Butler Urban Farm
The Butler Urban Farm was started in 2015 by our partners in the Jubilee Urban Movement and Partners (JUMP) program. The KFPC was asked to take it over in the spring of 2020 and it seemed like the right project at the right time. The COVID 19 pandemic had caused a lot of uncertainty about the reliability of our food system and increased interest in growing food and self-sufficiency. With a lot of enthusiasm from our board, and support from our network, we launched a new and exciting food security initiative!
Through our Gleaning Abundance Program, we already had the pieces in place to distribute produce to community organizations serving our food-insecure populations. Adding regular farm harvests to the gleaning schedule was pretty easy.
Our Goals for the Farm!
Our goals for the farm are two-fold. We want to grow as much food as possible in the space but also provide opportunities for people in the community to engage with us in growing that food. Through our network, we were able to connect with some enthusiastic gardeners looking for space to grow crops. People in the neighbourhood saw what was going on in the spring and some of them have joined us as growers and volunteers.
Everything we grow is organic. We draw from principles of permaculture and regenerative agriculture to create rich, productive soil that can produce nutrient-rich vegetables. We are open to creative ideas for getting the most out of the land we have available.
How Can You Get Involved?
There are several ways to get involved at the farm as a grower, volunteer, or recipient of our fresh, organic produce.
Participate in Organized Harvests
Staff & volunteers pick whatever is ready and load it into our gleaning van for distribution to various food programs and organizations. Anyone is welcome to join, and volunteers get a share of whatever we harvest.
Grow & Maintain Plots
We decided to keep a section at the back of the farm for individuals looking for space to grow and maintain their own plots. Several people took us up on this offer and have made a great contribution to our success. It has been a reciprocal relationship – they get growing space, soil amendments, and water. We have less space to worry about, regular farm visitors, and help with weeding and maintaining the common areas. Most of our growers not only look after their own plots but have also been a tremendous help in the common areas.
Harvest Fresh Produce
No one who shows up at the farm looking for free produce is turned away empty-handed. The farm manager has posted hours when anyone can come and get fresh vegetables.
There are no fences and nothing to prevent people from helping themselves, but there has been surprisingly little pilfering. We have put up signs asking people not to harvest vegetables that aren’t ready, and to note down on our chalkboard what they have taken.
The support from neighbours and random community members has been truly amazing. One neighbour is unable to do farm work, but she often stops by with baked goods or other treats to share that she has made from ingredients received from the farm. Another neighbour has been our irrigation advisor and helped set up some parts of the irrigation system. There are a few other volunteers who show up regularly and just lend a hand where needed.
Contact the Butler Urban Farm Manager
Please note our farm operates seasonally and is currently closed. If you are interested in accessing or volunteering at the farm, please email us in the spring.
If you are interested in community partnerships or a career with the farm, please contact our Organizational Leadership Coordinator
Kevin was our first ever KFPC Butler Urban Farm Manager and has returned to that position. The growing farm aligns with Kevin’s passion to expand the commons. Butler Urban Farm has been able to make a sizable contribution to help ease the food insecurity in the community. Kevin is highly passionate about permaculture and social justice, and throughout his time working with us he has pledged, “if anyone comes to the Butler Urban Farm looking for food, they won’t go away empty-handed”. We intend to keep that pledge going forward.
Farm Community Organizer
Caitlin is passionate about regenerative agriculture and the right to safe and healthy food for all. She enjoys learning the many stories of our food, from seed to plate. Caitlin has a background in research and market farming. She works at the Butler Urban Farm connecting agriculture to the urban community.
Honorary Farm Manager
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the farm open for harvesting?
Mondays to Fridays 9 AM to 1PM
When do we have organized harvests?
Monday and Thursday morning
The Butler Urban Farm would not exist without the support of the Butler family, who readily agreed when approached about the idea of using their vacant piece of land for a community farm. We are ever grateful for their ongoing cooperation and support for this valuable project!
City of Kamloops: Funding for the farm was provided through the Social and Community Development Grant in 2022. This funding allowed BUF to expand its educational and community building initiatives.
Healthy Communities Initiative: The Healthy Communities Initiative was a $60 million investment from the Government of Canada to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19. The purpose of this grant was creating safe and vibrant public spaces during COVID-19, especially for communities disproportionately experiencing hardship.
Smorgasbord Deli and Country Garden Greenhouse: The Smorgasbord has provided BUF with tons of beautiful plants from their greenhouse every year.
Government of Canada: Funding through Canada Summer Jobs allowed the Butler Urban Farm to hire youth between the ages of 15-30.
Government of BC: Funding has been provided to BUF through the Community Gaming Grant.
BC Interior Community Foundation: The BC Interior Community Foundation (BCICF) is a member of Community Foundations of Canada, a national network of 191 foundations. This national alliance allows each local Community Foundation to independently support charities and causes that are important within their funding region.
Interior Savings Credit Union: Interior Savings is a member-owned, community-based credit union serving the BC Interior.