Badlands Community Garden takes on Community Supported Agriculture | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateFri, 17 May 2024 12pm

Badlands Community Garden takes on Community Supported Agriculture

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    Inch by inch, row by row, the Badlands Community Garden Society is working hard towards building Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).   

    Members of the Society, volunteers and inmates from the Drumheller Institution have been tilling way in a long since abandoned greenhouse west of Drumheller. The Faulters have struck a deal with the Society that will see the facility used to grow vegetables this summer. The operation will be based on the CSA model, and supports the goals of the Badlands Community Garden Society.
    Part of the mandate of the society is fostering an increase in food security in the Valley, through better access to local, organically grown, nutritious and affordable produce. The model of a CSA supports this vision.
     The model is simple. Residents can buy shares in the CSA and for the season, they reap the rewards.  As the fruit and vegetables of the garden ripen, they are distributed to the shareholders. Sweat equity can also contribute towards share prices.  The risk on the part of shareholders is not market forces, but simply how well the garden grows. Surplus crops will be sold to the community.
     The group has been busy. In nine working days, a crew of four had taken the abandoned greenhouses that were overgrown with weeds, and transformed them into usable working greenhouses. Last week they tilled in new soil and compost, and were getting ready to plant.
    The project is supported by the investors as well as some grants the group has applied for.
    On the site, which includes a greenhouse and outside cropland, they are planning to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, all sorts of greens, beans, peas, potatoes, radishes and others.
    They are planning to go as much organic as possible. They are planning to follow organic standards, but will not be certified, as this takes years to achieve and is costly.
    Because this is the first year, and because they are planting later than they would have liked to have, they are not sure what to expect. They have priced the shares accordingly to mitigate for the risk.
    Part of the project, according to www.badlandsgardens.ca is to not only  grow fresh vegetables, but helping nurture youth in need. They are working with youth social workers to refer young people who could benefit from working on such a projects.
     “We are engaging youths and fostering their passion for gardening while helping develop their sense of social duty. Our youths represent the future, and our investment in them today will reap a bounty of productive and engaged citizens in the years to come,” states the website. “Through this CSA, our members will mentor the youths as they learn the various skills necessary in the running of a successful farm business: not only planting, growing and harvesting produce but also accounting and bookkeeping, marketing and sales, web development / online sales, project and staff management, leading field crews, and planning and logistics.”
    For more information on the CSA, contact Chris Marion at 403-823-6930 or go to www.badlandsgardens.com.

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