Calgary greenhouse to be built this spring to extend growing season

The city of Calgary has a short growing season with its unpredictable climate, but a new year-round greenhouse being built this spring hopes to change that with a community-based food system. Highfield Farm, located in southeast Calgary, received $277,000 in funding through the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, delivered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

The money will go towards building a greenhouse on-site that will give Calgarians a local urban farming hub to grow food while also providing a community gathering space. “If you garden in Calgary, you know the season is pretty late with the end of May or the first week of June being the best time to plant and then we of course usually get frost in September,” said Heather Ramshaw, operations manager at Highfield Farm. So being able to have this greenhouse for those extreme weather events is going to provide a big space where we can start seedlings, which means we can get plants out earlier in the spring.”

Highfield Farm currently has 15,000 square feet of garden space and more than 200 members who volunteer their time to garden and harvest fresh produce for food access organizations like the Calgary Food Bank and the Mustard Seed. More than 2,000 pounds of food was harvested last year with 98 percent going to charitable organizations in need. “We should easily be able to quadruple that amount of food harvested for now with this greenhouse,” said Ramshaw.

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