They Paved Paradise And Put Up A…Wait, What?

Is there a record for the world’s biggest urban garden?

Check out this little piece of amazing…

Here’s the scoop – there’s this massive parking lot that I used to pass every day when I was heading into downtown Vancouver on the Skytrain from East Van and it never seemed to have any cars in it. Pretty prime location too – right along False Creek and just steps from BC Place.

It turns out that the developer who owns the property doesn’t have plans for the land and has leased it (at no cost) to Solefood. The site will now see a 2-acre urban farm with 2,800 portable plots to house over 40 varieties of fruits and veggies.

The farm will be tended to mostly by residents of the Downtown Eastside. Goals for the project? Provide food education and a living wage to employees and to set the standard for future urban agriculture projects.

Here’s a little more on Solefood, from their website:

SOLEfood Farm is a social enterprise that provides urban agriculture employment and training opportunities for Vancouver’s inner-city residents. Working alongside farmer/author Michael Ableman, community residents are trained and employed to install and manage small production farms on leased urban lots. Produce grown from the farms is washed, cooled, and consolidated at a central location, then sold to restaurants, at farmers markets and distributed to community organizations. With few significant food production farms within the city, the project also provides modeling and education opportunities to a population that has little connection to the natural world or to their food sources. The farm provides employees with a place to learn new skills and an opportunity for self-growth. SOLEfood Farm will expand to include a large network of farms throughout the city that will help revitalize neighbourhoods, provide meaningful employment to individuals with multiple challenges, supply fresh food to inner city residents, and present a successful self-supporting model of high quality innovative agriculture within the urban context.

This is just the best. THE best.