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Effort to grow food for struggling Calgarians hopes for support from new city council

Click to play video: 'Project that grows food for struggling Calgarians hopes for support from new city council' Project that grows food for struggling Calgarians hopes for support from new city council
WATCH: Some hard-working volunteers are hoping Calgary’s new city council will support expanding their efforts to help feed struggling people. As Gil Tucker reports, they say the project they started this year is well worth growing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. – Oct 18, 2021

Some hardworking volunteers are hoping Calgary’s new city council will support expanding their efforts to help feed struggling people in the city.

Volunteers with the Highfield Farm non-profit organization were out Monday harvesting crops after their first season of growing food on unused land owned by the City of Calgary in an industrial area in the city’s southeast.

“(Growing) cabbages, cauliflower, chard, carrots, dill, sage, parsley,” Highfield Farm’s Heather Ramshaw said.  “Basically, anything you can grow in Calgary, we tried.”

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After growing about 50 different vegetables and herbs, the organization is turning over the crop to the Calgary Food Bank and the Mustard Seed.

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Highfield Farm says its efforts are especially needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With COVID, we saw the supply chain can be disrupted,” volunteer Corinne Zamonsky said. “Growing your own food, in your own city, in your own backyard, is probably going to be more important now, more than ever.”

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Highfield Farm is hosting a fundraising event called ‘Spooktakular Soupalicious’ on Saturday, Oct. 23, with more information available online.

The event features soups made by Calgary chefs using local ingredients.

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“It’s a hard time right now and I think we all need to stick together and produce food here, locally and help everyone out,” Sidewalk Citizen chef Robin Watts said.

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Watts will be cooking up a vegetarian French onion soup for the occasion.

Read more: Community fridge helps put fresh food on the table for struggling Calgarians

Proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward adding a greenhouse at Highfield Farm.

“The growing season is really short in Calgary, and with the greenhouse, we would be able to extend our season,” Ramshaw said. “We are hoping to even grow year-round.”

The organization is hoping to build support among members of Calgary’s new city council, saying it’s a project that’s well worth growing.

“There’s a lot of potential spots around the city that are on under-utilized and if the council can support something like that, then we’d be very happy.”

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