no more, my relationship with YYC Growers is stronger than ever, and I am looking forward to making this season the best one yet! Micro YYC wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of the urban farming community and all the Calgarians that support us by choosing to buy from local farmers.
Click here to show your support & get your 2018 Summer Harvest Box today!