400-Tree Urban Orchard Blooms in Downtown Vancouver

Photo credit: alasam | Flickr

Photo credit: alasam | Flickr

North America’s largest urban orchard is putting down roots in downtown Vancouver.

Some 400 fruit trees have been planted in a vacant industrial lot on the corner of Main Street and Terminal Avenue, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.  In three to five years, the trees should yield a bumper crop of exotic fruits – including figs and persimmons – all against a backdrop of rattling SkyTrains, car traffic and rising condo towers.

The project is another initiative from Solefood, which already operates almost five acres of urban farms tucked away on Vancouver streets and empty lots. (One of the largest is next to Rogers Arena, at Pacific Boulevard and Carrall Street.)  Because the land the orchard sits on is contaminated, all trees are being grown in plastic containers.  The area, which would otherwise sit vacant, was leased from the city for the bargain price of $1 per year.

In a unique twist, the orchard will be maintained with the assistance of residents from the Downtown Eastside. Continue reading:
400-Tree Urban Orchard Blooms in Downtown Vancouver

New Urban Orchard Coming to Main and Terminal

Photo credit: Solefood Street Farms

Photo credit: Solefood Street Farms

You’ve seen the Solefood’s innovative urban farms on your morning jogs along the seawall, or perhaps after a late night at the Astoria. You’ve probably eaten their fruit and veg in some of the best restaurants around town including Hawksworth, Salt Tasting Room and Fable.

After three years, Michael Ableman and Seann Dory, the guys behind the pioneering social enterprise, are expanding beyond raised garden beds. Solefood is planting an urban orchard on one acre of city-owned land at the busy intersection of Main Street and Terminal Avenue. They also plan to have a produce stand onsite at the new location.

According to this coverage in the Straight, Solefood will plant 1,000 fruit-bearing trees including quince, persimmon, pears, and plums starting this May. Continue reading:
New Urban Orchard Coming to Main and Terminal

New Organic Farm Sprouts Next to BC Place

British Columbia is famous as the birthplace of the 100-mile diet.  But residents of downtown Vancouver might be enjoying a one-mile diet later this summer thanks to an urban farm sprouting up right next to BC Place.

Earlier this month, I started noticing empty wooden boxes – first hundreds, then thousands of them – neatly spread out on the parking lot next to the stadium.  Then one day a mountain of top soil appeared at the site.

It turns out that the dusty old lot – which has been sitting empty since Expo 86 – is about to become Vancouver’s largest urban farm.

Forty varieties of organic fruits and vegetables are currently being planted on the two-acre site, everything from strawberries and melons to salad greens and daikon radishes, according to a recent Vancouver Sun article.  The farm is is completely portable – with everything grown in above-ground containers – since the land is on a three-year lease from its owner.

Interested in sampling some of that tasty, hyper-local produce come harvest time?

Continue reading:
New Organic Farm Sprouts Next to BC Place