Grower Spotlight: YYC Growers

TALKING ABOUT THE 0-MILE DIET

We love giving shout outs to our fabulous growers and suppliers who are literally some of the key ingredients in what we create in the kitchen. YYC Growers is one of those fantastic organizations that’s bringing farming back to the City and this month the organization’s founder Kye Kocher tell us a little more about their vision and what local crops you have to try this season.

How was YYC Farmers come to be?

We saw a need to create a collective group in a collaborative space that supported community-focused agriculture. Essentially, this meant offering up our product to the community but asking others to share in the risk with the farmer. If you lose crops to hail, or other elements, you share the losses. However, if you have a great harvest, you share the wealth around and everyone goes home with an abundance of fresh food. Today, we’ve also extended the boundaries and now work with a number of rural farmers just outside the city who share our same values.

What’s the best part about what you do?

There aren’t many people here who do what we do so we’ve been able to blaze our own path when it comes to bringing sustainable culture to the City.

What are the biggest challenges with growing stuff here?

People are under the impression that Calgary, is a hard place to farm. In fact, crops like Brassica mustard and kale thrive in cooler weather and fare much better than a lot of warmer locations where its grown.

What are your favourite local crops?

That’s a tough one, but I’d have to go with Sunchokes and Saskatoon berries. Horseradish is another favourite and so delicious when its fresh. Radishes are also great local crops and something we provide to NOtaBLE in the summer months.

What’s the most important thing people should know about eating local?

People should know where their food comes from. The days of the Green Revolution are coming to an end and large crop yields are no longer the norm. Right now, we’re witnessing all these crazy issues, like the drought in California, and the obesity epidemic. We’ve lost our way and its time to change the landscape of food production; not just in a philosophical way but also in a physical way by bringing food and agriculture back into our immediate surroundings.

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