The Butler Urban Farm is up and running again, anticipating another successful season with weekly harvests now under way.
If you are on the North Shore, head off Tranquille down Wilson Street or Clapperton Avenue and look down across from the Food Bank where these two roads meet. Just below, you will see a large garden and a chalkboard with drop-in hours posted. Stop by during these hours (or whenever we are around) to learn more about organic gardening, to volunteer for a good cause, or just pick up some fresh produce grown right here on the North Shore. If these hours don’t work for you and no one is around when you show up, send an email to email@example.com and we’ll make sure someone is around when you want to stop by! For the summer expect that we will be here (at an absolute minimum) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays.
What We are Doing:
We use organic and regenerative principles of agriculture to grow high quality produce, available for anyone in the community. None of the produce is sold. We are volunteer driven and rely on the support of our community to keep this project running. There are no fences, and we are keeping it that way. We are becoming increasingly self-sufficient in seed production, and we are working on establishing a local seed library for the farm and the community. Access to food is a human right, and respect for the land and soil is imperative for our survival as a species and as a planet. At the Butler Urban Farm, we are offering a template for small-scale food production that is regenerative, sovereign, and just – one that we hope can be emulated in other neighbourhoods.
We do most of this work as a team in the main area that comprises the communal garden plots. However, some volunteers have taken on plots of their own at the back, where they are trying things out on their own and gardening without our tyrannical interference, while adhering to the organic principles of the rest of the farm, of course!
We also offer a place to drop off household compost to reduce waste and build soil. (No meats, fats, bones, or plastic please!) Just stop by and we will set you up.
How We Harvest:
Please stop by during drop-in hours for an orientation and some produce.
Most of our produce goes proudly to The Loop and other kitchens doing the important work of serving meals around Kamloops. Volunteer harvesters and passers-by are also welcome to the produce grown here – we do not discriminate. We just ask that you follow our harvesting protocol so we can ensure things are harvested correctly and that everyone gets what they need. We weigh the produce leaving the farm – this way we can keep track of our productivity.
We have often joked around here that it is not possible for you to steal food from this space: you can only harvest incorrectly! Our entire approach is a practice of decommodification, but this requires procedure, understanding, and co-operation. And if last year is any indication, things are working very well this way! Of the 6,400 lbs. of food we grew here, less than 50 lbs. went unaccounted for.
Long story short: we ask that you harvest with us. Monday mornings and Thursday mornings are a great time to stop by to join us in a group harvest – this helps us keep things organized both on our end and for the kitchens. But in general, if we are here, you will not leave empty handed. We are not an act of charity; we are an act of solidarity and community.
PS: If you are looking for fruits check out our Gleaning Abundance Program – another great initiative from the Kamloops Food Policy Council that connects homes with an abundance of fruit trees to people looking for fresh fruit.
As of the time of writing, we have already harvested well over a hundred pounds of spinach, beets, broccoli, and leafy greens, with lots more on the way every day.
How You Can Help:
Stop by and say hi! We always welcome volunteers, and our entire system depends on people understanding how this space operates: Simply coming by for a 15-minute tour gives us more assurance that people around here know what is happening and will ensure that you leave with some fresh fruits and vegetables! And if you are interested in helping, there’s never a shortage of things to do!