On an 11 acre parcel of land just west of Canada Olympic Park, the country’s largest urban agricultural farm lives and breathes while growing fresh produce for Compassionate Food Access Agencies across Calgary. The farm is run by an organization called Grow Calgary, founded in 2013 when a group of volunteers turned to the soil to harvest crops with the aim of providing healthy, local food for those who need it most. Today, 95% of their recipients are women and children, and 100% are living in poverty.
Chris Mayerson, Director of Genetics and Co-Founder of Aurora, has been involved with the organization for a number of years. He believes it’s important to encourage Aurora employees to be passionate about cultivating many different types of plants, not simply cannabis. “Whether picking tomatoes off the vine, adding garden fresh basil to a dish, or making a cup of tea from your homegrown chamomile flowers, there really is something about harvesting the fruits of your labour,” says Chris.
That’s why when it came to partnering with Grow Calgary, the decision was a no-brainer. “It gave us a chance to share our expertise and experience to help a truly great cause,” Chris explains. Grow Calgary regularly repurposes our used pots, trays, and domes, helping to make operations a little more sustainable. So far, Aurora has been involved with some 10,000 plants at the farm, with our trays and pots being used by over 7,000 school children across 20 schools. This past Sunday we also participated in their Earth Day event, where volunteers gave away garden kits that included seeds, soil, and domes.
For those interested in becoming involved, Grow Calgary hosts many events throughout the year. Check out their website for an official event calendar and ways to get involved.