Tag Archives: micro farm

KW Hab ‘Micro-farm’

Micro farm will provide food, activities for KW Habilitation residents

By Anam Latif

The Record

WATERLOO — California-style tomatoes, rhubarb and basil are just a few of the vegetables KW Habilitation will be growing at their new urban micro farm in Waterloo.

After a successful community garden project in 2011, KW Habilitation turned their backyard into a farm they hope will feed and engage their residents.

KW Habilitation provides services for adults and children living with developmental disabilities. Their largest program is the 23 residential facilities across the region.

“It’s very therapeutic to get people involved in gardening,” said Tracy Franks, director of community participation at KW Habilitation. “And we are looking at reducing some of our food costs for the people that we support residentially.”

The farm is also a way to teach skills like planting and watering, skills that Franks said can be employable after people leave KW Habilitation programs.

Rows have been staked and planted, waiting for the farm’s first crop to bloom. They also built three raised beds Monday night for people with mobility issues to be able to farm comfortably. They are also planning a narrower bed that is raised even higher for people in wheelchairs to be able to reach.

“We will be able to cater to all physical abilities,” Franks added.

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A New SPIn on Farming

Jean-Martin Fortier and Maude-Helene Desroches are co-proprietors of des Jardins de la Grelinette, one of the finest examples of Small Plot Intensive (SPIn) organic farming in Canada.

They run a Community Supported Agriculture operation, supplying 150 families from their bio-intensive ‘micro-farm’ in Saint-Armand, Québec. They also sell mesclun to retail outlets locally, and can be found weekly at the Knowlton farmers market (near Brome Lake).

They run a website and facebook page for the farm, and Jean-Martin travels extensively, spreading the word about organic SPIn farming techniques. After a successful crowdsourcing campaign by FarmStart, Jean-Martin’s book le Jardinier-Maraîcher has been translated into english: The Market Gardener; A Successful Growers’ Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming is now available for order, online!