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Canada: Vancouver’s Sole Food Street Farms Takes On Poverty With Urban Agriculture

Click image to see larger file. “One of the things we love most about urban farming is the chance to bring colour and life to unexpected places.”

It’s one of the largest of its kind in North America.

By Lois Abraham
Canadian Press


The crops grow in 10,000 specially designed containers on what were once vacant lots.

The urban farm, one of the largest in North America, has helped deal with the chronic problems in the community.

“You walk down Hastings Street in the middle of the afternoon and see somebody on the sidewalk with a needle in their arm or somebody else kind of pirouetting in the middle of the street high on crack and you make judgements. We all do,” says Ableman.

“These are the folks we work with, but all those people have hearts and souls and the desire to do something meaningful in the world and all we did was set the table by providing that opportunity.”

Lyle Hayes takes enormous pride in tending the orchard. He’s worked there since he helped clear a few thousand wooden pallets from the lot to make room to plant trees about six years ago.

“I love working there. I just love it,” he says in a phone interview. “They’re all just great people. No judging about your situation or your demons.”

Hayes, 50, has lived in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood for most of his life.

Read the complete article here.

See video story about the farm.