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Edmonton Organic Grower’s Guild

08.01.11

It never ceases to amaze me how much opportunity there is out there for folks when it comes to local food – un-elitist, accessible-to-all, free, local food. This organization might take the cake. They are a cooperative of volunteers who farm vegetables and fruit on land owned by the University of Alberta. They seed as a group, weed as a group, harvest as a group, and share the bounty. I’ve often driven by the University farm, parked smack dab in the middle of the city – acres upon acres of extremely valuable real estate – and wondered why the heck they were growing conventional grain crops. Research, I get it, but can that kind of research not be done a half-hour out of the city where land is a fraction of the cost? Can these hundreds of acres of surviving agricultural land in the center of our city not be feeding people? How about feeding students at least?

As it turns out, one of the ways the UofA is innovating the use of this land gold-mine is by allowing the Edmonton Organic Grower’s Guild to farm it. For free. Not only is rent free, they supply composted manure from their cattle operation down the road, spread and till it, and give EOGG grant money to buy seed and tools. Astonishing. So who, might you ask, must you be, or who must you know to be so fortunate as to get an opportunity to farm such a precious piece of land that’s a short walk from an LRT station? It’s open to anybody. Yes, condo dwellers living downtown, you no longer have a good excuse in my mind to not be growing your own veg. What an opportunity. My hat’s off to the UofA.

11 Responses

  1. Debra Krause says:

    it never ceases to amaze me what Edmonton has hidden away… what a wonderful organization!

  2. Siew says:

    I thank you for the very useful information. I have been trying to do pretty much the same at my house. My house sits on a corner lot and I have always thought it is such as waste of land growing grass when it could be perfectly fine growing food for my family. I have remove most of my grass and are slowly converting them into veg & fruit garden. It’s been a long process since I am doing it on my own and learning along the way…none of my neighbour seem interested in a co-operative style urban farming. I already have lots of surplus lettuce this year and I can see that I will have enough potatoes to feed a few small families! Your article give me a good idea to donate the surplus to Edmonton Food Bank. I didn’t know that they accept vegetables.

  3. It was great to have you come and visit us! The Edmonton Food Bank loves fresh fruit and vegetables, just make sure to call ahead so they can be prepared for your harvest!

  4. SherryGreens says:

    Another great video Kevin, this is so progressive! We are so lucky to have this in Edmonton, way to go U of A!

  5. OK
    Let’s get slow food edmonton out there with a long table and a great vegetarian meal!
    Love the idea!
    :)
    V

  6. Judy Z says:

    The garden bits I saw look great. Is it supposed to have sound? I can’t find a place to turn up the volume but even with my volume set to full I had a silent video. I’m dying to know what that fellow was saying.

  7. Judy Z says:

    Ignore last comment. As soon a I got out of the comment I had sound so watched it again. Who knew!

  8. Raquelferoe says:

    Are there any individuals or groups out their able to assist me and a coalition called pesticide free Edmonton? We are looking for letters to send to community services subcommittee. We want a short simple letter preferably on letterhead stating you or your group is concerned re pesticides.

    We have templates and addresses. This would be much appreciated as this is going to city hall feb 6

    Raquel Feroe rferoe@telusplanet.net 7804210975
    Canadian Cancer Society and pesticide free Edmonton coalition.

  9. Brenda Kossowan says:

    Another reason for all that seemingly empty space, having visited there once a year for the past five or six years, is that is provides a buffer for the pig barn in the centre. Betcha most of the people around the farm aren’t even aware of it. NRCB regulations require a setback between an intensive livestock operation and houses and I’m just guessing on how many complaints there would be if manure from the barn were spread on the field.

  10. [...] friend of mine [who I met when shooting another video, coincidentally] invited me out ice fishing with him and a co-worker of his, and I just [...]

  11. [...] has been doing cool food stuff for ages, and you might recognize him from prior episodes about the Edmonton Organic Growers’ Guild or ice fishing. In fact, we were sitting on the ice catching whitefish when he mentioned his [...]

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