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Growing Youth, Food and Community

Posted on July 31, 2018

Growing, Youth, Food and Community

We’re thrilled to share a snapshot of the goings-on at FortWhyte Farms so far this summer. In case you didn’t already know, FortWhyte Farms is a pretty magical place — a working, educational farm and a social enterprise growing youth, food and community. Here’s how:

  • YOUTH // Using the practice of sustainable urban agriculture, we work with Winnipeg youth to build confidence and leadership skills, provide employment training, and instill values of individual and community self-reliance.
  • FOOD // We grow healthy food for our community, including vegetables, pasture-raised livestock and honey — all of which can be purchased at our summer markets. When you buy from us you can be confident you’re getting food that does good for the community and the planet.
  • COMMUNITY // 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.

But what really brings the farm to life are the people…

Farm Stories

Thanks to you, FortWhyte Farms continues to grow youth who go on to create change in
their own families and communities. The Farm is a welcoming place where diverse youth
come to learn about healthy food, develop job skills, learn money management and plan for long-term success.

Meet Kayleen. Kayleen is one of 14 Junior Staff working this summer at the farm. Junior Staff are always busy — seeding, weeding, and harvesting food for The Market and CSA, learning skills in the kitchen or in the wood shop, and taking workshops for personal and community development.

“My name is Kayleen. I’m 16, turning 17 in August. I’m Indigenous and I go to Children of the Earth High School in grade 11. In ten years I hope to graduate from university or college and have a job I love. I want to study to become a doctor so I can help people, at my school they offer a medical careers exploration program so I’m going in that program when school starts again in September.

I love drawing and painting and most of my paintings are at school. I love doing anime style, galaxies and landscapes. I love all the compliments I get when people see my artwork.

My favourite foods are poutine and zucchini biscuits. I made the biscuits at the farm and everyone that tried them said they were very good. During this past year my family was struggling with money, I would go to school hungry and when I tell my teachers they offered me food. They are amazing teachers and I’m grateful for them for helping me. When I started 9th grade I was always shy to speak to anyone so I didn’t have any friends for an entire year.

When I went to 10th grade I had this class called ‘Retailing’ and my teacher encouraged me to try programs to get me out of my shell so I joined a program, and then another program, then another until I started the FortWhyte Farms program. At first I was like, “it’s okay” then after weeks of going I loved it every time. Everyone was so friendly and kind. When it was near June I applied to be a Junior Staff. I was waiting for that phone call and when it finally came I was so excited, my parents were proud of me and I was proud of myself for getting a job I loved. What is most rewarding about a job is having a cheque handed to you and buying stuff for myself and family.

I’ve met a lot of amazing people here, they’re all nice and friendly. When I started working here I was shy at first but I started to feel more comfortable talking to everyone and I think they helped me break out of my shell and I’m grateful to them too.”

Read more Farm Stories >

How You Can Get Involved

  • SHOP THE MARKET // Youth, volunteers and staff grow food with heart — and with our environment and community in mind. We take great care to prepare everything on offer at The Market — like fresh veggies, homemade goodies and more. You’ll shop right here on the farm, meaning you get the ultimate local food experience. Visit The Market >
  • DONATE // When you support FortWhyte Farms, you’re making a real difference in the lives of youth in our community. Thank you! Donate today >
  • DINE WITH US // An evening featuring farm fresh food, live music, bonfires and agrarian charm, this event is your opportunity to celebrate the harvest and feel good doing it! The 5th Annual Harvest Supper is happening Thursday, September 13. Get tickets >


Thanks to you!

Thanks to you, each and every day at FortWhyte Alive is filled with magical moments of learning, exploration and connection. These are the moments that connect us to the natural world, and to each other. That’s how real change happens.

Thank you for your ongoing support and investment in our community. Your participation is not only making a difference, but also creating the world we all want to see.

FortWhyte Farms is supported in 2018 by Great-West Life Assurance Company, The Graham C. Lount Family Foundation, Government of Manitoba, Centre for Aboriginal Human Resources and Development, Farm Credit Canada, Fillmore Riley LLP, Canada Green Corps, The Co-operators, Canadian National Railway and Investors Group.