Garden News

Prairie Urban Farm

During these strange times in which we are now living, in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, a number of changes are afoot.

First, we were not able to meet at the greenhouse this spring due to restrictions on social gatherings imposed for all University of Alberta facilities, so a number of us are starting seeds in window boxes and under grow lights. If anyone has a sunny window, or some indoor grow lights, and would like to start some seedlings for PUF, your efforts would be much appreciated!

Second, new measures will be taken to protect our volunteers and customers, including adding additional weekly work bees to avoid large numbers of volunteers working at the same time. We will also be adding additional mentors so that volunteers can be divided up into smaller working groups and work on different projects around the farm during each work bee. We ask all volunteers to bring their own work gloves to avoid sharing gloves. Social distancing protocol will be practiced at all times. During our weekly market, plastic gloves and hand sanitizer will be provided for our volunteers.

Ordinarily, around this time of year we would be holding a public information session for new and returning volunteers. This year we will produce a video-recorded session to share. You can look for this toward the end of April, and we hope to get started on the Farm shortly thereafter, weather-permitting.

Fourth, we are also anticipating that the need for PUF to contribute to local food security will be greater than ever. So we are calling upon all of our volunteers to go the extra mile this season in order help us increase production to meet this need, and also to be considerate when harvesting for your own consumption. While we have been quite relaxed in previous seasons, we will be instituting new rules to ensure equitable distribution of harvest among volunteers.

Finally, we have a strong crew of new and returning mentors already committed for our 2020 season, but we would be happy to add your name to our team. Please contact us if you are interested.

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