Episode 154 – Innovative Agriculture

On this episode, freelance producer Emily Rendell-Watson explores new innovations in local agriculture that could impact the future of food security in Edmonton. 

Food security is the topic for our 2023 Vital Signs report.Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF) and Edmonton Social Planning Council (ESPC) have partnered to create this report, and we’ve learned a lot about food in our city. 

In our previous episodes, we’ve talked about food security over the past 10 years and where we are today.  We also looked at how food is more than just basic survival – it brings communities together so we can thrive.  

Today, we look at how innovations like hydroponics and community growing could impact the future of food security. 

You can hear our previous episodes on food security in Edmonton here:
*Food Sustains Thriving Communities
* Hunger Happens Here

Vital Signs:
Register to attend the 2023 Vital Signs Launch: On-line or In-Person.
Read our  Vital Topics:
* Food Security in Our Time.

* Hunger Happens Here.
See the 2013 Vital Signs report on Edmonton Food Security

Learn more about PROOF – Identifying policy options to reduce household food insecurity (utoronto.ca)
Read their 2021 report: Household-Food-Insecurity-in-Canada-2021-PROOF.pdf (utoronto.ca)
Find out more about LFG Annual Event (ladyflowergardens.com).
Check out YTC GARDENS – Growing Together.

ECF Happenings:
Read the latest on our blog.
See how ECF connects you with Edmonton’s community.
Check out some of the amazing funds our donors have created.
Find out how to create an Endowment Fund of your own.

ECF Grants:
* Click here to see all ECF Grants.

Upcoming Student Awards:
* Click here to find details for all of our student awards!

The Well Endowed Podcast is produced by Edmonton Community Foundation.

Image for this episode is courtesy Kelly Mills of Lady Flower Gardens.

Transcripts by Karli Drew.


[The Well Endowed Podcast theme music plays]

Graeme Lummer [00:00:25] Hi everyone. Welcome to ECF’s Well Endowed Podcast. I’m Graeme Lummer—

Anna Alfonso [00:00:29] And I’m...

Anna Alfonso. Edmonton is full of generous donors who have created endowment funds at Edmonton Community Foundation.

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Anna [00:00:42] On this podcast, we share stories about how these funds help strengthen our community… because it’s good to be well endowed.

Graeme [00:00:49] Now, before we dive in, we’ve got some fun news to share.

Anna [00:00:52] The Well Endowed Podcast has been nominated for… drumroll, Graeme… [drumroll noises] a Canadian podcasting award in the outstanding branded podcast category.

Graeme [00:01:06] Woo-hoo! If you’d like to support the show, you can vote for us at canpodawards.ca.

Anna [00:01:13] And you’ll discover other incredible shows there, too. We’ll have the link in our show notes. Okay, let’s get to it.

Graeme [00:01:20] On this episode, we look at how new innovations in local agriculture can impact the future of food security in Edmonton.

Anna [00:01:27] Food security is the topic for our 2023 Vital Signs report. We’re excited to announce that we’ll be launching the full report on November 9th at 10:00 AM. We’ll share details on how to register at the end of the show and in the show notes.

Graeme [00:01:42] ECF and Edmonton Social Planning Council have partnered to create this report, and we’ve learned a lot about food in our city. In our previous Vital Signs episodes, we’ve talked about food security over the past 10 years and where we are today.

Anna [00:01:54] We also looked at how food is more than just basic survival. It brings communities together so we can thrive. We’ve also learned that access to food is getting harder for many families. So what can we do to make food more accessible in Edmonton?

[The Well Endowed Podcast jingle plays in background]

Graeme [00:02:09] Today, we are looking at innovations in how we grow food. Freelance producer, Emily Rendell-Watson, introduces us to new approaches in local agriculture and explores how we could make change for the future.

Emily Rendell-Watson [00:02:20] Alberta has the highest rates of food insecurity in the country. That’s according to a 2021 report by PROOF, a University of Toronto research program. Many families are relying on Food Banks to get by as the cost of groceries continues to go up. Now, Vital Signs is a checkup that measures how our community is faring. And this year, the Edmonton Community Foundation has been exploring food security in our city. 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of Vital Signs so the Edmonton Community Foundation is revisiting its very first topic to explore how far we’ve come on this issue of food security, where we are today, and where we’re headed. In this episode, we’re looking at the future of food security and how social innovation can support that.

We’ll hear about a local not-for-profit that’s helping people connect with each other and the land.

Kelly Mills [00:03:09] We need to start talking about saving green space now in urban areas for local food production.

Emily [00:03:14] And how a hydroponic farm can extend the growing season by producing fresh produce.

Glenn Susan [00:03:19] It’s crunchier, there’s more flavour with it.

Emily [00:03:22] But first, Mary Beckie is a Professor and Director of Community Engagement Studies in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. She has a PhD in sustainable agriculture and rural development. Her research has focused on localized food systems, including the role of the social economy in local food systems, and ways to support new farmers entering into agriculture.

I started off by asking Mary about agroecology and alternative farming practices as well as what conventional agriculture looks like here.

Mary Beckie [00:03:52] So in the Prairie region where we’re situated, agriculture has become highly industrialized. Uh, it’s very high tech sector, uh, large scale, and it’s export-oriented. It’s very dependent on fossil fuel manufactured inputs. So, you know, agrichemicals, machinery, you know, even the GPS now for data analysis of all sorts of things for use of fertilizers, pesticides, et cetera. So that’s kind of become the norm here, and it— as a result, farm sizes have been getting bigger and bigger because of the cost of farming to… to make it viable. Bigger is better, as they say. That’s kind of the motto. And as a result, we’re— we have a declining, uh, farming population. So that’s kind of the picture of what farming looks like here. The alternatives that are arising are… particularly, you know, if you’re speaking about agroecology or regenerative agriculture or permaculture, these are all different approaches to food production that are more based on ecological farming methods.

[00:05:14] And again, what does that mean? Well, it means… farming more in harmony with the assets, the resources that are there, that are available. So less dependency on those external, manufactured inputs and more reliance on things like crop rotations or intercropping, uh, the use of animal manure, you know, animals period, I guess, in, uh, farming practices. So going back more to mixed practices, relying more on traditional— some of the traditional farming practices as well that— Agroecology means— it is so context-specific that it means different things in different places. What it might mean to the potato farmers in the… in the mountainous regions of Peru is quite different from what it would mean here in the prairie region. And scale is typically a central aspect of these alternative approaches.

[00:06:18] Whereas, you know, as I said, the conventional agriculture is very large scale, these alternatives tend to be more smaller scale, much more biodiverse, so— diverse in terms of the, uh, types of crops and the number of crops that are planted. But as I said, also a mix of animals an-and plants in the farming practice. And it really is about looking at a farm or a landscape as an ecozone or an ecosystem. The common denominator amongst all of these alternatives is a more ecological approach to farming.

Emily [00:06:56] When we think about how agroecology and some of these methods can play a role in tackling food insecurity, what does that actually look like? How do they do that?

Mary [00:07:10] Well, I think it’s, uh, in a number of different ways they contribute to that. So instead of importing carrots and potatoes from California or Washingtonstate or apples, you know, if we can produce more… of the products that we’re eating here locally, uh, it’s definitely to our benefit economically. But also just in terms of our capacity so that if there is a shock to the system, like there was during the COVID pandemic, um, we’re not faced with supply chain disruptions as we… as we were. I mean, the system responded actually very quickly. People were very surprised. You know, those empty store shelves were… were filled quite quickly. And that’s just because it is a globalized system. Creating a more healthy… eco, you know, landscape and also producing more locally and a more— a greater diversity locally is going to benefit us in many different ways.

[00:08:16] And also, because of the smaller scale of these operations, we’re going to get more farmers on the land, a more diverse set of farmers than we have right now. And we’re seeing more and more young people returning to agriculture because of these alternatives that are… that are now on offer. We’re seeing more ethnic diversity of… of people attracted to, uh, these types of alternative or small scale farming practices. More women. But [sighs] there’s still, you know, a lot of barriers and challenges for these types of operations to really flourish. Part of it is market access, but also, you know, we have farmer’s markets, we have community-supported agriculture. We have different alternative marketing venues as well. But a lot of people still prefer to go to a grocery store where they can do a one stop shop. And farmers’ markets, uh, community-supported agriculture prices can be higher than in a conventional retail store.

[00:09:25] So there’s a lot of benefits, but there’s also a lot of challenges. And I think that government can play a… a really critical role in supporting these alternatives. And we haven’t seen that to the extent that we certainly could be seeing that in Alberta or in the prairie region in general. And also, educational institutions have a key role to play. Most of our programming in agriculture colleges is geared towards industrial ag, conventional agriculture. So there’s not a lot on offer within those, uh, universities, college settings for alternatives.

[00:10:07] Stepping up into that zone now are things like the Young Agrarians, which is a very interesting network, farmer-to-farmer network, support network, which provides educational opportunities, internships, everything from how to grow plants to how to care for animals to how to develop a budget, how to plan for a-a year’s farming. They’re stepping in because the institutions have really not been addressing this new segment, those people that are interested in alternative agriculture. I think the more diverse that we can make our farming practices, the ecological— that we’re responding more closely to ecological factors rather than trying to dominate and control, I think is going to work in… in our favour a lot better.

Emily [00:11:01] Now when we think about rethinking our current economic and agricultural practices, why is that so important to benefit food security in a… equitable way across cultures?

Mary [00:11:15] Well, I think it’s— it is this combination of social and ecological innovation that’s… that’s going to help us address food insecurity. But just, you know, the… the damage that’s been done to the environment, um, through the methods that we have been using. We talk a lot about innovation and resilience when we’re… when we’re talking about climate change or just about the rapidity of changes that are happening around us. So I think we do definitely need this combination of social and ecological innovation. And there’s— there’s so many great examples of innovations that are happening now that we need to scale up or… or scale out, as they say, you know, to repeat these innovations more widely and to, uh, experiment because experimentation is absolutely key to resilience. And so not being in a ri-rigid kind of lockdown system where you have more flexibility and opportunity to maneuver when change comes at you.

Emily [00:12:26] You mentioned social innovation will support food security going forward. What innovations do you think will have the most impact? And are there some examples that you could give whether it comes to accessing food or… or helping others access food?

Mary [00:12:42] Um. I think, uh— You know, I mentioned the role of the social economy. The social economy is all about addressing community needs that aren’t being addressed through the conventional economic system. It’s bringing local values and context back into the economy. Farmers’ markets are an example of that, but so are cooperatives, non-profit entities that bring value, address local needs. Just like Lady Flower Gardens is a prime example of that. And when I was working in Europe, we looked at different farm collectives or cooperatives that also combined diverse production systems in— uh, together.

[00:12:27] So that’s where you get farmers that are working in different ecozones coming together to market their products. So they’re taking advantage of the diversity of the ecological base that they’re working on. So it— in other words, if you got, uh, a crop failure in one region. You know, if your potato crop is a wipe out because of some pest or if you get flooding in another area, which takes out another type of crop. Then if you’ve got diverse farmers coming together and working together from diverse zones where you can, you know, skirt around some of those ecological crises, you’re in a much stronger position to respond to a crisis, to any kind if cr— you know, whether it’s a climate crisis or even an economic crisis, you’re bringing that— more of that heterogeneity and diversity into the system.

Emily [00:14:26] That was Mary Beckie, Professor and Director of Community Engagement Studies in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta.

I’d like to introduce you to a few people who are demonstrating how social innovation can help fight food insecurity. Kelly Mills is the Founder and Managing Director of Lady Flower Gardens. They’re a not-for-profit organization in northeast Edmonton that’s building an inclusive community around sustainable agriculture. And it’s not just about growing food for those who work in the garden. It’s about building a sense of purpose and connection.

Here’s Kelly to tell us how Lady Flower Gardens got its start.

Kelly Mills [00:15:02] Well, I had been volunteering at the Bissell and Boyle, and I was doing arts and crafts in the drop-in, and week after week, sometimes the same people would drop in and eventually started to develop, uh, kind of an arts and crafts community. So, uh, there was— The arts and crafts were the substrate or the task that would bind us together. So as we were making the tasks and sharing ideas about what kind of arts and crafts to do, we would start talking about our lives… and got to know each other’s names and looked forward to seeing each other week to week.

[00:15:41] And I’ve always been interested in social things and economic things and why there’s poverty and why some people have access to the resources they need for their health and wellness and why others don’t. And so I went on a… organic agricultural tour of Cuba out of interest’s sake to see how they were tackling their food sovereignty problems and, uh, other aspects of their life. And I met a retired market gardener on that trip and I pitched the idea to him to have a communal garden so that we could build a community on growing food together instead of art. And he liked the idea and he decided to facilitate it 12 years ago and we’re still doing it.

Emily [00:16:29] So, Lady Flower Gardens, can you tell us a bit more about the model and how it actually works?

Kelly [00:16:34] Yeah, it’s kind of a federation of social agencies. So there’s the… two-acre plot of land and the farmer, Doug Visser, and myself, we… plant the garden with the help of the different community members from the different agencies that are part of the federation. So for instance, last year we had NiGiNan Housing, the Mustard Seed, Boyle Street Community Centre, and Hope Mission… and Recovery Acres. So on any given year over the last 12 years, some of the agencies have come and gone and come back again depending on the resources they have that year to put towards participating in the project. A major stumbling block for them is transportation ’cause even though we are in the city limits, there’s no bus service up in the northeast Edmonton yet. We’re surrounded by agricultural land that hasn’t been developed yet. So their agencies have to figure out how to get a van or how to get their community members up and to staff their group when they come up.

[00:17:36] So when they come up, they meet in a circle and we have an icebreaker. And usually the staff is involved in… in developing those… those discussions at the beginning in the circle, just to get people to know each other and start to feel like they’re part of a community. And then our staff or myself will let them know what the needs of the garden are that day. And generally we— everybody does about 10 to 15 minutes of weeding so that we don’t have to use any herbicides. And then they harvest— uh, they harvest for the Food Bank and then they harvest for themselves. It sounds pretty simple, but it’s not only a food security project. First and foremost, it’s about mental health and learning how to have fellowship and care for the land and be outdoors and be needed. A lot of them really like to hear again and again how much produce we are donating together as a group to the Food Bank.

Emily [00:18:34] How do you keep it running? Like what subsidizes this model of Lady Flower Gardens so that you can keep doing it year after year?

Kelly [00:18:42] Well, it’s— that’s an excellent question. It’s very difficult to keep it going. We are a not-for-profit, but we are a part nine corporation and we don’t have our charitable status because we don’t have a democratically-elected board. So… the bulk of the subsidizing comes from the farmer who believes in the project and who would like to— us to become more sustainable. One of the things about this model that helps us is that even though we’re institutionally weak, um, our agencies have strength and so we tap into them. So they come with their staff so we don’t have to pay any of those salaries. And their staff have relationships with their gardeners and they also have skills and training to, uh, help support them, which, you know, we don’t have. I— Like, I’m a dental hygienist, Doug is a farmer, and our— the gardeners have severe obstacles.

[00:19:40] We wanted to collaborate with the agencies that provide the supports for some of the most vulnerable citizens in Edmonton. That’s what the whole mandate of the garden was for. It was for people that have formally been on the margins of society and at Lady Flower Gardens they’re our centre, but we need to have people that know how to support them, including dealing in a trauma-informed way with their needs and some of the behavioural stuff that can happen, which we aren’t trained for.

[00:20:10] We also get the Canada Summer Jobs grant. Last year for the first time we asked, um, our agencies for a thousand dollars for their time slots so that we could pay a decent wage for our summer staff. So we would get the same summer staff year after year that would come back. And that makes a big difference for the agencies and the gardeners to see the same face and the person that they had the relationship with. Uh, we also have a festival in the fall that raises about seven to ten thousand dollars. And we have a new relationship with Doug’s son and daughter-in-law who have started a for-profit flower business. And they give us now 20% of their net. So we’re getting stronger. We’re getting to be in a position where we can support our agencies better.

Emily [00:20:57] This kind of social innovation plays a really key part in supporting food security in the future. I’m wondering what have you learned over the past 12 years of Lady Flower Gardens that speaks to that and how it’s going to continue doing that going forward as you carry those lessons forward?

Kelly [00:21:16] It just seems to me that, um, there’s only so much food to go around… from the capitalist system, the market economy, you know, the relationships the Food Bank has developed with the grocers and the other food distributors is, I think, a very intelligent and good design. And I don’t wanna undercut that or go around the Food Bank to get to those sources of food. So I— it seems to me the only other way to produce more food… is to produce more food. I-I believe that Edmonton is a great place to produce more food.

[00:21:52] And so Lady Flower Gardens is not individual plots in a community garden. And I’m very supportive of community gardens. I’ve been a member of community gardens. But that’s an individual plot that lives or dies on my back or whoever has the plot’s back and then you get to decide what happens with that produce and you get to decide what’s grown. But a communal garden is different. It’s more productive than individual plots and is more inclusive of people that can’t have the time, energy, or resources to have a little plot on their own.

[00:22:25] So… I feel that communal gardening where, you know, there’s up to, like, a thousand different… people involved in it on a two-acre farm, if it was organized properly and if there was a… a paid staff that was managing it, could produce a whole bunch of food that could then be preserved and stored for the winter. And I know that seems to a lot of people backwards because that’s what all our ancestors did fifty to a hundred years ago. But it worked for them and it was delicious, nutritious food. I really think that communal gardening in a urban setting is an untapped method of really tackling this food security issue in a way that could be very empowering and healthy for people in a social way and physical way, too, ’cause it takes work.

[00:23:23] And then there’s all types of supports that can be given to people that, supposedly, you know, don’t have the physical ability to do gardening like that that could still be included in the different types of tasks that are needed to run a garden… including a person that maybe just sings and visits and shares recipes on how to preserve the food or share— if they’re elderly, they can sit at a washing station and wash carrots and explain how they gardened with their grandmother 60 years ago. Share knowledge, share goodwill.

[00:23:57] So then that brings me to the idea of… how do you put aside a whole acre in a city where people can access it without having to get in a van to come up to Lady Flower Gardens? And we are in the city limits. All the… all the terrain around us is zoned for, uh, developments. So one day we’re gonna be this agricultural oasis in the middle of a suburban desert. And it would be nice to get into discussion now with potential stakeholders on how an agricultural neighbourhood could be intentionally developed that would tackle a whole bunch of issues at once, including higher density, affordable housing, and leave more green space that’s right outside of that housing. So people could just walk out in the morning and go to a communal garden, just like they go… to their basketball team or their— or the drop-in at the Bissell or, like, a place that a person volunteers to go to be part of to help grow food together for the greater good of their community.

Emily [00:25:02] That was Kelly Mills, Founder and Managing Director of Lady Flower Gardens. Kelly and her team have developed a relationship with the community service learning department at the University of Alberta. The students there have researched what an intentional agriculture neighbourhood could actually look like and what kind of supports would be needed by the people a neighbourhood like that could serve. If you’re interested to learn more, check out the webpage devoted to this concept: www.ladyflowergardens.com/the-acres.

[00:25:32] Next I’m going to tell you about another local innovation that’s growing food. YTC Gardens is a hydroponics farm that grows greens for the member First Nations of Yellowhead Tribal Council. If you’re not familiar with hydroponics, it allows you to grow plants and food in nutrient water in a controlled environment. In the case of YTC Gardens, they use a Sea Can and there are many benefits including the need for less land and water to grow food.

Here’s Glenn Susan, a grower who runs the garden on why the idea to create YTC Gardens was born during the pandemic.

Glenn Susan [00:26:05] We were noticing that a lot of the members on the YTC councils for communities were having issues with food. Not a lot of people were able to grow them themselves [laughs] and a lot… a lot of people were working. There’s a lot of people below the poverty level. So I always had a passion to grow food using technology. So hydroponics is kind of— was— felt naturally for— to me. Growing lettuce, uh, mint. I grow kale. I can grow those all year round and I can produce probably between four to six hundred heads of lettuce every week. So… it feeds a lot of mouths.

Emily [00:26:43] Wow, that’s impressive. So what is the goal of YTC Gardens? Is it to… to get food into people’s hands at a… a more affordable cost?

Glenn [00:26:43] Yes. The goal is— because like… like I said, uh, First Nations? Not a lot of food going on and the fact that we don’t want to adopt the whole mono-farming culture, you know what I mean? Like, having… big fields open. So having hydroponics kind of reduces our carbon footprint, so to speak, in the sense that I can do all this in a confined unit. Would need about 40 acres of land to grow about the same amount of lettuce that I can produce, which is kind of crazy. The goal is for me to try to get to a point where I’m growing traditional medicines, so our elders don’t really have to go out there and pick anymore. It’d be readily available for them.

[00:27:30] There is knowledge that the elders have. Because First Nations is, uh, very, um, oral, passed on tradition cultures, a lot of the elders don’t wanna necessarily write down things, so… giving them access to the medicines all the time… rather than going out into the bushes to find it would… would be a lot more beneficial because they would have more time to sit there and teach the next generation about the importance of these medicinal plants. That’s where I want to get to.

Emily [00:27:58] Why is that important to you?

Glenn [00:28:00] It’s important to me because one of my grandmothers was a medicine woman for my community. I didn’t get a chance to get that information from her before she passed.

Emily [00:28:11] Mm-hmm. That… that’s an important driver for you.

Glenn [00:28:13] Our culture— Like, our culture is everything, the thing— And we don’t have a lot of people that are willing to step up and try to, like, learn these things from the elders before they go. And then I wanna learn ‘em, but at the same time, though, I don’t wanna disrespect it. So I wanna try to find a way that I can harmoniously use the knowledge that I have through hydroponics to grow the medicines that they would need.

Emily [00:28:36] Why is it important to produce food for the Indigenous communities who are part of Yellowhead Tribal Council without using traditional farming methods? How does this help and why is it important in terms of creating a more sustainable way of producing food?

Glenn [00:28:55] Well, so, a lot of Indigenous communities are further out, right? They don’t have access to, uh, a-a grocery store. Like, they would have to drive hours away, whereas with the Sea Can— imagine if-if each… if each community had, uh, the— one of these Sea Cans growing food on the Nations, then you wouldn’t have to travel that far. You would have access to fresh, uh, vegetables on a daily basis, all year-round, grown in your community, that’s pesticide-free. With the hydroponics unit being so self-sufficient, it’s water-efficient, uh, it’s temperature-controlled. The plants grow faster because of the fact that it is in a controlled environment. So you can control the lights and the water and the temperature. The plants will always grow and thrive, whereas if I were to grow ’em outside, the variables can change. Like, from a cloudy day to it being too hot to it being dry, whereas plants can grow.

Emily [00:29:49] Now that you’re a year in, where do you see YTC Gardens going next? Like, what’s the goal in terms of continuing to grow this moving forward?

Glenn [00:29:59] Uh, the goal is to expand. I want to expand by getting more Sea Can units and expanding the variety of crops that we can grow. My community, Alexis First Nation, also has a hydroponics unit. Um, it’s in the process of being commissioned right now, so… they’re pretty much almost done it. Once they’re done, they’re gonna have me come out there and help train two of the members to grow in this unit. Once that’s operational, the goal is to turn it into an educational experience, meaning that we’re… we’re hoping to have kids from our school go into the unit, learn about it, learn to seed, get the kids to harvest the vegetables themselves, and then give that back to the community. Or sell it to our local store to give it to our members.

Emily [00:30:50] That was Glenn Susan, grower with YTC Gardens. You can find the 2013 Vital Signs report as well as the recently released Vital Topics on food security at ecfoundation.org/initiatives/vital-signs.

I’d like to give the final word to Mary Beckie who we heard from earlier in this episode. She’s going to leave us with some final thoughts on what we need to do to move the needle on food security in Edmonton.

Mary [00:31:16] Well, I think increasing capacity for local production is key. So a lot of— uh, urban agriculture has taken off to some degree here, but there are some limitations, some policy barriers around that. And enabling different ethnic communities that do want to access land to grow food that they’re more commonly used to eating and isn’t necessarily readily available here. Pushing the envelope on how long our growing season is here by having more greenhouse capacity, hydroponics, you know. There’s… there’s many different ways to extend our growing season, indoor and outdoors.

[00:32:01] And then, of course, [laughs] increasing, uh, people’s income so that, you know, whether you’re on social service support or a guaranteed livable income, you know, we know that it… it does take money to exist in this world. So if people do have more access to finances, that they can then purchase the food they need or even purchase the seeds that they need to be able to grow their own food or purchase the… the hens that they might wanna have in their backyard so that they can produce eggs. So having adequate amount of money for a living is absolutely critical.

[The Well Endowed Podcast jingle plays in background]

The research shows that this is an absolutely critical piece of it. Alleviating food insecurity is… is to elevate people out of poverty.

Graeme [00:32:53] Thank you to Emily Rendell-Watson for bringing us this story. And to our guests, Mary Beckie, a Professor and Director of Community Engagement Studies in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta.

Anna [00:33:05] Thank you to Kelly Mills, the Founder and Managing Director of Lady Flower Gardens.

Graeme [00:33:09] And thanks to Glenn Susan, a hydroponics technician at YTC Gardens.

Anna [00:33:14] Listeners, we are very excited for the launch of the full Vital Signs report. The launch will be held on November 9th at 10:00 AM at Edmonton City Hall. You can register to attend in person or watch from the comfort of your couch. We’ll have the links in our show notes.

Graeme [00:33:31] There are many people who helped make this report happen, including our advisory committee that was made up of community members working to make food more accessible. They shared their experience and knowledge to help guide the research for this report.

Anna [00:33:42] And a special shout-out to the Edmonton Social Planning Council who partner with us each year to make Vital Signs happen, leading the research and compiling the findings that we can present.

Graeme [00:33:53] The full report will be available soon. You can find it at ecfoundation.org/vitalsigns. We’ll have that link in our show notes, and you’ll be able to find more information about the projects you heard about today.

Anna [00:34:06] While you’re clicking, be sure to take a look at ECF’s grants and student awards to see what’s coming up. And you can visit our blog for even more great community stories.

Graeme [00:34:16] That brings us to the end of the show. Thanks for sharing your time with us!

[The Well Endowed Podcast music plays in background of outro]

Anna [00:34:19] Yes, thank you. And if you enjoyed it, please share it with everyone you know, or at least two people who you think would find this really interesting.

Graeme [00:34:28] If you’ve got time, leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. We always love to hear from you.

Anna [00:34:32] We really do. You can always say hi to us on Facebook where you can see some pictures and share your thoughts.

Graeme [00:34:39] Thanks again for tuning in. We’ve been your hosts, Graeme Lummer—

Anna [00:34:42] And Anna Alfonso.

Graeme and Anna [00:34:43] Until next time!

Andrew Paul [00:34:46] The Well Endowed Podcast is produced by Edmonton Community Foundation—

Lisa Pruden [00:34:52] And is an affiliate member of the Alberta Podcast Network.

Andrew [00:34:55] This episode was edited by Lisa Pruden.

Lisa [00:34:57] You can visit our website at TheWellEndowedPodcast.com.

Andrew [00:35:00] Subscribe to us on iTunes—

Lisa [00:35:02] And follow us on Twitter at @theECF.

Andrew [00:35:05] Our theme music is by Octavo Productions.

Lisa [00:35:07] And as always, don’t forget to visit Edmonton Community Foundation at ecfoundation.org.

[theme music continues playing for a few seconds after dialogue ends]

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