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Leaf Ninjas take over Calgary yards

CALGARY- Tired of mowing your lawn? A Calgary group has come up with an easy way to maintain your yard—and feed you at the same time.

The Leaf Ninjas are a group of three friends who wanted to get into the business of growing local produce, but didn’t have the land. So, they find homeowners who will agree to transform their yards into gardens, who get a share of the veggies while the rest is sold to farmer’s markets and restaurants.

“The access to clean food is more important to a lot of people these days, and I think just to see the process of how food is grown and be connected to that again is amazing,” says Dave Carlton, co-founder of Leaf Ninjas. “It is an incredible skill that a lot of us have either let go of, or lost, or just have never had in the first place.”

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He adds they’ve gotten a great response from homeowners.

“We meet these people and they go ‘wow I have a yard,’ or ‘I have friend that has a yard they are not using. I don’t like to maintain it. I want free veggies. Take it please!’”

Now in their second year, the Leaf Ninjas are working on eight Calgary properties, cultivating gardens with food like potatoes, onions, rhubarb, strawberries and apples.

“Planting a food forest is such a personal adventure. It’s a really beautiful thing to engage in,” says Luke Kimmel from Leaf Ninjas. “You develop a relationship with the land that is much deeper than just a lawn mower and a lawn.

“When you can eat from it and see these unique plants grow, I think there is totally an opportunity for lots of people to do this.”

The Leaf Ninjas’ first crop will be available at the Inglewood Ramsay Farmer’s Market on June 4.

With files from Carolyn Kury de Castillo

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