Vancouver's Sole Food opens largest urban orchard in North America
Sole Food is working to farm on a large scale in an urban environment. Their four farms produced 60 tons of food last year, with a bounty of organic peppers, melons, peas, lettuce and other crops.
Ben Schiller at Fast Company reports:
"'Urban agriculture' is used fairly loosely," says co-founder Michael Abelman, who is a veteran in the practice. "A lot of what's been called agriculture is more 'gardening' in scale. That's not a value judgement. It's just saying that it is actually possible to develop a full-scale enterprise in a city, and provide lots of food, and employ significant numbers of people."
According to Sole Food's website, the produce they grow is sold at local farmers markets and to restaurants. The farms serve as an example for others with urban agriculture ambitions:
"Sole Food now includes a network of farms throughout the city that are providing meaningful employment to 25 individuals who are dealing with drug addiction and mental illness. The farms are supplying fresh food to city residents, and presenting a successful credible model of high quality innovative agriculture within the urban context."
In light of Vancouver's other sustainability successes, it's no surprise that the city is home to North America's largest urban orchard. Vancouver has built an impressive bike infrastructure in addition to being named Canada's most walkable city.