Winnipeg native David Gingera takes the meaning of “eating local” to a whole new level.
The “locavore” movement generally defines local food as that which is grown within 100 miles (160 kilometres) of its point of purchase or consumption. David, however, sought out to create a model where no food travels further than 25 kilometres from farm to table.
Long before the age of the supermarket and online grocery shopping, our ancestors embraced the 25 kilometer rule — so why can’t we?
David aspires to grow food “the way it was meant to be grown”, a big part of which requires a significant transformation in the world of agriculture and food production.
David is the Founder and President of CitiGrow, a network of micro-farms that practice ultra-local, ultra-sustainable agriculture in Winnipeg. In 2015, CitiGrow operated 38 micro-farms within the city, which are located as close as possible to where the food will be sold to keep the carbon footprint of CitiGrow as small as possible. David aspires to take his local obsession global—introducing CitiGrow’s micro-farming concept in major cities across the country within the next five years.
Urban agriculture is certainly a hip and exciting movement in major cities, where rooftop gardens, community plots, and local farmer’s markets are growing in popularity. But growing food locally is particularly important for aboriginal communities living on Northern reserves where food security and access are especially challenging. These communities typically rely heavily on processed and packaged foods that are shipped from great distances and are often quite costly.
As a Board Member with Food Matters Manitoba, David is also involved in creating community gardens on Northern reserves and helping Manitobans grow their own food. The goal is to improve the overall health and well-being of Manitobans living on Northern reserves, recognize the cultural importance of the relationship between people and the environment, and increase plant biodiversity and pollinators in the area.
As a young and successful entrepreneur, David has learned the importance of building environmental business that is responsible, renewable, and sustainable. David is eager to make his dreams and ambitions a reality—and he hopes that this will inspire like-minded youths to do the same.
In 2015, CitiGrow was named the Canadian Social Responsibility Business of the Year by Air Miles Canada for outstanding achievements in the areas of environment and sustainability.
By using a model so dedicated to local production, CitiGrow has been able to reduce its carbon emissions and food miles to levels previously unheard of in the industry.
David is a board member with Food Matters Manitoba, where he is involved in a number of initiatives -- increasing food security in remote Northern reserves, education around gardening and food skills, and community garden projects.