Highfield Farm is a collaborative urban agriculture project between the City of Calgary and the Compost Council of Canada. The goal is to transform a 15-acre brownfield site into a productive urban community farm hub. Our vision is based in three pillars- land revitalization, nutrient-dense food production and community building.

Rows of vegetables planted at Highfield Farm

We are excited to serve our community this year with improved access to nutritious, local foods, providing learning and volunteer opportunities around regenerative farming and soil health, and fostering community between urban farmers and the general public. This summer, we are cultivating 1/4 acre of market garden space with the majority of food grown to be donated to food access programming in our city. Being located in the industrial area, on an under-serviced city site, comes with a lot of challenges — including having to build our garden from scratch (one wheelbarrow of soil at a time!), and piecing together a working irrigation system using donated and repurposed components.

West Coast Seeds Donation Sign at Highfield Farm

These challenges, paired with inconsistent weather (we had snowfall in late May and are now seeing a major heat wave just 4 weeks later) has made it difficult to germinate our seeds but we are continuing to work hard and expect to see more action soon! West Coast Seeds generously donated high-quality seed for us to use on our community farm and they really jumpstarted our ability to grow successfully and diversify our crop options! Here at Highfield Farm we are in the heat of the summer (today we hit 36 degrees with hotter temps still to come this week!) and all our seeds have been planted. We have started to see our carrots, lettuce, spinach, zucchinis, and cucumbers pop up, and our corn is growing fast in this heat.

Close up of plants growing in garden at Highfield Farm

As a community urban farm hub, our success depends greatly on the support of our members, partners and collaborators. 2021 is our first major growth year and we have already clocked in over 200 volunteer hours and have had 126 members join our community — and we couldn't have gotten the gardens planted without their support. They have hand planted, mulched, watered, weeded, built beds and structures… the list goes on. In a time where social connection has been very limited, we are happy to be able to offer a safe way for folks to come together, volunteer their time, and connect with their community. Many volunteers return week after week and have expressed their gratitude to be able to be outside working with others. Gardening is truly a wellness activity — it fosters a connection between the individual and the land they live on, and the food they eat; it creates a sense of empowerment and accomplishment to watch seeds grow into plants; and in working with others, it brings on a sense of belonging. We cannot say thank you enough to those who have come out to volunteers, donated to the farm, or supported with expertise, advice and product to get us on the right foot for our first season- from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!

Garden row with seedlings growing at Highfield Farm
Learn more about Highfield Farm by visiting their website, and following them on Facebook.