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CAN (ON): Open-access urban farm strengthening food supply and community

"Our urban farm reduces nutrient and quality loss in shipping and storage, allows for zero waste packaging options, adds beauty to the neighborhood, and provides endless opportunities for education and collaboration," says Tammara Maher, Founder and CEO of Collective Joy – All Season Farm.

Tammara Maher

Collective Joy was founded in 2014 and specializes in indoor microgreen production, as well as that of herbs and edible flowers. During the pandemic, Tammara moved the farm from a rural setting to its now urban location in Kingston, Ontario, of 172,000 people. This urban location was opened in March 2023.

"This neighborhood-based farm is just over 1.000 square feet and consists of a grow room, commercial kitchen, and retail space. We are directly producing and selling nutrient-dense food at local farmers' markets, events, and restaurants, while also donating to local community organizations," says Tammara.

The facility has a storefront where customers can see the produce right in front of them

Collective Joy also offers workshops on indoor and outdoor food production and has rapidly become a fixture in the community. The farm has both an indoor and outdoor component, producing microgreens, hydroponic lettuce, basil, and seedling in its indoor facility.

On its outdoor site, the farm grows herbs and edible flowers. Altogether, Collective Joy uses its own fresh produce in a line of whole foods and vegan products, including fresh juices and smoothies, meal bowls, cracks, flatbread, etc. All of these are provided at competitive prices to what is found in supermarkets.

Inside the farm

'Part of something bigger, you just need to start'
As Tammara explains, indoor farming is one solution among many and aims to solve the problems of overconsumption, wasteful packaging, vacancy in urban areas, and food deserts. In this age of unpredictable growing conditions, population increases, and rising rates of urbanism, Tammara believes that vertical farming has a significant role to play in the future of food. And to anyone considering a career in indoor farming, Tammara says to simply start.

Edible flowers and cold-pressed juices

"Our world needs a host of solutions with regard to sustainable food production amidst a climate and population crisis. We need as many hands on deck as we can get. This field requires dedication, hard work, passion, and an unwavering commitment to excellence and sustainability. If you share these values, you will make an excellent farmer," says Tammara.

For more information:
Tammara Maher, Founder and CEO
Collective Joy - All Season Farm
477 Macdonnell Street
Kingston, ON