Branching Out…

UW Campus Market Garden is going places. We are currently in the planning stages for the Spring 2016 growing season, and also in the process of some big brand redevelopment, initiating some new partnerships and collaborations, and taking steps towards some long-term goals.

… in 2016…

We are looking to continue our expansion by installing a greenhouse beside the St. Paul’s plot to extend our growing season by up to 2 months. This greenhouse would create another job opportunity for students in the Winter term as a Garden Coordinator.

We want to transform this space into not only a productive, luscious garden plot and greenhouse, but a space for students and staff to enjoy. We will be bringing in a professional landscaper, and putting significant effort into beautifying this space. We began in this space, and staying true to our roots is of the utmost importance to us. Our vision is for this space to be a beautiful, productive learning space for all to be proud of. We see the potential for it to serve as a learning space and resource for university professors and students to utilize as well.

Thanks to the generous and dedicated folks from the University of Waterloo’s Plant Operations, we have secured a 20×30 m plot located on the North side of campus. In the 2016 season, we hope to intensify our production on this land.

We have recently entered a partnership with Waterloo Cooperative Residence Incorporated, and will be utilizing the planter boxes located on their near-campus property for further production of produce. This partnership holds great potential for spreading the by students, for students’ movement, and collaborating with other dedicated, like-minded young people.

We want to greatly expand our workshop capacity in 2016, engaging students in fun, educational, and delicious hands-on activities to raise awareness of local, sustainable food systems. Canning, sprouting, and composting are just some small actions that students can do at home, and we want to see workshops like these happening more frequently and reaching a greater number of students. We hope to host our own workshops, and also collaborate with existing events suitable to our cause, such as ENVigorate at the end of March.

Our WESEF funding will carry us for approximately three more years, as per our current budgeting plans, at which point it is our plan that our savings from those three years will carry us forward as an independent business.

In the 2016 season, as always, our customer base will remain the students and staff at the University of Waterloo. We will continue to sell produce at market value to Chartwells for use in the St. Paul’s cafeteria. We will continue our FoodBox program, our presales, and the EV3 Farmer’s Market. We will be expanding to sell at the Student Life Centre Farmer’s Market as well. The Bombshelter Pub will be purchasing herbs and vegetables from us at market value. There is the potential to initiate either a farmer’s market or FoodBox/presales program for WCRI members as well.

… and beyond

At UW Campus Market Garden, we’re dreaming big. And we have the resources, passion, and dedication to make sure those dreams aren’t just dreams. We have set some long-term goals that extend beyond the 2016 season, and this is the year we are setting them in motion.

Through the support and mentorship of UW Campus Market Garden, we hope to see sponsored planter boxes spreading across the UW campus. We envision residences, departments, clubs, and any other interested on-campus groups building their own planter boxes and maintaining multiple supplies of fresh, accessible produce across the campus, beyond just the Faculty of Environment.

We want to begin to venture off more independently as we grow and spread goodness on a wider scale. We envision this involving our recent name change and logo, branded items such as canvas tote bags, and a redeveloped, more active social media presence.

We want to form more partnerships, and acknowledge graciously our incredible sponsors and partners:

St. Paul’s University College
The University of Waterloo
Waterloo Environment Students’ Endowment Fund
Waterloo Cooperative Residence Incorporated
The UW Engineering Society
Steckle Heritage Homestead
Meal Exchange

We hope to align ourselves with and form meaningful partnerships with Sustainable Campus Initiative and UW Compost Club, as next steps, to work together to meet common goals.

We want to expand beyond the university campus, and improve access to local food for students of all ages. We envision a network of satellite gardens at elementary and high schools across Waterloo region, with their own students engaging with their food, using UW Campus Market Garden as a model, mentor, and resource.

Once we are self-sustaining, it is our goal to engage the INDEVOURS students in a collaboration to help them raise funds for their international placements. International Development students would be given the opportunity to volunteer with the garden in the spring term, and in return, a portion of the garden’s profits would go towards funding their international placement.

This is who we are and what we’re all about. We know where we came from, and we can envision where we’re heading.

Join us and help grow goodness!