A Calgary entrepreneur and gardener is working throughout the city to teach people about growing food because he says it helps empower them to make informed food decisions.
Scott Weir looks after half an acre of land on four different gardens around the city and collaborates with other urban farmers in the city. He says the desire to plant and care for his own plants comes from a passion for sustainability.
"I've just been really passionate about growing my own food and about different sustainability issues as well," said Weir. "I've grown gardens my entire life."
Weir, a political science student at the University of Calgary, practices intensive agriculture, which means he plants the seeds close together for maximum yield.
As soon as one crop is up and out, another takes its place.
"You can get some crops pretty quickly and you can make a decent amount of food off that amount of land," said Weir.
Empowering others through food
His produce is sold at a farmer's markets around Calgary, in weekly food boxes and to local restaurants.
Weir also gets help from volunteers who want to learn how to grow fresh food.
They help out by planting and tending to the crops, all the while learning how to grow their own food and seeing firsthand the realities of urban farming.
"It's teaching people to grow, it's empowering them through food," Weir said.
Weir says he tries to keep the cost of his produce down for people who cannot afford fresh food.
While he has been able to make a living off of his urban farming, he says that's not his overall goal."While it is something I am able to make a decent living off of that's not my primary goal. My primary goal is to empower through food education."