Photo: Kelly Rossiter
Last month I noticed some signs posted around in my neighbourhood asking people if they would like to offer some of their yard space for a vegetable garden, without actually having to do the work themselves. According to a report in the Toronto Star, one young woman is doing some urban farming in Toronto using other people's land and in return, will give them a basket of produce each week. New farmer Erica Lemieux says "They have the land but no time. I have lots of time, but no land". Sounds like a winning combination.A couple of years ago, my daughter encouraged me to devote part of my tiny backyard garden to vegetables, and one thing became instantly apparent. You can grow a lot of food in a very small space. The yards that Ms. Lemieux will be farming are quite large as the lots in that part of the city are very deep, and with eight neighbours signed on for this summer, she should have plenty of work and plenty of vegetables on her hands.
In addition to providing the land owners with vegetables, she will be supplying neighbourhood restaurants and will participate in a local, seasonal farmers' market. In return, restaurants will be supplying her with fruit and vegetable scraps for her compost. She plans on delivering her produce in a specially made wagon that attaches to her bicycle. No need for cars, trucks, trains or planes for shipping. Other than a motorized rototiller, all of her work will be done by hand.
At a time when young people are leaving their family farms to find work in cities and the farming population is aging, how wonderful it is to see a young woman have a go at real farming in the city. I'll be making a trip to the market to test out her produce this summer.
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