The apple sure won’t be falling far from the tree any more… at least that is what the Vancouver-based Sole Food is hoping. According to founding farmers Sean J Dory and Michael Ableman, this very sentiment was exactly what they had in mind when their organization recently announced the launch of its latest urban orchard project.
Located in the heart of all the city action at Terminal and Main, the city-owned (and long-time vacant lot) is set to sprout a variety of different fruit trees, plants and house a formidable array of culinary herbs and veggies. Look for everything from lemons to pears, plums, to persimmons to be planted in the coming months. At approximately one acre in size, there’s more than enough room for the 400 trees Sole Food aims to plant.
This is Sole Food’s fourth project to grow its roots in Vancouver and has really helped kick-start the grown and sourced locally campaign that is alive and well. And that’s not all this non-profit organization has helped give life to…
Their newest and largest project to date will help provide much needed training and jobs to those in need and looking for work (currently, their projects employ 25 or so individuals from the DTES on a seasonal basis). Sole Food’s urban orchard should increase that employment to a year-round gig, providing steady income and greater means to truly allow for employees to rebuild.
And by the sounds of it, Sole Food will need all the helping hands they can get given the fact that they supply 30 local restaurants with fresh produce on a daily basis – and that number is projected to steadily increase. In addition to the supply of goods commercially, Sole Food also aims to increase the overall percent of good produce to Downtown Eastside Agencies – keeping it very much a local organization that gives back.
Sole Food currently leases the orchard’s land for $1 per year from the city – with all containers on-site completely movable (should the city decide to sell the land into development at any time). In essence, Sole Food has created the perfect mobile farm that can keep growing until… well… the cows come home.
Learn more about Solefood Street Farms and how you can get involved and support here.