The Food Bank Farm and Algoma University Cooperation

The Food Bank Farm and Algoma University Cooperation was formalized with the signing of two Memorandums of Understanding in 2018. The first focuses on food sharing, whereby excess food from the People’s Garden during the summer flows to the Food Bank Farm for processing and distribution. In return, during the school year, the Food Bank Farm may make some of their produce available to the University. Additionally, students will have an opportunity to work as volunteers on the Farm and the Farm is also able to share technical growing skills with the students and University. The second agreement relates to Demonstration Projects and Funding Collaboration between Algoma University and its Department of Geography & Geology and the Food Bank Farm. Cooperation in the spirit of this agreement has already begun by the planting of a culinary herb garden at the Food Bank Farm.

The Food Bank Farm also constructed a growth facility within a shipping container in 2020 (below). It is currently producing 36 heads of lettuce, 12 mustard green heads, 75 radishes, 3-4 bunches of kale, and 12 heads of bok choy on a weekly basis. There is continued experimentation for growing kohlrabi, beets, and spinach. Additionally, the water, electricity, soil, and temperature inputs (or self-generation) are being monitored to continue learning the best approaches in the growth chamber.

Learn more here: The Food Bank Farm and Algoma University Cooperation

Bok choy (left middle), radishes (left bottom), and lettuces thriving in the growth chamber which uses grow lights that produce light in the red-blue range of the photosynthetic spectrum.
Photo by Colin Templeton, January 2021