It might seem odd for a group of farmers to be encouraging Calgarians to grow more of their own food. After all, YYC Growers' mainstay of business is the Harvest Box program; our customers buy product all grown and produced by our 19 member farms. But this season, YYC Growers is expanding its operations to include seeds, seedlings and garden kits, and we want you to get out in the dirt and plant your own garden. Why? For several reasons.
YYC Growers is a business about farmer empowerment and customer education. Growing food is challenging and requires expertise. Since the prices of local food are occasionally met with surprise when compared to imported produce from Mexico and California, we encourage everyone to grow at least some of their own so that they understand the challenges faced by farmers on a large scale, daily and the dedication our farmers have to produce such high quality, delicious veg.
Growing your own will connect you to your food even further. Buying direct from farmers is hugely important, but only when you’ve sheltered your precious tomatoes from a hail storm or plucked that radish from the earthy ground will you really feel at one with your food. It’s kind of like the difference between baby-sitting and raising your own.
3) We want more farmers.
Right now only about 2% of the North American population farms. YYC Growers is a believer that small-scale, regenerative agriculture is the solution to many of our world’s problems: climate change, food security, environmental health. In order tomake farming a solution, we need more farmers. We want people to start growing their own in the hopes that they get inspired to farm.
Data shows that people who grow their own food are more likely to purchase locally. Let’s keep widening the circle of community supported agriculture by getting more people outside, in the soil and in the kitchen. Growing your own for the whole year is a challenge that most of us can’t take on either because of lack of space or time. But grow what you can, and know that YYC Growers will be there for the rest.
Come see us at the Calgary Horticultural Society Garden Show, April 14-15 and get all your seedling needs, started by farmers. You'll be able to purchase individual seedlings, or seedling kits so you can roll out your garden as soon as the snow is gone.
Some of the kits you’ll be able to purchase include:
- The Full Garden: roll out your own garden with all the vegetables that make up a complete, fully-loaded backyard garden.
- The Salad Bowl: a mixture of salads and greens for those who think nothing says summer like a patio and a bowl of freshly harvested salad greens.
- The Greenhouse: Whether it's a greenhouse you have or a really sunny wall, this kit is for the grower who cannot get enough tomatoes or cucumbers all summer long. You'll also get some peppers and of course, a zucchini--because nothing grows in Calgary like zucchinis.
Can’t make the Garden Show? Find all these same products on our web store -- click here.