All posts by Nicole Kanderka

Grow Calgary Relocation Press Release

Grow Calgary has been informed by Alberta Infrastructure that the organizations current site of operation must me vacated by December 31st, 2018 in order to make way for the Calgary West Ring Road (C-WRR) development beginning in Spring 2019, particularly the C-WRR / TransCanada Highway (TCH) interchange. Grow Calgary’s stance on the matter is not one of resistance. Grow Calgary does not object to Alberta Infrastructures request to relocate and acknowledges the request as fair and within the authority of Alberta Infrastructure. Grow Calgary is eager to collaborate with Alberta Infrastructure to find a new location to continue the operation of an urban community farm. However, before Grow Calgary puts effort and resources into relocating, the organization is requesting Alberta Infrastructure provide a more detailed explanation of how the parcel of land Grow Calgary occupies will be utilized in the development process of the C-WRR. Current drawings of the C-WRR / TCH interchange do not appear to show the Grow Calgary site directly impacted by the proposed development. Grow Calgary’s request is to receive more information as to why they have been ordered to relocate as their current site does not appear to be in the way of the proposed development. Grow Calgary is motivated by a desire to achieve a deeper understanding of the necessity of their relocation. To participate in the dialogue or to learn more about Grow Calgary’s stance on the relocation send an email to

Volunteer Orientation Summary

The August 3rd Event is this Friday and we will be hosting 900 Youth on our Farm. 

The location of this event is at the Grow Calgary Farm: 10319 West valley Road SW.

Please ensure that you can get to this location at 11 am and be prepared to stay there until 4pm. Bring your own snack, drinking water and hat to cover from the sun for the day! Also make sure to not wear T-shirts with any offensive language or logos. 

Volunteers will assist during rotation times (every 45min-1 hour) so groups can transition easily. 

August 3rd Itinerary

-Arrive at 11am 

-In the 1-hour frame we will designate station rotation points to volunteers. A physical print out of the map will be provided to you. The different stations are marked by number signs for you to orient the youth to the correct spot. 

-Students will arrive at 12pm. Each bus contains appx 10 youth with 4 church leaders

-Some Volunteers will assist near the parking lot with sign-in once the groups arrive. The sheet with each group and their group leaders should be provided to you (volunteers) by our Farm Operations Manager the day of. 

-Volunteers will go to their designated spots after sign in to guide groups with station rotation. Each station will have a farm manager to guide students with tasks for the stations. Volunteers can assist with that in between rotation if they desire. 

-Rotate groups until 1.30pm. Head to the area between 9 and 10 labelled on the map at 1.30pm for a big group picture with the 900 youth, staff, and other volunteers during the event. After the picture and video we will head back to the designated spots.

-Around 3 to 3.30pm, volunteers and farm managers will escort the youth to the buses at our parking lot for departure. We will do this 6 groups at a time, as there are 17 groups of roughly 40 youth during the event.

-By 4pm we wrap up everything and you are ready to leave.  

***Lunch/Break time TBA: During the break time you are allowed to snack and take a washroom break, as we have portable washrooms on the farm. The Youth will head out the farm property for a pizza break. IMG_0828.PNG


Grow Calgary + Microhome Design / Build Competition

Grow Calgary is an NPO that operates an urban community farm located south of the TransCanada Highway, 1 km West of Canada Olympic Park. 2018 is the 70th Anniversary of the United Nation’s Human Rights Declaration, and we supportthe fundamental principles of Article 25:  the universal right to food and shelter, or what we like to call “Snack in the Shack”. Grow Calgary supports local charities and food security initiatives by donating 100% of the fresh produce we harvestto social agencies that have food access programs for their clients. Additionally, we provide educational opportunities to youth and low-income families on how to grow and cultivate food. Over 22,000 volunteers have contributed energy to the farm and over 10,000 youth (K-12) have accessed Grow Calgary’s free programming. 

 Addressing the enormous demand for affordable housing, we support and develop sustainable, affordable, and compassionate housing initiatives. This summer we are hosting Canada’s 1st Microhome Design/Build Competition in an effort to bring applied research, attention, visibility and engagement to good design around affordable, energy and resource efficient, aesthetically pleasing microhomes and to create an opportunity for designers to feature their microhome design concepts. 

 A microhome is a small dwelling typically between 100 SF to 500 SF The microhome movement is a commitment to minimalistic, sustainable, and affordable living. Traditional housing is excessive in its nature and the utilization of space tends to reflect the desire of materialistic possession, rather than nurture an efficient living environment. When downsizing to a microhome, the excessive non-essential aspects of traditional dwellings are cut out, which reduces theenvironmental footprint of the dwellings construction and operation. Building on to the benefits, a smaller house is significantly more affordable and the financial investment to own a microhome is comparable to buying a car. 

 Unfortunately, microhomes do not have a place within the provincial building code and local zoning bylaws. Through Grow Calgary’s competition we want to showcase the viability of a microhome as a sustainable, affordable, comfortable, compassionate living space and to make a case for a re-evaluation of how microhomes fit within the local and provincial regulatory framework.

 On the 15th of September, Grow Calgary is hosting an open exhibition to showcase Microhomes that have been constructed by our committed teams as part of Canada’s 1st Microhome Design/Build Competition. There will be over 10 unique homes, each with a different take on the optimal utilization of 100 SF of living space.

All members of trade associations, the housing construction sector, developers, social agencies that deal directly with homeless populations, affordable housing advocates, the general public and the media are welcome to attend, free of charge.

The Competition

We’ve put out a challenge to builders and designers around the province to create a microhome that is innovative, transportable, replicable, and most importantly livable. There are three classes of competition, the micro, the tiny, and the design class.

Micro Class– submit a temporary structure under 100 SF, to be built entirely on site
Tiny Class– submit a temporary structure between under 400 SF, can be built off site
Design Class– submit the conceptual plans and design drawings for a microhome


Right now we have 10 teams from around Alberta, each working to develop a unique microhome. All of the microhomes will be on display to the public on the 15th of September on our farm. There will be a celebrity judging panel critiquing the homes and selecting a champion for each class.

Call for Competitors

We’re still accepting new competitors and if you feel you’re able to design and put together a microhome in two months you’re more than welcome to join the competition. We are able to provide manpower as we have a number of “free-agent” volunteers waiting to get involved.

Call for Sponsors

In an effort to be sustainable and cost effective, the majority of our teams are building their homes mostly out of repurposed material. Any organization or individual who is willing to donate building material will be recognized as a sponsor to the competition. We are also on the lookout for financial sponsors. Organizations are able to sponsor the competition as a whole or sponsor one of our individual teams. Sponsors will be recognized with a permanent name plate on the sponsored microhome(s), logo/name included on competition related promotional material, and will be given the opportunityto present promotional material on the day of the exhibition.

Contact Information

For more information on how to get involved email and visit


Summer Excitement!


There’s so many awesome things happening on the farm right now, it’s hard to stay up to date! We’re about to break it down for you in this post!

Events & Volunteer Opportunities:

Grow Calgary is integrating itself heavily in events this summer! We have just completed an event packed stampede week, and we’re looking forward to what the rest of summer has in store for the Grow Team! More details about any of these events listed below can be found on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter Pages!

Every Saturday & Sunday: Family Open Farm Days, Microhome Construction, and Open Volunteer Hours, all happening at 1pm-4pm at the Grow Calgary farm site!

Sundays: Bee Hive Tours – We have partnered with ABC Bees to have hives on our farm to promote the health of bees as a species, and to aid us in successful crops! Come visit us on our farm site at 1-2pm, and 2-3pm for an exclusive bee tour!

If you wish to visit us at another time outside the allotted 1pm-4pm on Saturday or Sunday, please message us on any social media platform or email us at least 24 hours prior to your expected arrival! This allows for us to meet any required accommodations you may have, and ensure our amazing staff are expecting you on the farm!

Tuesday July 17th: YYC Free Market Event – We’re going to be boothing at this event, make sure you come on down and say hi to us! The project promotes accessible materials and sustainability! Hosted in Kensington, Calgary.

Saturday July 21st: Yoga at the Farm – Grow Calgary is hosting this event with the help of the wonderful yoga instructor, Candice Archer! It is going to be a morning of yoga, relaxation, farm learning, and community bonding! Event is on our farm from 9am-1pm, bring your own yoga mat, lunch, and family and/or friends!

August 3rd: Grow Calgary’s Biggest Event Ever! – We’re calling volunteers! If you are available from 11am-4pm on August 3rd and would like sign up information please fill out this google form! We are also hosting a volunteer orientation on July 29th in preparation for the event, which will include an exclusive farm tour! Google Form Link Here!

There will be another post with job opportunities coming soon! As well as updates on new and longstanding partnerships, microhome competition information, and first hand views at the farm lifestyle from our very own farm managers!

Earth Ship