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AUFC’s Instagram

AUFC’s Instagram

In 2023 the Airdrie Urban Farm Collective donated over 300lbs (just under 400!) of fresh produce to the Airdrie Food Bank to help food insecure families in Airdrie, Alberta. In 2024 we hope to double that and more, plus send our volunteers home with fresh 

AUFC’s Amazing New Logo!!!

AUFC’s Amazing New Logo!!!

We’re proud to show off our brand new logo! Special thanks to Airdrie local graphic designer Emma Flemming for designing the logo for us. We were looking for something simple we can use in all sorts of different ways. She gave us tons of options, 

AUFC 12 Days of Christmas Fundraiser

AUFC 12 Days of Christmas Fundraiser

The Airdrie Urban Farm Collective is a diverse collective growing the wellness of people and the land for our community. Our 2022 season was a huge success, bringing in more volunteers than ever, fresh food to our tables, and an abundance of learning through trial and error. We have thrived on volunteers, donations, and hard work to get to where we are so far!!

We are looking to our city now to help us grow for next year. We are excited to bring to you the AUFC 12 Days of Christmas- a way for us to dream, hope, spread the word, and build upon what we have to thrive in 2023!

12 Days of Christmas at AUFC (now get the melody in your head and sing along as we dream big for our little farm 😉

On the 12 Days of Christmas at AUFC…… we need

1 Greenhouse for our seedlings

2 Watertotes

3 Bags of Soil

4 Bags of chicken feed

5 Laying hens

6 Park Benches

7 Bags of Seeds

8 Berry Bushes

9 Birdhouses Hanging

10 Fruit Trees blooming

11 Volunteers weeding

12 Yards of Compost

You get the idea… we need things for our farm to continue thriving, and we have done everything so far with donations and volunteers, and the results have been so life-giving to the community. Your financial contributions will serve to help in countless ways.

Our goal is to raise $20,000 to fund the farm for 2023 on Gofundme!

We ask you to please consider our little farm for your donations this year, and we promise you will see the fruits of your giving (pun intended) quite literally… with some sun, weeding, and watering next year 😉

Here is a little more of who we are and what we have done.

Started in 2021, the Airdrie Urban Farm Collective (AUFC) was a small group of people wanting to make a difference in our community by teaching people how to grow food and tend to the earth in our city. The land was flat, full of holes, and didn’t have much life thriving. It could not be more different today! We have had chickens through the summer months, schools visiting to learn and work, and so many families seeing for the first time how delicious fresh-grown food could make it to their tables.

Our second season came to a close with such vibrancy and success we knew it was time to start planning on a larger scale for the 2023 spring and summer seasons! We dream of having more seeds, more dirt, more animals, and more garden beds to continue growing and tending to as a collective.

Find us on Facebook and Instagram under the Airdrie Urban Farm Collective, and please message us there if you have any questions!

The AUFC team is working hard to become a registered nonprofit organization, and your donations will help us continue this process!!

Our 12 Days of Christmas is now Finished! Thanks so much for the help for our 2023 growing season!

What I’m Listening To – October 2022

What I’m Listening To – October 2022

This week I’m listening to an amazing podcast about soil health, vermiculture, microbes, fungi, and more with Nicole Masters on the “No Till Market Garden Podcast”. Excellent info in an easy to listen format! Click below to listen to the podcast, or look up the 

What I’m Reading – September 2022

What I’m Reading – September 2022

This week I read a timely blog (as fall is beginning) about transitioning a garden to a no-till system. That means no more turning your beds! This has some huge advantages (and some pitfalls to be aware of). However it requires a mindset shift and 

Gardening and Farming Principles

Gardening and Farming Principles

“Sustainable”, “Organic”, “Regenerative”, “Chemical Free”; all have become buzzwords in the last years, but what do they mean exactly? There’s a lot of information out there, and many of it is questionable, much of it is counterproductive, and yet there’s almost always something to be learned wherever you go. How do you sort it all out?

I’ve found the most helpful way to think about gardening or farming is to learn and understand the different ideologies, or principles, behind the practices. This sounds boring, but if you don’t understand the “why” behind what you’re doing in your backyard, you’ll find that trying new gardening techniques or fixes can actually destroy your garden.

There are two main thoughts behind growing food. I’m going to label them “Chemical Agriculture”, and “Regenerative Agriculture”. This is a gross simplification, but unless you take a deep dive into this world, simple is better.

Chemical Agriculture focuses on controlling the growing environment through chemicals and supplements. A typical growing season (whether garden or farming) generally consists of the following though the order or details will change depending on the gardener or farmer:

  • Tilling the soil to mix in leftover plant growth or cover crop (most often done in the fall if no cover crop)
  • If GMO herbicide resistant crops are being planted, herbicide is often sprayed before planting to prevent weed growth.
  • Seeds are planted and chemical fertilizer is sprayed
  • If there are growth or pest issues, appropriate chemical supplements, fungicides, or pesticides are applied
  • Crop is harvested and field is tilled for next year

In contrast, Regenerative Agriculture recognizes that plants have grown without human intervention for thousands of years, and attempts to integrate the garden or farm with natural surroundings and natural plant growth patterns to create efficient, self-sustaining ecosystems without the use of chemicals and with as little human intervention as possible. Regenerative Agriculture fits a huge range of growing options and methodologies, and it is difficult to boil down a typical growing season. So I will explain what we did at the Airdrie Urban Farm Collective as a sample:

  • Built raised lasagna beds to build self sustaining soil that doesn’t require fertilizer
  • Planted the food
  • Mulched the beds with hay to prevent weed growth. The bottom layers of hay also retain moister to preserve water and the lower levels of hay compost around the plants to provide further nutrients for the plants
  • Weeds that were grown were pulled and thrown on top of the lasagna beds where possible to compost in place
  • Food was harvested, beds were further covered with hay for the winter and left in place without disturbing

When pests come along, instead of looking to chemicals, the regenerative gardener looks to nature. How do natural ecosystems deal with that pest? If there are aphids, allowing the wasp nest nearby will fix it. Are there gophers? Try attracting some birds of prey or create a weasel habitat in the area to keep them under control. Experiencing fungal rot or other disease? Try inoculating your soil and plants with compost tea, worm tea, and/or predatory insects and fungi, which will then remain in your soil preventing the infection from happening again.

At Airdrie Urban Farm Collective, we do our best to farm in a regenerative manner, but in real life it’s not as simple as choosing one or the other, and there are massive pros and cons to each methodology. In the next part, we’ll introduce some of the pros and cons of chemical vs regenerative growing, talk about how some of the basic principles that cannot be combined (for example, using fungicides to prevent disease will kill soil microbes that feed your plants), and provide some resources to learn more about how to garden and farm in a regenerative manner.

What’s with the black barrel contraption!!!

What’s with the black barrel contraption!!!

If you’ve been by the farm recently, it’s hard to miss the big black wire mesh barrel over by the compost pile. Everyone who sees it seems to stop, scrunch up their face, and wonders out loud what’s going on! The contraption is a Johnson-Su 

Lasagna Garden Beds

Lasagna Garden Beds

Welcome to the Airdrie Urban Farm Collective! We started in the spring of 2021 on about one acre of land in Airdrie that Daybreak Church graciously “donated” long term. The land was previously a soccer field, and hasn’t been used for quite some time, so