City Farm harvest grows awareness of food security in Edmonton

The City Farm garden in northeast Edmonton is bringing carrots, beets, pumpkins and other vegetables to the surface—along with a sense of the vital importance of food security in our community.

City Farm is a five-hectare piece of land at the Old Man Creek Nursery transformed this year into a giant vegetable plot harvested for community groups who serve people who need food.

“Since the pandemic we have increased from 100 families accessing the program per week to about 400,” said Community Resource Coordinator Julia Tran of Grocery Run.

“This has meant that there’s a significant increase in the volume of food required to ensure that families are receiving enough food for their growing children as well as for aging seniors.”

Here’s the story of a recent harvest day at the City of Edmonton-run City Farm project, and how Grocery Run workers kept the gift of food moving.

This is the first year for City Farm, which broke ground in May. So far, more than 9,000 kg of vegetables have been harvested. The season will wrap up by October 9.

City of Edmonton Gardener Ken Ganga said digging in for fellow Edmontonians is a good feeling.

“In a year like this with COVID-19 and everything, I, personally, think it’s a wonderful thing that we can actually reinforce our community members and people that might be in a tough spot, be it financially or occupation-wise. That we can actually bolster our local community by providing a very essential service, in my mind, through our City horticulture department and our team efforts to, basically, give back to our residents of Edmonton.”

Tran (left) helps Grocery Run worker haul in City Farms vegetable delivery.

Workers make weekly runs from the Old Man Creek Nursery site to food organizations in Edmonton.

“This helps us to offset the cost of food purchasing so that we can actually extend our program because we anticipate that because of the hardships that have been magnified by Covid this will need to be a longer-term program,” said Tran.

“It’s important financially but also socially to reveal the invisible struggle of food insecurity.”

Editor’s note: the pic at the top of the post is City of Edmonton Gardener Austin McDowell, yes, out standing in his field. The shots of the bees in the video above reminded us of something about bees that beekeeper Dustin Bajer told us a couple of months ago: “When they go out into the world to gather food, they make it better in the process.” Here’s that whole post about bees, if you are interested. And one final pic from City Farms of a working-for-good bee:

Gardeners planted sunflowers at City Farms for some colour, and so bees could do their good work.