Since 2014 we have been building on a dream of providing locally sourced food for the Calgary Market. Starting with our urban garden at our home we have been growing food and raising bees to determine what does best in our local climate. We are currently planning to establish a larger market garden in 2018.
Our goals are to be treatment free and self-sufficient. We use careful management and selective breeding to meet the challenges of our local environmental conditions, pests and diseases, as well as the food sources for the bees. This year we grew our apiary from two small bee yards to five, with two in Calgary and three outside the city. By 2018, we will have locally-raised queens and colonies for sale.
Each of our bee yards are located in different environments, away from mono-crops, with diverse forage for the bees including a river environment, pasture and wetlands. The taste profiles of the honey reflect the nectar sources of each of these areas. Honey is available for purchase in 500g, 1kg and 3kg containers. Shop here.
We started our vegetable garden to have local and easy access to fresh produce. Over time, our garden has expanded from a small corner to over 1000 sqft of growing area, and we are thrilled to have enough volume that we can share the produce with others.
We experiment with heirloom, open-pollinated seed and organic practices to find non-typical vegetables that grows best in Calgary's demanding conditions. Some species like dwarf leafy kale and Bassano beets have found a permanent place on our list. Others, like the Minnesota midget melon, get tested in different parts of our yard to see if we can have better success.
We also grow heirloom vegetables such as the cocozelle zucchini, Thibodeau de Comte Beauce bush beans and Pennsylvania Dutch popcorn.
Hardy favourites available from our urban farm include kales, chards, and lettuces. We have a strong planting of Chinook, Cascade, and East Kent Golding hops, which we use in our home-brew.
Beets grow well in our environment - this year we have Bassano and bull's blood beets. We also have a variety of garlic and carrots.