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Canada: Bowery Project’s urban farms blooming in Toronto’s vacant lots

It’s a verdant wonderland at the Vanauley Street YMCA homeless shelter thanks to Toronto’s Bowery Project, a volunteer-based operation that transforms empty spaces into mobile urban farms that grow food for local restaurants. (Photo courtesy of Bowery Project)

“The people we engage on the site. It’s so incredible,” she says. “Our impact is more than the growing of food — it’s really the community engagement.”

By Nina Dragicevic
Toronto Stories
Sept 19, 2017


“What happens with vacant lots sometimes is that developers get held up at heritage or the design committee with their plans,” says Deena DelZotto, half of the duo behind the Bowery Project, which has transforming these unused spaces into mobile urban farms that grow food for local restaurants.

But to be clear, she’s not complaining: “We thought we’d only have one season and now we’re having three.”

DelZotto and co-founder Rachel Kimel have been converting these urban eyesores into pop-up growing gardens that brighten up the community and can be assembled in a matter of hours, then dismantled just as quickly. In their own words, the Bowery Project is “a not-for-profit organization with a mission to create opportunities for urban agriculture through the temporary use of vacant lots.”

But its transience is key to the concept, DelZotto says. When the Bowery Project approaches a developer or the owner of a vacant lot, they may be hesitant about loaning out the space.

Read the complete article here.