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September 22, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
On May 15, 2013, on an 11-acre parcel of land just west of Canada Olympic Park, a group of dedicated volunteers turned the soil, nurtured plants, harvested the first crop on Canada’s largest urban agricultural farm.
Our goal is to grow fresh produce for Compassionate Food Access Agencies in Calgary, to ensure all Calgarians have access to healthy, local food. Thanks to the generous spirit of our community we’ve reached our first milestone, but there’s still more to grow.
Grow Calgary, Canada’s largest community urban farm, grows food for social agencies with food access programs.. Everything, 100% of what we grow is donated. 100% of our production is grown by volunteers. 95% of our recipients are women and children. 100% of our recipients are vulnerable and living in poverty.
Come to see how we run our non-profit urban compassionate farm! We have over 26 farming stations to show you, where we grow potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, peas, garlic, and zucchini (to name just a few). We are hoping you can help us harvest during the tours. We will also show you our Earthship, Microhomes, Hydroponics, and Seed Bank.
An Earthship is a type of passive solar house that is made of both natural and upcycled materials, originally pioneered by architect Michael Reynolds. Our Earthship was made in 2014 by the EcoNerds, lead by Scottie Davidson. It is believed to be the first urban earthship in North America. It is made of repurposed materials including recycled tires, cans, and bottles that are the foundation of this awe-striking building. This structure ran into issues with city building code rules, but the dedicated EcoNerds successfully appealed the city’s demolition order. In the cold winter months which all Albertans know too well, the temperature in the Earthship has never dropped below minus one. This is one of many stations that volunteers get to join in and help with early germination.
In the summer of 2018, we started an open competition in which a variety of teams are building and designing their own microhomes (itty-bitty houses around 100 SF) in preparation for the exhibition date on September 15th. The purpose of this competition is to bring visibility, attention & research to good design around affordable, energy and resource efficient, aesthetically pleasing microhomes. It creates an opportunity for designers to feature their microhome design concepts and exhibits viability of microhomes as an affordable housing option for the homeless, students, low-income individuals. We are still in the process of confirming where the microhomes will go after they are built.
We have repurposed a shipping container for hydroponic gardening — complete with lights, water, and rows of plastic growing tubes. This allows us to grow produce in the dead of winter. Hydroponic cultivation uses far less water than outside farming, and it’s more efficient. It can be up to the equivalent of one acre of land inside one of those containers without the need for pollination or the use of pesticides! It also allows us to have early germination and start very early so we can have plants that are strong enough so that we can put them in the soil in April.
Grow Calgary has 11 acres of farmland that has gone through a transformational change from the ground up, led by the dedicated leader Paul Hughes. Grow Calgary started in 2013 since then there have been over 2200 volunteers who have been the back bone of growing the produce donated to Calgary’s vulnerable populations.