I’m Heather, the Farm Manager at FortWhyte Farms. This is my 5th year working at The Farm, and it has definitely been the most exciting! Adapting to farming during COVID has been a rollercoaster, but the farm has done a great job at succeeding through all of the changes and challenges.
When all of the lockdowns were starting to happen in April and our spring program was cancelled, we had to think critically about what was possible for the farm this year. Manitobans were concerned about the stability of the food chain, and we at The Farm agreed that if we had the ability to produce food for people, that should be our goal for the year. We had to cut back on some of the more labour/time intensive crops, but the gardens look great, and there will be lots of food well into the fall!
It’s always so rewarding to pull healthy, delicious food out of the ground, that hasn’t changed! Feeding people, seeing the smiles on their faces when they pick up the food we have grown, teaching them how to use new things, and expanding their cooking experience is very fulfilling work.
"It’s always so rewarding to pull healthy, delicious food out of the ground, that hasn’t changed!"
Working with youth, teaching them about plants, insects, gardening and cooking has always been the best part of my job. This year we are a small but lively bunch out in the fields every day. We have all expressed that we are grateful to have The Farm to come to this summer and that as we continue to work hard, the garden will continue to grow healthy foods for us and our community.
By the time you are reading this, I have already left for the year on maternity leave. I’m looking forward to my new, exciting chapter, but definitely sad to be leaving The Farm at its most bountiful!
Planning, growing, and maintaining a farm, along with hosting and teaching youth has been my main focus for the last 5 years. It will be a big switch to not come in every day, but I’m ready for the chicken dreams to stop!
At FortWhyte Farms we grow youth, food, and community.
In the garden and in the commercial kitchen youth learn about responsible land stewardship, food systems, and waste reduction as they build communication, teamwork, and money management skills. They are our most valuable ‘crop’ – youth who are engaged citizens and climate change leaders.
Learn more at fortwhytefarms.com