We are so excited to announce the launch of our Backyard Farmers Pilot Project!
We will marshal our strengths in community engagement, volunteerism and education to provide more fresh, nutrient-dense produce to our local residents at no cost. We are thrilled to be on this growing journey with our partners, the Healthy Kimberley Food Recovery team, to increase the capacity for food distribution in Kimberley. The ultimate purpose of the project will be to raise the bar on food security issues and help our community to become more resilient by:
1. Educating the community on how to grow food in their own backyards
The first part of the project involves a series of free bi-weekly workshops, to be held at the Kimberley Community Garden (one of our projects) on a range of seasonal gardening skills and techniques, including building gardens and raised beds, vertical gardening, irrigation and water capture, organic weed and pest control, and seed saving. Residents will learn tangible skills that they can immediately apply in their backyard gardens. The first workshop, Starting Plants Indoors, launched on April 24.
2. Producing more fresh, organic food for community members
We will invite community engagement by selecting three to five volunteer Backyard Farmers, both experienced and novice, to install an additional raised bed (offered by a local business at a discounted price) and donate the surplus produce to the Healthy Kimberley Food Recovery. Our Sustainability Coordinator, an experienced urban farmer, will provide advice on how to purchase, plan and design the new raised bed, and what to grow. He will also offer further suggestions on how to optimize food production in pre-existing gardens. Throughout the growing season, we will depend upon a core group of volunteers to assist the Backyard Farmers with gardening advice, maintenance and harvest. We estimate that five Backyard Farmers, each with their own well maintained 4 x 8 garden bed, can produce as much as 25 lbs of greens (kale, chard, spinach and/or lettuce) per season. This totals to 125 lbs of fresh, free garden greens.
3. Creating a local food community network
In addition to the social cohesion and networking that will naturally flow from goals 1 and 2, we will develop a new Food Sustainability-Local Food Network page on our website that is designed to connect growers and producers from in and around the Kimberley area. On this page, we will offer links to free gardening resources, share a local grower’s “How To” video series, and design a local food live map. On this map, both growers and producers can choose to have their address pinned, with contact information to enable community members to network on ideas, troubleshoot food growing challenges, and increase both awareness and sales of locally grown/produced farmers.
If our pilot year is successful, we hope to increase the number of Backyard Farmers in 2022 to at least 10 and produce at least 250 lbs of fresh produce for donation. Our ultimate hope would be to grow exponentially each year.
What does it mean to be a Backyard Farmer?
Starting June 1st, we will be connecting with 3-5 local gardeners, from novice to expert, who would like to help grow a little bit of extra food this year for the Healthy Kimberley Food Recovery Program. The project will rely on the urban farming expertise of our Sustainability Coordinator, Chad Kile, and a team of dedicated volunteers to plan and build a raised bed and grow greens in each yard; water and maintain the bed; and help deliver the harvest for the Food Recovery. Backyard Farmers can lend a hand as little or as much as they like. Not around this summer, but have some space in your yard? Perfect; you can still be a Backyard Farmer. Lend us the land, and we will do the rest!
If you have a little bit of extra space to grow some greens this year, and if you’d love some free advice from an experienced urban farmer? Want to help maintain the gardens and deliver the harvest to the Kimberley Food Recovery? Please apply below!
Have some more questions before you commit? Email email@example.com. or call Chad at 250-432-5954.
Become a Backyard Farmer APPLY NOW!
Become a Backyard Farmers Support Volunteer APPLY NOW!