We are so excited to introduce our Backyard Farmers 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 produce sustainable food from the ground up.
We aim to help our community to become more resilient by:
Educating the community on how to grow food in their own backyards
In recent years, urban farmers around the world have been generating massive amounts of food right in their own neighbourhoods. Back in the day, regular folks everywhere were growing a large proportion of their household fare right in their own backyard gardens. The Backyard Farmers Project wants to demonstrate just how much produce we can generate here in and around Kimberley, one small plot at a time. Yard owners and volunteers get a hands-on education in mountain gardening.
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 Depot. 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.
Creating a local food community network
In addition to the social cohesion and networking that will naturally flow from goals 1 and 2, we are planning to 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.
What does it mean to be a Backyard Farmer?
Starting in early May, we will be building beds in local yards. We will also be connecting with 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 Depot. The project will rely on the urban farming expertise of our Sustainability Coordinator, Chad Kile, and a team of dedicated volunteers. Together, they will plan and build a raised bed and grow greens in each yard, water and maintain the bed, and help deliver the harvest to 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!
Do you have a little bit of extra space to grow some greens this year?
Would you love some free advice from an experienced urban farmer?
Want to help maintain the gardens and deliver the harvest to the Kimberley Food Recovery?
We have just the opportunities for you!
Looking to source locally produced food?
Check out the Kimberley Cranbrook Food Asset Map!
Thanks to the Regional District of East Kootenay for funding support in 2023!