SOLEfood garden raising a success

Over 50 volunteers and at times nearly as many media people descended on Hastings and Hawks in the DTES for the official garden raising of SOLEfood. We built twenty-four 12ft by 4ft garden boxes and numerous composting containers made of recycled shipping material. Also assembled was a small shed as well as the beginning of the general clean up of the sight which included fridges, wood, slate, metal, and other miscellaneous garbage.

Lots still needs to be done. SOLEfood was always intended to provide training and employment for inner-city residents. However it is a long way from being a functioning farm. We need to:

  • Finish building garden boxes
  • Line all garden boxes
  • Fill boxes with drainage rock and soil
  • Remove urban debris
  • Relocate and secure garden shed
  • General clean up and securing of site

All that work needs to be completed before we can begin planting and growing food on East Hastings. There is lots of good news such as a local chef wanting to buy our vegetables and a farmer in the valley willing to provide us with starter plants.

The garden raising received a lot of media coverage, including two BOB staff members making the front page of the Vancouver Sun. Here is a list of stories I collected:

We took some pictures and put them on Flickr. We might put a few on Facebook too.

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6 Comments

  1. February 6, 2010 at 12:15 am

    […] achieving their Quick Start Recommendations.  BOB, United We Can and many many others helped start an urban farm on Hastings Street which seeks to provide Green Jobs for inner-city residents, but obviously a lot more needs to be […]

  2. vipsanius said,

    March 17, 2010 at 4:48 am

    A family of landlords with the Sahota’s history and reputation get a 3 year property tax break worth about half a million dollars, the loss being redirected onto other businesses, and Ms Reimer thinks this is a good thing? Meanwhile essential city services are being cut for lack of funds! Shame on the lot of you, don’t imagine there aren’t plenty of people who see right through the self congratulatory greenwash covering this blatant tax avoidance scheme for land speculators.

    • muskie said,

      March 25, 2010 at 1:07 am

      A group of us in Vancouver’s inner-city looked around for months, even years in some cases for space to put an urban farm. We tried to get city owned land, or empty lots, but the first spot we could get was the parking lot and empty lot beside the Astoria Hotel. We are well aware of the Sahota family’s reputation, but they seemed genuine in wanting to improve it, they also contributed cash to the build out of the farm.

      I can not speak for Ms. Reimer.

      I can assure you we are not land speculators, we are trying to make a difference in the DTES, we are trying to create a network of urban farms that are economically and ecologically sustainable. We are doing this to create jobs for local people and to improve food security.

      Thank you for your comment, but we will have to agree to disagree that this is greenwashing or an elaborate tax avoidance scheme. We approached the Sahota’s about the empty lot just as we approached many other property owners, only Paul and his family would give us an opportunity to start a farm.

  3. vipsanius said,

    March 25, 2010 at 1:52 am

    Please don’t think that I question your personal sincerity or that of your volunteers, I could have put my comment better to avoid that implication. However the Sahota family’s record as landlords and the fact of the massive tax break they are receiving speaks for itself.

    It’s an unfortunate fact that people are judged by their friends.

  4. muskie said,

    March 25, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    No worries. We hope that working together we can make improvements to the neighborhood. The pros and cons were weighed before we began working with the Sahota family. People are optimistic that in the long run it will have a net positive effect.

    Cheers!

  5. May 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    […] is a photo and some accounts of the original SOLEfood urban farm and volunteer build […]


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