Patrick Timpone

Michael Ableman

Farmer and Author ofStreet Farm: Growing Food, Jobs and Hope on the Urban Frontier

Michael Ableman provides a wonderful glimpse into the promise of urban farming on a grand scale—to both grow fresh food and begin to reclaim damaged human lives.

According to the American Farmland Trust, fifty acres of prime agricultural land is paved over and developed every hour in North America. This at the same time that the number of farmers is declining while the human population is expected to eclipse eight billion in just over a decade. How is it, then, that the next generation will eat?

In Street Farm, Ableman—one of the early visionaries of the urban agriculture movement—offers the hopeful example of Sole Food Street Farms. With this network of four urban farms on five acres of reclaimed land in downtown Vancouver, he looks to answer questions that have troubled him for much of his 40-year farming career:

· How can we make high-quality fresh food more affordable and available to all, while still supporting the farmers who work so hard to produce it?

· Could farming be used to provide jobs and healing to people who have become marginalized by poverty, mental illness and drug addiction?

· Is it possible to create viable farming enterprises on pavement and contaminated land in the heart of our cities?


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michael ableman and urban farming, september 13, 2016

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