A two-acre garden on a parking lot

Photo by Les Bazso, The Vancouver Sun
A worker prepares boxes before planting.

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun

Level 3

A parking lot in Vancouver holds a very big garden.
And 40 kinds of fruits and vegetables grow there.
For three years this land can be a garden.
A group called Solefood manages this mega project.
Michael Ableman, the director of Solefood,
has been farming for 40 years.

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Where the food goes
Solefood gives gardening jobs to people living downtown.
Solefood teaches inner-city residents how to farm.
About 25 people have jobs there.
Four farming apprentices also have jobs.
Restaurants and farmers’ markets buy the fruit and vegetables.
Some community groups and the farm workers get some, too.

A garden that can move
This garden on the parking lot is portable.
Workers have filled 2800 boxes with soil and mushroom compost.
At the end of the three years these boxes can be moved to another place.
They can be used again somewhere else.

Other kinds of gardens
Solefood will have five farms in Vancouver.
City farms are becoming more and more popular in many cities of the world.
Gardening in a city is called “urban gardening”.
Some people are changing their lawns into gardens.
Other people let “Inner City Farms” grow vegetables in their yards.
They will get some of the vegetables if they give the farmers
300 metres of space or more.

Smaller city gardens
Other groups of people are finding small places in cities to grow food.
These are called “community gardens”.
There are gardens on top of buildings in many cities.

The biggest city garden
The mega garden near BC Place is the largest city farm in Vancouver.
Solefood pays no rent for the land, thanks to Concord Developments.
Vancity and the Radcliffe Foundation donated money for the project.
Len Vallee, 41, works on the farm.
He says, “…it’s really good to work with the soil.
It’s very relaxing. It’s also good for you…Good people, good food.”