The Town of Strathmore, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) and Communities in Bloom banded together to create a Tower Garden as a demonstration of how food might be grown indoors all year long. 

FCC gave $1000 to Communities in Bloom for their food security intuitive and the funds were used to create informative banners at the Town Office that explain where and how residents access and grow food in the community. Other funds are going towards the purchase of replacement fruit trees and shrubs for the Edible Birth Forest.

Relations Manager Associate for Farm Credit Lexi Hoy explains it is really important for communities to band together especially when it comes to something like food security.

"After a tough year with drought and everything from Farm Credit is in the business of agriculture for the good and bad times. So, this is something that hits very close to come and is very important that we support."

The indoor horticulture community is a very new thing that has hit and as Hoy explained that they have seen a lot more focus on vertical farming.

"It's that growing in the small indoor greenhouse space without the big greenhouse. So, it's something that we've seen people in the industry take an interest in, but I have never seen a tower like this, so it is a pretty new thing. It's actually a great indoor way to get fresh food." 

Jen Neufeld, the Co-Chair of Communities in Bloom says that being able to grow food is a wonderful concept for the community because of the season being so short here.

"Food Security is something that is very important, and we want to show people that there are other ways to grow food. It's doesn't have to be a tower but there are ways to grow food indoor. The tower is available for everyone in the community to come and enjoy."

Plant tower

The way that the tower works is by watering itself by the revisor on the bottom of the tower. The tower is on a monitor system as they grow and expand in the tower itself. Eventually they will use up that water, but it's a fairly closed system so they don't lose a ton to evaporation, explains Neufeld. 

Other ways that Communities in Bloom are helping the community is by also making free seeds available at the town office for residents to take and plant themselves. 

"It is for people that want to try and grow things and it is just another way to increase food security. For the future, I would like to have a whole thing of towers lined up and plant a bunch of different things for people but let's just see how this one goes first." 

Neufeld leaves off with thanking all of the sponsors that helped this become a reality. "Thanking FCC for their funding, thanking the operations and the Parks Department for their partnership, because without them, communities in Bloom would not function, they're often our hands and feet."

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