This Urban Farm Rehabilitates People

By Anna Rohleder, Sustainable Food Trust

Farming in the city is no longer a paradox to most urbanites. But farming, quite literally, on the street provokes a whole different way of thinking around the idea of urban farming. The urban farm is no longer a cloistered site of food production within the environs of the city, instead, it’s a fundamental part of the urban fabric. Such thinking requires a different set of ideas, maybe even a new vocabulary. Sole Food Street Farms is generating some of those new words. Take the word “farmily”, coined by one of the staff members. It encapsulates the rich social connections that can come about through meaningful employment in farm work. Sole Food is an urban agriculture project with a social service mandate. Its street farming operation trains and employs people from the Downtown Eastside (DTES), one of the most economically depressed and drug-afflicted neighbourhoods in Vancouver, Canada. The DTES is...