Backyard Bounty is Ontario’s premier urban farming social enterprise, serving nutritious, local, organic vegetables to the citizens of Guelph since 2008. We have connected with countless Guelph businesses and residents through our programs, helping the community get ‘up close and personal’ with the growth of our food.
Robert founded Backyard Bounty in 2008 as the premiere urban farming and food security social enterprise in Guelph, Ontario. Backyard Bounty is a division of Orland Conservation, an environmental consulting group that offers a range of services in land conservation, sustainability planning and environmental communications to municipalities, conservation authorities and land trusts. Acquiring over 25 years of experience in land conservation, Robert began his career as an environmental planner with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority and worked in a variety of positions before specializing in land securement with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. A skilled strategist, public speaker and accomplished entrepreneur, Robert has delivered presentations and workshops as an expert on land securement across southern Ontario and abroad. Working in partnership with municipalities and government agencies for many years, Robert has facilitated and advised on the protection and creative stewardship of nearly 10,000 acres of environmentally significant natural heritage lands and parks in Ontario’s urban and rural communities. Robert also continues his work on a long-term plan to develop a unique ecovillage in partnership with conservation-minded individuals and families interested in becoming self-sustainable at a community scale. Robert is committed to making a sound contribution to the local food and urban sustainability movement in Canada.
Thomas Armitage, BSc Organic Agriculture
Food Security Projects Coordinator
On leave until 2015 while he pursues graduate studies, Thomas has worked with Backyard Bounty since 2010. Taking on the role of Program Manager in 2012, he coordinated the program each growing season, managing field staff, generating partnerships, delivering educational presentations, facilitating workshops, and organizing the CSA and farmers’ market sales. In 2013, recognizing that food banks have a need for fresh, quality, organic produce, Thomas sought out investors to fund the new Grow Local Sponsorship Program, allowing Backyard Bounty to grow food specifically for the Guelph Food Bank. Thomas has over 5 years of market gardening experience, with four of his five growing seasons spent cultivating and harvesting food within an urban environment. He holds a BSc in Organic Agriculture from the University of Guelph and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Geography, applying his research skills to enhancing community-based, food-related projects. He undertook additional studies at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College acquiring a Certificate of Specialization in Organic Agriculture and in 2009, worked in Windsor, Nova Scotia as an apprentice field manager on an organic market garden farm. In the spring of 2014, Thomas co-developed a youth-led urban farming cooperative that has 18 worker members aged 13-16 who are learning about cooperative business management, interpersonal skills, public speaking, and market gardening and sales.