The Urban Canopy and Compost Club
The Urban Canopy is one of Glenwood Sunday Market's most unique vendors because, appropriately enough, it serves as a canopy for two additional farms: Videnovich Farms and River Valley Ranch.
GSM recently had a chance to talk to Kelsey, the Farmers Market Lead at The Urban Canopy, to hear more about the powerful ways they integrate sustainability and social equality into their business model. Here’s what Kelsey had to say:
“Our business model is unique in that we are not just growers we are also eaters and composters. Our mission is to grow more food in a sustainable way that directly impacts the way we think about nutrition, environment, economy, and community....
Regarding nutrition, we strive to make healthier produce available to more people. Through our partnerships with other farms like River Valley and Videnovich Farms we can bring more varieties of local, healthy food to our farmers markets, CSA members, and community groups through donations. We strive to create a unified food system between many different businesses. Whether it is a farm specializing in a particular produce variety or a local bakery, we want to bring all those who are invested in our food system together. We want to facilitate success in the food system through our partnerships and connections.
The environment is obviously important for us to grow food. We compost on our farm and collect scraps from residential households and local restaurants/office spaces. We prioritize reducing the miles that fresh food travels to get to consumers by working with Midwest farms exclusively. This allows us to take advantage of seasonality and provide our customers with a more sustainable option than a conventional grocery store. (GSM NOTE: Check out The Compost Club here!)
Job creation in the food production industry within urban communities helps to impact the economy directly and positively while also providing us as a business the revenue necessary to expand. When we increase revenue, we can buy more seeds, partner with more local farms, and staff more markets to bring healthier produce into more communities that do not have access."