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Urban farming has the power to change diets, economies, and lives. Yet starting an urban farm can seem daunting with skills and knowledge that extend beyond growing to include marketing, sales, employees, community relations, and navigating local regulations.
In Farm the City, Michael Ableman, the "Spartacus of Sustainable Food Activism," offers a guide to setting up and running a successful urban farm, derived from the success of Sole Food Street Farms, one of the largest urban agriculture enterprises in North America. Sole Food Street Farms spans four acres of land in Vancouver, produces 25 tons of food annually, provides meaningful work for dozens of disadvantaged people, and has improved the surrounding community in countless ways. Coverage includes:
- Selecting land and choosing the right crops
- Growing food in city farms, including plans for planting and harvesting
- Fundraising and marketing strategies, philosophies, and vital information for selling fresh products
- Navigating local government and regulations
- Engaging the community and building meaningful livelihoods.
Farm the City is an invaluable tool kit for entrepreneurs and activists looking to create economic and social value through urban agriculture.
Michael Ableman, a commercial organic farmer for the past 45 years, is co-founder and director of Sole Food Street Farms. He founded the nonprofit Center for Urban Agriculture and has created urban farms in California and Vancouver, BC. He farms with his family at the historic 120-acre Foxglove Farm on Salt Spring Island, BC.