Grand Trunk Veggies is co-owned by Kye Kocher and Laura-Leigh McKenzie - partners in business and in life. The farm was established in 2013 when Kye got permission from his landlord to tear out all the grass and establish a 3,000 square foot garden. He had decided to become a SPIN (Small Plot INtensive) farmer after learning about the urban style of food production in a permaculture course. Despite all its challenges, farming took hold of Kye and he was hooked for life.
In 2015, Laura-Leigh and Kye met at a conference in Phoenix, AZ. Soon after returning to Calgary, Laura-Leigh started volunteering at the farm and suddenly found herself in a full-on career/life transition. She moved to Bowden, AB to apprentice at a rural farm and learn more about farming on a larger scale. Somewhere along the way, the two fell in love and decided to start growing Grand Trunk Veggies together in 2017.
Beyond a love of farming and growing food for our community, we want to influence Calgary's food system. We've made a conscious and deliberate decision to grow food in the city and here's why:
Urban farming allows us to be completely transparent in the way we grow food, keeping us accountable to our neighbours and customers.
It allows us to provide efficient, direct access to the highest quality produce for our customers.
It allows us to reconnect people both visually and psychologically to our food system.
It gives our customers an opportunity to watch, learn and get involved without traveling very far.
We hope that by growing food right here in the city, we can inspire more Calgarians to grow some of their own food, eat more food from farmers they know and understand/take part in the process of getting food from the garden to the table.
We wouldn't be able to farm without the generosity of our land-owners. In return for fresh produce each week, our land-owners let us rip up their grass and transform it into garden space, re-connecting their families and neighbours with local food in a tangible way. These folks are true rock-stars and we'd like to take this opportunity to express our deepest, most heartfelt gratitude! If you're interested in donating your yard, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Farm Community
We are proud members of YYC Growers + Distributors Co-operative. YYC Growers is a co-operative of 5 rural and 9 urban farms. We work together to increase our market access and provide farmers with a fair price for their produce. By aggregating our produce and coordinating distribution, we aim to get more local food on the plates of Calgarians. Collectively we run a 1000 share Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, which we call our Harvest Box program. Click here to learn more about this program and how you can get involved!