Farmer in Focus: City Beet Farm
City Beet Farm was started in 2013, by two young women, Ruth and Katie who had a passion for farming but were unable to afford access to land. They came up with a creative solution to use neighbourhood front and back yards as farmland. Over the years, the farm has evolved from 5 sites and 20 CSA members to 14 sites and 82 CSA members growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Madelaine Clerk and Elana Evans, who took over the farm in 2016 host a weekly market and sell a small amount of produce through wholesale opportunities.
City Beet Farm is a fantastic example of gardening for carbon management. “Definitely one of our top priorities [is] bringing organic matter back into the soil. We really try to maintain practices that are good on the soil,” says Clerk. Since they are gardening on small plots of land, they use hand tools and similar practices that you would see on an organic farm. Since City Beet Farm is a multi-site urban farm, they cannot be certified organic.
Both Clerk and Evans had no farming experience prior to taking over City Beet Farm. “It’s important to show people that, six years ago, [I didn’t] know what a pepper plant looked like and now we’re able to run like a full-scale farming operation. I feel like it’s important that people know that it’s within their reach and it is totally accessible and you can definitely do it,” says Clerk.
Learn more about City Beet Farm.