Since 2003, the award-winning FortWhyte Farms program has been working with marginalized youth, using the practice of sustainable urban agriculture to build confidence and leadership skills, provide employment training, while instilling values of individual and community self-reliance.
FortWhyte Farms is a social enterprise – a business whose purpose goes beyond a purely financial ‘bottom line’ to see profit in the far reaching social and economic benefits that extend into the lives of individuals, families and communities.
Our chickens are raised outdoors, on pasture without the use of antibiotics. For more information on how we raise our chickens, click here.
A non-refundable $5 deposit per bird is required (payment via paypal). Deposit will be deducted when you pick up your order.
Chickens are sold by weight at $3.75 per pound. Minimum price is $17. Actual sizes and total prices will be determined when chickens are picked up by customer. Weights range from 4-6 pounds.
Minimum Pre-Order is 3 chickens.
Purchase a ‘share’ of our farm’s bounty and become a partner in local, sustainable agriculture and an essential community social enterprise - providing employment and leadership training for marginalized youth. When you purchase a share in our farm, you are not only making an investment in food for your family, you are also investing in your community.
A CSA is a unique partnership between farmers and eaters where community members purchase a ’share’ of vegetables or other farm products prior to the growing season. This pre-purchase provides the farmer with some security and stability, knowing that there will be a consistent market for their product and provides some protection from risks such as crop failures. In return the customer receives a weekly basket of fresh, local vegetables throughout the growing season.
There is a small degree of risk in this purchase in that unforeseen circumstances and environmental conditions can affect the quantity and variety of produce - but this risk is now shared between farmer and eater, instead of the usual situation where the farmer bears all of the risks. The typical result however is an abundance of wonderful, fresh, sustainable, local food straight from our fields to your table - not a bad return on investment!
Starting in July and continuing for approximately 12 weeks, you will receive a weekly crop of fresh, local, sustainably grown produce. The quantity of vegetables is suited to the needs of a family of 4. It is not uncommon for families to ’share a share’ and split the bounty between them, or alternate pick-up weeks.
A wide variety of vegetables will be available as they come into season. Initially, you can expect items such as lettuce and gourmet greens like arugula and chevril, beets, swiss chard, kale and radishes. As the summer progresses items such as heirloom tomatoes and squash, garlic, potatoes, cucumbers, onion, green onion, yellow and purple beans, melon, peppers, carrots, herbs, pumpkins and zucchini. Bonus items might include raspberries and apples, depending on the growing season.
CSA pick-up is Thursdays from 2-7 pm at FortWhyte Farms.
As a mixed farm we also offer shares in our pasture raised chicken and honey from our apiary. This year’s meat share will include:
Chickens can either be picked up at once, or in 2 batches of 5 (July and October)
All our produce and livestock are grown using natural, sustainable growing methods. No use of synthetic chemicals or pesticides in our gardens. All livestock are free-range/pasture-raised and free of antibiotics and animal by-products.
We will be raising pigs on pasture once again this year, but will be receiving them as weanlings later in the spring. It will take several months for them to reach market weight and we don’t know precisely when that will be. Whenever that time comes, we will be selling the meat by the 1/4, 1/2 or Whole (butchered and packaged). If you are interested in finding out when ordering for pork will take place, please fill in this form and we will be in touch.
Keep up to date with FortWhyte Farms. Click the link below to receive regular updates throughout the growing season on what is available for sale at FortWhyte Farms.
Summer brings a literal buzz of activity to FortWhyte Farms, but not just from the bee hives! Young people who have been working on FortWhyte Farms projects throughout the winter and spring are employed full-time as part of our Farm “internship” program. These interns receive in-depth training in all our areas of production, assist in operating our on-site and urban market stands and develop leadership and employment skills. As participants continue to progress through the program and build their skills, they will become mentors for newer participants. Eventually the FortWhyte Farms participants will receive assistance in bridging from our program into higher education or further employment opportunities.
Since 2003, the award-winning FortWhyte Farms program has been working with marginalized youth, using the practice of sustainable urban agriculture to build confidence and leadership skills, provide employment training, and instil values of individual and community self-reliance.
Working in partnership with a network of respected inner-city schools and youth serving agencies, including Gordon Bell and R.B. Russell and Argyle Alternative High Schools, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg, Pembina Trails School Division (Aboriginal Academic Achievement Program) and Marymound, FortWhyte Farms works on a weekly basis with groups of youth ages 14-18 from each agency. Youth receive hands-on training and experience in our agricultural projects, equipping them with genuine, meaningful employment skills such as team work, leadership, initiative and discipline.
The long-term goal of this program is to serve as a catalytic, transformative force in the lives of at-risk youth and their families by providing hands-on training in sustainable urban-based agriculture, thus providing them with a sense of hope, purpose and place, new and improved sources of income, and enhanced access to high quality, locally produced food.
FortWhyte Farms participants assist in the management of 30 bee hives on site at FortWhyte with the capacity of producing 4000 pounds of honey per year. The FortWhyte Farms headquarters houses a complete honey extracting and bottling facility, allowing participants to be a part of the entire cycle of honey production.
FortWhyte Farms currently has a 1.5 acres of garden space and a 250 tree fruit orchard that is used to provide horticultural training and grow produce for sale at an on-site market. Most vegetables are sold through our Community Supported Agriculture program, where people purchase ‘shares’ of vegetables from the farm in advance of the growing season.
Our 2,000 square foot solar, cold climate greenhouse has greatly enhanced the training opportunities for participating youth, as well as extended the growing season.
One of the most important and engaging aspects of our agricultural operations is the raising of livestock, such as chickens and pigs. The daily care and nurturing that the animals require, add a powerful element of character building to our programming that always has a lasting impact on our participants.
Since 2008, FortWhyte Farms participants have received hands-on training in small scale livestock production through a ‘Pastured Poultry’ operation. The youth are involved with caring for the chicks as they brood indoors, daily feeding and pen moving, pen construction, crating chickens to be sent for processing and selling (and eating!) the final product. Each year, we have gradually raised production to the point where 900 will be raised in 2014. We also have a small flock of egg-laying hens
Raising chickens on pasture is a method that combines the advantages of birds raised indoors in confinement (protection from predators) with the advantages of free-range poultry (more space, natural instinctive behaviour is encouraged, more varied diet). The birds are brooded indoors from 1 day of age to about 4 weeks, when they are moved outside onto pasture, and housed in movable pens called chicken tractors. The birds are fed a mixed feed that provides their minimum nutritional requirements, but, because the are able to forage on grasses, plants and insects, their diet has much greater variety than birds raised on feed alone, and the result is a more nutrient-dense, tastier meat. Each day, the pen is moved to fresh grass. As the birds are moved around the pasture, they enrich the soil through their grazing, manure and scratching. The pens help protect them from the elements and predators.
FortWhyte Farms raises Berkshire Pigs on pasture located near the farm headquarters. Pigs are rotated though garden spaces to maintain soil fertility. Click here to be informed when our pork will go sale in 2014.
FortWhyte Farms contact information:
Ian Barnett, Social Enterprise Programs Manager - 989-8354, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristine Zylstra-Moore, Program Coordinator - 895-2373, email@example.com
Danielle Mondor, Operations Coordinator - 895-2373, firstname.lastname@example.org