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Vegetarian Beatle, Paul McCartney, fed by urban farmers in Vancouver, BC

When the legendary Beatle hits town, he’ll chow down on food grown near BC Place Stadium

By Mia Stainsby
The Vancouver Sun
24 Nov 2012


Which brings us to McCartney’s visit to Vancouver and his concert, Sunday at BC Place. He’ll be glad all over to learn that much of the food he’ll be served was grown next to the stadium and by people with broken wings who learned to fly.

The grower, Sole Food Farm, produces artisanal vegetables on vacant urban land and provides training and jobs to people with multiple barriers. “We’ve taken people with no agricultural skills and deal with significant personal challenges and they’re producing food at an extremely high level,” says Sole Food founder Michael Ableman.

“Not only can chefs say the food was grown just down the street but by people who are challenged and who really rise to the task of doing an incredible job and have gained the respect of top chefs and the most discerning eaters.”

Ryan Stone, executive chef for Centerplate, the catering arm of BC Place, says he’s been using as much Sole Food produce as he can for McCartney’s tour crew while they’ve been setting up for the concert.
“I support the social cause but the quality of their produce is second to none. They carry it across the street to us,” Stone says.

Read the complete article here.


1 L'sLinks { 11.25.12 at 11:46 am }

Ideally, this is good, but the truth is the ONLY reason the land is being used for gardens right now, not forever, is that the development company who owns it made a deal with vision city council. The city gives them a BIG break on taxes. A big company is saving lots of money while everyone pretends the main reason is “the good it is doing” but any “good” is NOT the main reason the development company, nor the city, is doing this, but purely for image.

2 Dan { 11.27.12 at 3:31 pm }

In response to the previous comment…

Whatever the reason the development companies are offering the land is beside the point. Clearly, a for profit company is going to try to work every angle to earn a profit. It takes a savvy urban farmer to get what they want from a developer. SOLEfood is creating an urban farming model that could catch on…good on them. There is so much good stuff going on with this project I find it hard to say anything bad.

Also you might want to check out the quote below from another article about SOLEfood. One of the companies that owns land that SOLEfood is using is feeding that tax break back to the farm. Sounds like a win-win. Most companies wouldn’t even consider allowing this. It’s very hard to get companies to allow you to use their land for urban farming. I know, I’ve tried.

“The city has provided the duo with land, in some cases. Some landowners get a 65-per-cent property tax break for the project, incentive to give the farm a temporary home, at least. Some landlords give more. Concord Pacific, which owns the land near BC Place that serves as SOLEfood’s most high-profile site, pours the money it gets from the tax break back into the farm.”