From Local Farms – Riverbend Gardens

KevinFrom Local Farms, From Local Farms - The Series, Riverbend Gardens, Veg11 Comments

I wasn’t sure what to expect when driving up to Riverbend Gardens, whose farm is actually within Edmonton city limits, but it certainly wasn’t this: a young 3rd generation farming couple just in the middle of having a family struggling to find time to fight to stay on the land their family’s farmed for half a century. Juggling pregnancy, a couple toddlers, a large staff, farmer’s markets nearly daily, a whole pile of different vegetables and plants at various stages of growth, succession planning, and getting politically involved to protect their land against development cannot be an easy task. And the deer want to eat their crops. They have to hire a couple people to stand watch through the night while transplants size up, or the deer will put them out of business. Perhaps to drive the point home for my visit, mother nature knocked out their power, just for good measure.

One perk of taking on an established farm is they currently plant only half the land for the year, letting the other half rest. With the cost of land around the city in the millions/quarter, I’m assuming that’s generally not economically feasible. Producing food locally can be both a blessing and a curse, and it’s never been more evident to me than here.

11 Comments on “From Local Farms – Riverbend Gardens”

  1. Tiffany

    I also sent a letter to my city councilor. With the world in a food crisis, the last thing they should be destroying is farm land!

  2. Grant H.

    The disgusting thing about the developer is the blatant disregard for the farmer to gain industrial and high density residential zoning for their lands. Walton has had Stantec route the highway and site the bridge on land owned by legitimate farmers, leaving all their speculation holdings untouched. By doing this, when the land is expropriated, the amount due to the farmers will be agriculture rate, much lower than industrial. All their investments will then pay off with windfall profits! At the same time, we lose some of the best farmland in western Canada, and agriculture loses more families.

    The bridge cannot go on the east side of Fort Saskatchewan, because “there’s too much industrial land there” and the developers want top dollar for it. They’re trying to force the bridge on the farmers.

  3. Bob in Edmonton

    I wrote my councillor as well. We buy from Riverside at the downtown market each week and, if I can get some info from them there, we’ll have a go at the Saskatoon u-pick.

  4. Serben Free Range

    Only when man has paved over every lake and every square foot of viable land will they realize we can’t eat! There needs to be major media coverage on this story. Food is number one and should never even be considered to be paved over. Farmers should be respected more than anything else in the world. Without food, we are nonexistent!
    Very informative video. Absolutely beautiful farm. Let’s rock this boat and make sure this farm stays a farm!

  5. SherryGreens

    I just sent a note to my councillor, and plan to send a similar one to my MLA. I really hope that this highway does not go through.

  6. SherryGreens

    Hi Kevin – I heard back from my councillor, Ben Henderson. He is asking for more specifics on the highway, and whether it relates to the final extension of the Henday? Do you have any more information? In his email he told me (quote) “I assure you I am doing everything in my power to protect the important and unique agricultural land up in the north east part of the City.” This is a good thing! Yay for representation!

  7. Kevin

    Thanks everybody for being so engaged, and am glad to see the famers getting some support.
    Sherry – I’m not well educated on the details of the construction plans. Janelle may be able to direct you to some well informed folks if you contact her directly [see their website].

  8. Pingback: Farm-to-Table w/ RGE RD & Riverbend Gardens « Kevin Kossowan

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