Grow Food Calgary aiming to raise a new crop of gardeners, Calgary Herald Article



Grow Food Calgary aiming to raise a new crop of gardeners Calgary Herald; Calgary, Alta. [Calgary, Alta] 18 Feb 2017: G.10.

Grow Food Calgary wants to teach Calgarians how to grow food and how to harvest edible native foods sustainably.

“You can grow a sprout in a day, a micro-green in a week, or a radish in a month,” says horticulturist and program contributor Donna Balzer, who says she learned to grow with a lot of help from others. After gardening at home as a kid, she went on to university to study agriculture and learned about design and soils and pests and vegetables.

But it wasn’t just the professors Balzer found helpful. She says it was also co-workers, experience, and time. She spent two internship summers working on the University of Alberta’s vegetable plots, learning the methods and techniques shared by senior staff. Now Balzer says she wants to pay it back. Grow Food Calgary participants will be guided and helped by Balzer and a full team of keen growers for eight months this year and they believe something “magical” will happen.

The three co-co-founders of Grow Food Calgary: Balzer, Shelley Goldbeck and Chelsie Anderson (who is also speaking at the Home and Garden Show this year) will be “raising” gardeners to a new level, providing a platform where attendees will have access to their knowledge for the eight months of the course. They will be inviting participants to email questions.

“In March, when you are not sure what or when to seed, or in August, when you are deciding if your potatoes are ready to harvest, Grow Food Calgary is your team and your resource because once you sign in, you are our family,” says Anderson.

Each participant will be offered a 15-minute phone consultation with Balzer as part of their Grow Food package; they will be provided with freebies chosen by Balzer and they will they take home books, catalogues and extra personalized worksheets to get them growing.

Grow Food Calgary will have composting experts, soil experts, organic food farmers, entertaining bug experts, native wild crafting professionals and more. The hope is that beginners will blossom into gardeners with confidence.

For details on program costs and more, go to For further information, call Donna Balzer at 403-827-6390

Credit: Postmedia News

Donna Balzer / Grow Food Calgary participants will be guided by Donna Balzer and a team of growers in an eight-month program.

Word count: 385
(Copyright (c) 2017 Postmedia Network Inc. All rights reserved.)

Calgary, AB