Urban Farming chat

This thread is for talking about urban farming, the unique challenges and opportunities it presents, problem solving and networking! If you’re an urban grower or are hoping to become one, feel free to drop your questions, ideas and tips here!

Urban farming. I suppose as a rural farmer, I find the common hurdle on rural farms and urban farms is…finding reliable help/staff/interns/volunteers. At our farm, we have an endless list of volunteers and interns. Yet labor is scarce. (Will)

We are a urban farm with 7 acres in the middle of the city and we still find it SOOO hard to find reliable labour. The people in urban centre think it’s going to be “cute” to work on a farm and then they find out the reality of what it’s actually like.
This year I’m trying to hire people with disabilities part time I think…not completely sure yet…
It sounds terrible but people with disabilities aren’t as likely to be hired and so are a lot more grateful for the job. You can get government subsidies to help with the cost and they seem far more likely to be ok with the seasonal nature of the position because they receive ODSP. 2021 will be my first year trying so we will see how it goes!!

We run a (growing) multi-site urban farm with our headquarters situated on 3 acres. There is a wide array fo challenges for us: access to power, access to potable water, dealing with city by-laws and zoning regulations that don’t naturally apply to farms. However, we are a non-profit so labour hasn’t been that much of a challenge for us overall. I should not however that the pandemic has changed that quite a bit over the last year as fewer people have been up for volunteering, probably because that would mean interacting with people outside their bubble (even though we follow health unit guidelines).

Where is your farm @Sarah_Carolyn_Martin?

Hey! OMG yes! Gotta love city bi-laws!!! And yes we are struggling with not as many volunteers this past year.

We are hiring people with disabilities this year as well, and I have found one person I’m VERY excited about! You can get their wage completely covered by CCRW which is amazing.
We are in Cambridge, our website is www.growinghopefarm.ca if you want to check it out. Feel free to email at sarahmartinmills@gmail.com to chat more or my cell 519-722-7764. It would lovely to connect with more urban farms that have weird and wonderful challenges! lol!

Oh yes, I remember looking you up a few years ago and I was very interested in learning more and told myself that I would stop in one day and check it out! Then you know… COVID!

As much as I “want” to get into more inclusive opportunities that would include people with disabilities, we would have to get to a place where I’m not overwhelmed with the rest of the work to be able to take that on! I’m excited for you and can’t wait to hear how it goes! I’ll be in touch!