Why Farm-To-Table Is So Popular in Calgary?

Farm-to-fork Calgary

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Dear readers, today, I will dish out some juicy details on why Calgary is just killing it when it comes to the farm-to-table.  I mean, seriously, who doesn’t enjoy a generous serving of good old-fashioned, farm-fresh, locally-grown veggies?

It’s a perfect match that is both healthy and tasty, and, as a Calgary native, I am super proud of how farm-to-table practice is so advanced in our city and how it is adopted by so many.  This wasn’t an easy or short process, though. Let me break it down for you in detail.

The Farm Stand Explosion from LRTs to Local Love

So, back in the golden era of 2017, someone really smart had this brilliant idea that us Calgarians should have access to fresh produce just as easily as we hop on a train. And thus, the Farm Stand program was born.

They started off with a measly nine market stands scattered around different LRT stations. But guess what? Fast forward a few years, and boom! Those stands have multiplied like rabbits, sprouting up in almost 30 locations across the city. Impressive, right?

But wait a minute, don’t get too carried away with the excitement. It was not all rainbows and unicorns in our fair city. Our demand for these farm stands is sky-high, but alas, our city was not really able to keep up.  We’ve got a whopping 40 communities out there with their noses pressed against the glass, eagerly waiting for a farm stand to call their own.

Hungry crowd, isn’t it? Oh, and here’s the cherry on top: a mind-boggling 62% of these stands had decided to cozy up in the more affluent neighborhoods. It looked like money really does buy you the freshest salad in town.

So, if you lived in one of those posh areas, you were lucky. The rest of us just had to settle for whatever wilted greens we could scrounge up. However, everything is trending in the right direction, as time passes by, things did get more accessible, and I expect that trend to continue in the future.

Pivoting From Transit Hubs to Community Hubs

Then came the pandemic, flipping everything on its head, including where we shop for our greens.  With fewer citizens commuting, the farm stands had to hustle.

They ditched the transit stations and cozied up with community associations instead. Smart move, right? It helped the vendors keep the lights on and the veggies fresh.

Cheap as Chips (But Healthier)

Calgary farm-to-table trend

Here’s the kicker: shopping at these farm stands won’t drain your wallet. Surprisingly, the localproduce here is cheaper than what you’d pay at the big-name grocery stores.

So, you can keep both your belly and your bank account full. Who knew eating healthily could be so wallet-friendly in this economy? Still, these farmers made that possible.

More Than Just Food

These stands aren’t just about stuffing your face with organic carrots. There’s a whole vibe of community engagement going on.  Take Fresh Routes, for instance.

They hopped on board in 2019 and started popping up in neighborhoods where fresh food was as scarce.  They were not just selling food but making sure everyone got a slice of the pie.

The Future Is Fresh

Looking forward, Calgary isn’t just resting on its leafy greens. Plans are in the works to take a leaf out of British Columbia and Nova Scotia’s books with nutrition programs to make healthy food even more affordable.

And finding the perfect spot for a new stand? That’s a balancing act between equity and making sure our vendors aren’t just throwing seeds into the wind. We’re talking about expanding this farm-to-table fairytale to meet everyone’s needs—despite the stiff competition from those discount food stores.

Because, let’s face it, who wouldn’t pick a fresh tomato over a canned one?

Why You Should Care

Farm-to-table in Calgary

Why all the fuss about farm-to-table in Calgary? Simple. It’s not just about eating well but about boosting local farmers, cutting down on those ghastly carbon footprints, and building communities around crisp, tasty produce that didn’t need a passport to get to your plate.

Sure, you could say this is all very trendy and hipster-ish. But when it’s helping the planet, our health, and our local economy, I say let’s keep being trendy. Everyone is a winner, including local restaurants.

So, What’s the Big Deal?

The big deal is this: Calgary’s farm-to-table isn’t just a fleeting fancy. It’s a robust, growing movement backed by a community that cares—a lot. It’s about quality of life, environmental responsibility, and yes, downright delicious food.

So, to all you skeptics out there, I raise my locally sourced kale smoothie to you. Farm-to-table in Calgary? It’s here to stay, and it’s only going to get tastier. Cheers to that!