About

Mission

Crop’s aim is to make food personal again by empowering you to maximize your small space or counter top and grow your own produce in a fun, easy, and interactive way. All year round. To realize this vision, we will provide you with innovative technology from around the world, quality local products, first-rate service and advice, and a location that is accessible, on foot, to many inner city neighbourhoods. We will partner with experts in a variety of fields to offer fun and informative events. We will actively engage with and promote the food growing revolution in our community while providing products that allow you to take control of the food you put into your body.

Passions

We are a daughter/mother team with passions for food, wine, growing food, and sustainability.

Dani Smythe

Dani Smythe

My love for food emerged when I was quite young, I enjoyed noshing on crab, steak and huge cobs of corn when I was 5. In grade 4, our teacher asked each of us to choose a job that we found interesting and write a letter to find out more about that career. I applied to the San Francisco Culinary Institute. Turns out they don’t accept 9 year olds, but I remember being incredibly excited when they sent me an application package. I have never lost my love of all the delectable, wonderful and weird food out there. My first job was at the lone sushi bar in Medicine Hat, Alberta when I was 16. I have been lucky enough to do some travelling and have enjoyed alpaca in Peru, snake in China and a little bit of everything in India.

While I ultimately opted to pursue my other interests and obtained my MA in Journalism in 2010, I have been lucky enough to come full circle, back to my lifelong passion for food and to take on this new challenge with Crop.

Sustainability in all forms often occupies my thoughts and I am looking forward to changing my own habits, and hopefully helping others do the same. Calgary is full of vibrant, motivated and progressive people of all ages and I feel our city really has the ability to lead in terms of policy and innovation. I am excited to connect with our community!

Leigh Smythe

Leigh Smythe

My father was the gardener in our family and he not only grew a vegetable garden in the backyard but also had an extensive hydroponic garden for many years in our basement. It provided us with fresh greens and other small veggies for many winters.

My love of radishes as well as an interest in growing and botany started then! My mother made the best dill pickles, crabapple jelly and relish in the city, just ask my brother!

I owned and operated Golden Acre Garden Centre in Medicine Hat for 28 years. I was on a Q & A style phone in radio show for 27 years and I have also written for several newspapers and garden magazines over the years.

Since my retirement from the garden centre I have had a private horticultural consulting company called Mother Nature’s Copilot.

35 years ago, most of my customers had vegetable gardens and fruit trees and canned and preserved. Then this trend waned and virtually died. Seeing this desire to grow food "crop" up again in the younger generation is very heartening.

Growing is not without challenges and frustrations, but I have the knowledge and experience to get new food growers on the path to success.