Locally grown food is closer to home than you think. Vanessa Rosewood (formerly Hanel), owner and founder of Micro YYC, has been providing microgreens to local grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers’ markets, all through the help of urban farming.
Specializing in microgreens, Micro YYC is a large-scale indoor urban farm located and operated right in the heart of Calgary. But it was only a couple of years back that Rosewood was growing microgreens right in her basement.
At first, Rosewood only grew microgreens for the winter season with plans to move on to small-plot intensive farming. “It just made sense to start with [microgreens] in the winter. I could easily put up a couple of shelves in my basement,” says Rosewood. Though as the weather started warming up and springtime arrived, Rosewood continued to tend to her indoor garden.
“I was so busy doing that, [that] I did not have time to go back outside,” says Rosewood. Rosewood ran her urban farm in her basement for another two and a half years. Once her customer base grew, she moved her microgreens operations to a commercial space.
Rosewood’s upbringing was far from the usual farming lifestyle—she grew up in the city and lived mostly in apartments. It wasn’t until she started attending the University of Lethbridge that gardening and agriculture started playing an active role in her life. She caught wind of a committee supporting the formation of a campus garden, joined, and eventually ended up on the board of directors.
With a Bachelor of Management and Masters of Science in Management, Rosewood wasn’t keen on following the traditional business career paths.
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