Urban Roots is a non-profit organization that revitalizes underused land in the City of London for agriculture by:
Producing high-quality, organic vegetables and herbs
Distributing produce locally, directly to consumers and to private and social enterprises
Developing agricultural opportunities for the neighbourhood, social enterprises, and community organizations within the City of London
Growing a self-sustaining, urban agricultural model to germinate to new sites
We are committed to growing fresh vegetables for those who may not otherwise be able to enjoy them. We are also committed to setting our project up in a way that is self-sustaining over the long term. These two goals are met with our mixed model: we both sell and donate what we grow.
Our goal is to sell enough of our beautiful, organically grown produce to cover our operating costs, and to donate everything else. In our pilot season of 2017, we were able to donate around 40% of what we harvested to the Men’s Mission and Y.O.U.
This year we have committed to a “model of thirds”, which demonstrates our willingness to sell LESS than 33% of our production at full price, but never more. The “affordable third” is another important way we hope to further improve access to fresh, healthy, organic food, by selling at a discounted rate in our neighbourhood.
We are currently partnered with the Hamilton Road Crouch Resource Centre, and My Sister’s Place, who receive weekly deliveries of fresh organic produce for the incredible programs and services they offer.
In the short-term, we continue to raise funds and apply for grants, but once the project is a few seasons in and well established, we hope it will survive on its own sales to support the rest of our model
Graham Bracken is a writer whose work focuses on problems relating to ecology and climate change.
Heather Bracken is a criminal defence attorney with a passion for the community and fresh, local food.
Richie Bloomfield is a business instructor at Huron University College, who just happened to have grown up on a farm.
Jeremy Horrell has worked in social services for over 15 years. He founded the Forest City Family project and is passionate about community, healthy relationships, and lifelong connections with fresh healthy food.
Wendy is a professor in the Centre for Global Studies at Huron University College whose research encompasses the re-diversification of local economies.
Jacob is a civil litigation and dispute resolution lawyer at Lerners LLP. He is a dedicated problem-solver and community leader focused on environmental and public interest cases and causes.
Mariam Waliji is a freelance photographer with a passion for connection – whether it’s between people, place, or community. You can find her at the farm covered in dirt, camera in hand.
We are raising the initial funds for startup costs, property, seeds, and growing supplies. We are pursuing grant opportunities and intend for the farms to be self-sustaining. For now, however, we appreciate your support in helping us get this exciting project off the ground!