Spring 2014: We are moving! We have bought a lovely piece of property west of Perth, Ontario where we will be creating our new rural off-grid home and farmstead. Thank you to the many lovely Aylmerites and friends that have supported my urban farming adventure.
Would you like to:
♥ turn Aylmer’s backyards, school fields, church lawns, front yards and vacant lots into beautiful, productive vegetable, herb and flower gardens?
♥ participate in a local social enterprise that strives to bring fresh, healthy food to the people of Aylmer?
♥ delight in the beauty and benefits of greening our city and your own land?
♥ eat and enjoy food that was grown using organic methods in your own garden or less than a few kilometres away?
If this appeals to you and you have the appropriate piece of land, we would love to hear from you.
Here’s how it works….
(These 7 steps are adapted from our friends in Ottawa, the VegetablePatch.ca).
1. You, the landowner in Aylmer who loves fresh vegetables or the idea of seeing beautiful vegetables growing on their land agrees to share their extra yard space (see below for details).
2. We create a vegetable garden in the agreed upon space. This includes enriching the existing soil and all that is required to make the earth productive and ready.
3. You agree to a) not use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides in the surrounding area so as not to potentially disrupt the organic nature of the garden and, if necessary, b) protect the area by erecting a ground-hog proof fence (this entails a financial investment)
4. We plant a variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers using only organic methods.
5. Throughout the growing season we take care of the daily maintenance work in the garden by weeding, watering, building supportive structures, etc. You enjoy the natural beauty thriving in your space and share your experience with others.
6. When vegetables ripen, we harvest them and sell them through our urban share program or our Saturday veggie stall at the Boulangerie aux deux Fréres in Vieux Aylmer.
7. You receive a weekly “urban share” containing fresh organic (non-certified) vegetables grown in your own yard and from others elsewhere in the city.
Is your land suitable?
We are grateful that you are considering sharing your land. We would love to respond to all requests and turn every piece of land and lawn into a vegetable patch, however this is not feasible. So, at the risk of seeming, ungracious, we ask that you read through the following criteria to determine whether your land is suitable.
Sunshine – the plot must receive at least 5 hours of full sun every day. If there are border areas that receive just three hours, that is fine and can be used for the cooler-loving plants, however at least 80% of the land must be in the sun. We give preference to plots in full sun.
Size – the land must be at least 1,000 square feet, preferably much larger, and with easy access. The easiest way to figure out the approximate size is to count your steps around the plot. 1,000 square feet is approximately 50’ x 20’.
Land – we can and will gladly convert lawns, meadows, weeds and wild fields but not trees, stones, asphalt or concrete, into vegetable gardens. Preference is given to land that is ready to be cultivated.
Location – currently we are looking primarily in the Old Aylmer area, ideally within a 5km radius of the Boulangerie aux deux Frères.
Protection – the vegetable plot must be protected from small children, dogs, cats and groundhogs. In areas, where any of these are a potential issue, we ask that the owners install a simple fence around the perimeter of the plot. Aylmer Backyard Farms will help install the fence but the cost is borne by the landowners. The costs vary on the size and materials used but a 1000 square foot plot could cost approximately $250.
So is this for you? Would you like to be part of a growing, hyper-local food movement in your neighbourhood?
Please have a look at the Land Use Agreement 2012 and then, if you are still keen, please fill out the form below and we will respond to you within 24 hours.
We look forward to hearing from you!