Growing Food Solutions
They say good things come in small packages. A local engineering student has taken that to heart and designed an innovative food production solution that fits into a parking space.
Greenspace Urban Farms, a collaborative social enterprise, is working to bring the farm closer to home, increasing accessibility and lowering the cost of fresh food in Newfoundland and Labrador. “We work with communities and community groups to provide urban farms that are operable year-round, at the lowest price possible,” says Bennett Newhook, Memorial student and CEO of Greenspace. “They are made from used industrial materials and are customized to minimize environmental impact. They give the opportunity for full-time employment while providing local produce at a fraction of the price. Plus, they fit inside a parking space.”
The Greenspace project is an interesting collaboration between the Centre for Social Enterprise and the Faculty of Engineering, with support from the Harris Centre and a group of representatives from the Baie Verte Peninsula, explains Hannah Gaultois of Memorial’s Centre for Social Enterprise. “Stemming from Bennet’s entrepreneurial idea, we saw the opportunity to support his engineering work term and develop the concept of a social enterprise on the Baie Verte Peninsula.”
The promise of fresh produce is a tempting one for many in the province, a region with dangerously low food security – the state of having reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. “It is an issue that much of the public now recognizes, especially in rural areas,” says Newhook.
“There is a shift happening within our province, where people are looking inward to see how we can meet our needs with local, sustainable resources,” says Gaultois. “Projects like Greenspace are looking to maximize the chances of success for the community by engaging as many partners as possible, while focusing on better food access for the Baie Verte Peninsula.”