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Feeding NDG, one backyard at a time

Watch Above: Four roommates from NDG have come up with a genius plan to help their community get access to local, fresh, organic produce for a fraction of the price. Jamie Orchard has more.

Montreal – Four roommates from NDG have come up with a genius plan to help their community get access to local, fresh, organic produce for a fraction of the price.

“We basically use backyards that are underused in NDG and we install micro-farms,” explains Iman Kimanhailat, volunteer coordinator with Cycle AlimenTerre, “so part of the produce goes back to the landowners and the rest is sold by bicycle markets that are set up in areas that don’t have access to fresh local produce.”

Cycle AlimenTerre is the brainchild of Max Godber who came up with the idea early in 2014 when he realized the potential to grow large amounts of food in backyards to help solve NDG’s continuing food security issues.

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Godber had several years of experience in the organic farming movement in Australia and had a vision of selling affordable, fresh, locally grown vegetables so community members wouldn’t have to travel long distances or pay high prices to have a healthy diet.

He reached out to his roommates for help, and Kimanhailat, administrator and team assistant Samantha Richer, and logistics technician Mauricio Buschinelli were up to the challenge.

2015 marks their second season of growing and distributing produce in Montreal neighborhoods.

“So positive we’ve had garden owners or land owners coming to us with their land so we haven’t had to go out and look for the land ourselves. People have said ‘we’ve seen your project through the NDG food depot or through other sources’ and said ‘we have this land, can you do something with it?'”

Cycle AlimenTerre has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds for the 2015 season.  Their goal is to raise $5,200 to cover start-up costs.

They’ll also be selling micro greens to local businesses and restaurants to help fund the project.

“Using revenue we make from that then maybe we can start to consider this model of urban agriculture for food security, a model that can be self-financing within 3-4 years,” Godber explains.

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