There’s nothing like fresh vegetables grown in your own backyard and harvested at the peak of freshness. Shaw Conference Centre Junior Sous Chef Myles Fedun can attest to this. While being a part of our renowned culinary team that serves over 250,000 meals a year, Chef Fedun also oversees our very own staff garden located southwest of our atrium. The garden is filled with a variety of herbs and vegetables which you may just find on your plate the next time you attend an event at Edmonton’s convention centre.
Growing up in a Ukrainian family, gardening and harvesting from the land was the norm for Chef Fedun. He was not only onboard with managing our staff garden, he also brought a wealth of gardening experience. From knowledge passed down by his grandparents and family members to working at the Greenland Garden Centre’s Bistro, Chef Fedun understands the value of freshly grown food. “Anytime you can grow something yourself, you have a lot more appreciation and pride for that item. The ability to go and get whatever you need for a really fresh dish is excellent.”
What’s in our staff garden? An abundance of everything you need to make a fantastic dish! A variety of tomatoes, peppers, herbs, lettuce, tomatillos, strawberries, raspberries, currants, edible flowers, onions, garlic, carrots, radish, beans, peas, celery, corn, cucumbers, zucchini and squash. Feeding up to 150 people, our kitchen team regularly harvests the freshly-grown produce for VIP lunches.
Surprisingly, the upkeep is minimal; no chemicals are used and it’s herbicide free. Weeds? A vinegar solution is used to kill weeds and a spice blend of chili powder and paprika is sprinkled around the perimeter of the garden to prevent ant infestation. Even our maintenance team got on-board by building an irrigation system.
When asked about the future of the garden, Chef Fedun wants to see the garden expand even further. “The terrace could be transformed into a vegetable garden and I would like to have an in-ground section where we can grow more varieties of squash, potatoes, and watermelon. We just need a little more space.”
The Shaw Conference Centre staff garden is one of three gardens located on our grounds, which includes an urban beehive, community medicine wheel and more. It’s all a part of our commitment to sustainability and contribution to Edmonton’s urban biodiversity. We invite you to grab a walking tour booklet from our administration office on the pedway level and explore Edmonton’s premier convention centre. To learn more about our sustainability program, visit sustainable meetings.
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