All posts by Elzbeth Sweder

Sponsorship: West Coast Seeds

Grow Calgary is a non-profit organization run completely by volunteers and we help with team building activities for groups, organizations, schools, and business. For the past 5 season we have helps give fresh produce to over 30 local social agencies with feeding programs like the Drop in Centre, The Women Emergency Shelter and Inn from the Cold.

Grow Calgary has an 11 acre farm located west of Canada Olympic Park on the South side of the TransCanada Highway. Grow Calgary will be currently entering our 6th season in 2018 and also are very excited to be celebrating our 5th birthday on May, 13th.

Now a definition of non-profit is that we are not established for the purpose of making any money we are purely in it for making a changes in our community.

Now none of this would be possible if it weren’t for our many sponsors.

West Coast Seeds

West Coast Seeds donations help Grow Calgary with our early Germination events, Aggie days, and Earth Science Society event,

West Coast Seeds are non-treated and  Non-GMO  and are used for organic growing. Non-GMO  means they are not genetically motivated and come naturally from the plant.

West Coast seeds are Non-treated and are naturally dried they are not applied with a polymer spray which would have contain  seed coating that would have growth promoters, fertilizer, or chemicals to protect the seed from pathogens which would usually be fungicides.

West Coast Seeds 2

West Coast Seeds has over 850 different kinds of open-pollinated and hybrid vegetable seeds.  West Coast Seeds are featured certified organic seeds for growing food like beets, carrots, onions, tomatoes and so much more.

For more information check out their website West Coast Seeds.


The Importance of Composting.

Grow Calgary has compost donated to them from a few partners like Bona Roma. Grow Calgary accepts compost within a three or four km radius from around the 11 acre farm west of C.O.P.

composting 2Now compost is actually decomposed organic material, now this would includes leaves, grass clippings, and waste from your kitchen.

Now all of this decomposing matter is very vital for the growth of a plant.

Compost can improve the configuration of soil and it helps hold the right amount of moister, nutrient and air to properly aerate the soil and help plants grow.


Compost in fact has the ability to change up even the toughest forms of clay soil and sandy soil alike.

Compost is a great way to help reduce the waste problem and it is also helps as an awesome improvement for mulch and soil.

The benefits of composting are easily found there is the reduction in garbage volume and it is also a natural alternative the helps cut back on the use of chemical fertilizers.

Compost also helps improve ventilation and drainage of the soil so the plant can grow.

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Now by adding the improved ventilation and drainage it helps decrease the need for watering.

There are something’s that can not be composted and are important to be weary of what you throw in your compost.

  • Meat, like fish and animal fats, these decomposing material may attract unwanted critters to your compost pile.
  • Certain kinds of paper like newspapers or office paper these kinds of papers may contain chemicals and are not good for your plant and should instead be recycled.
  • Ashes from grills, now wood ash can be useful in very small quantities but BBQ grill ashes shouldn’t go into the compost.
  • Pet feces these things can actually can add diseases to your compost and have an unpleasant odour. But good manure to uses for compost would be chicken horse cow, and even rabbit.
  • Treated sawdust from lumber mills because sometimes the wood could be treated with harmful chemicals.


The Future of Earth

Welcome to the Earthship, this is the first in urban Earthship which is modelled after a bigger one in the country and now there are many others have coloured the country side.

Grow Calgary is proud to have over 200,000 volunteers come out and join us in team building activities.

Earth Ship

This Earthship is made up of repurposed materials recycled tires, cans, and bottles that are the foundation of this awe striking building.

The inner and outer rooms of the Earthship face south.

The Earthship also includes solar panels and the chance to treat recycle grey water, produce food and regulate temperature.

In the cold winter months which all Albertans know to well, and during this time the temperature in the Earthship has never dropped below minus one.

This is one of many station that volunteers get to join in and help with early germination.

With over 26 different stations to participate in it really is a new experience every time, and it will get people coming back for more and more.

Our Earthship is constructed out of old tires rammed with earth, cans and bottles that act almost like bricks, and featuring a new solar panel system.

This amazing building helps Grow Calgary produce more food for the at risk and vulnerable in Calgary.

22045747_1502924486422508_5195467280806881888_nAt Grow Calgary there are a total of 25 different water tanks as well as   numerous 45 gallon tanks this can hold about 200, 000 L of water.


Grow Calgary helps over 20 organizations with feeding programs, like the Drop in Centre, Alpha House, and the Women’s Shelter.

The Earth Ship is around 500 square foot located on our 11 acre section of land west of C.O.P..

This Earth Ship has no living people in it but is home to plenty of plant life for early germination.

We hope to see you at our next event!



Helping the Needy in Micro-Doses

Grow Calgary is a non-profit organization dedicated to feeding Calgary’s hungry, most vulnerable and at risk citizens. We grow vegetables, like tomatoes, potatoes, leafy greens and this year we plan on trying to grow jalapeños  in our Earth Ship.

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Yet this year we are stepping up our game and, in fact, has started the first annual  micro-home design and building competition in June to help shelter the homeless.

Now it would make sense to build a massive building with many units inside it , but the cost is outlandish going upwards to $300,000 or more, when a micro-homes can be built for around $3, 000.

 Micro Home

Now the goal of this competition is to gain the knowledge, wisdom and research of quality designs so we can build resourceful and energy efficient micro-homes.

There will be three categories in which to enter:

100 foot temporary structure that will be located at CRiBs Micro-community site at Grow Calgary 11 acre farm located west of C.O.P.

 400 feet temporary structure under which would be located off site.

Online which people from all over the world can submit their designs and micro-homes.

Check out our Facebook event.