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Greenhouse opening helps Highfield Farm further develop industrial land into urban farm

A pile of organic food waste
The Highfield Farm Project has been working to transform a 16-acre parcel of underutilized and degraded land in Calgary's industrial area into an urban farm.

The year-round greenhouse at Highfield Farm has opened to support Calgary's community-based local food system. Funded through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Local Food Infrastructure Fund (LFIF), the greenhouse will enable Highfield Farm to expand Calgary's usual short growing season to a year-round effort, supporting the goals of this local urban farming hub to provide Calgarians with fresh, locally grown food.

"Congratulations to Highfield Farm, the Compost Council of Canada, and the City of Calgary for taking the initiative to advance local food production and greater food accessibility," says George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview. "With support from the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, the Compost Council, and Highfield Farm are now better able to advance their efforts to support community-based healthy and sustainable food production."

"This greenhouse opens up a new world of growing opportunities for us," says Heather Ramshaw, operations manager at Highfield Farm. "Being able to extend our season in the spring and fall, and host year-round classes and programs really boosts our ability to make an impact in our community."

Envisioned by the City of Calgary and supported by The Compost Council of Canada to advance urban food production and to provide the public with opportunities to engage with urban agriculture, the Highfield Farm Project has been working to transform a 16-acre parcel of underutilized and degraded land in Calgary's industrial area into an urban farm. Rooted on three value pillars: land revitalization, regenerative food, and community building; much of Highfield Farm's approach is based on education and involvement – offering extensive opportunities for volunteering, experiential learning combined with environmental action including composting, soil health focus, and crop selection. The site currently has 15,000 sq ft of garden space, over 200 members, and donates the majority of its production to food access organizations such as the Calgary Food Bank and the Mustard Seed.

"Highfield Farm brings together the vision and work of our Council and members, building on the essential link between the importance of recycling organic residuals and the returning of quality organic matter back to our soils," said Susan Antler, executive director at The Compost Council of Canada. "Just as compost feeds our soil carbon-rich organic matter and directly helps create healthy soil and tackle climate change, so too will this greenhouse and all the efforts at Highfield Farm contribute to community-building and greater access to fresh, local and nutritious foods."

The greenhouse will expand the farm's abilities to grow food year-round while also demonstrating a variety of regenerative growing methods and composting technologies, all of which prioritize the nutrient density of the food being produced. Aligning with the values and pre-existing procedures of Highfield Farm, much of the produce grown will be donated to food distribution organizations in Calgary. 

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16, rue Northumberland St.
Toronto, ON
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