Recovering People & Land

coverlarge-4Excerpted fromStreet Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier” by Michael Ableman (Chelsea Green, 2016).

My work in Watts and my recent urban farming in Vancouver have left me with few illusions about the challenges we face in our effort to help grow these communities. I’ve shared my experiences with Seann; he’s done the same for me. And we sometimes encounter the reality that people are no easier to recover than the land buried under layers of pavement. Ours remains an imperfect endeavor.

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From Street to Street Farmer

coverlarge-4Excerpted from Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontierby Michael Ableman (Chelsea Green, 2016).

I remember standing in that parking lot on our first day of planting with four hundred four-by-fifty-foot boxes full of soil waiting for the first seed or transplant. The transplants I’d brought to Sole Food were grown on my family farm. “Hardening off’ transplants is a practice that normally involves gradually introducing tender plants to cold and sun, allowing for the transition from protected greenhouse to open field. As we unloaded the plants from my van that day I had the thought that we ought to have piped the sound of sirens, rap music, and car horns into their protected rural greenhouse space, before introducing them to this harsh urban landscape.

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15-Point Urban Food Manifesto

coverlarge-4Excerpted from “Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier” by Michael Ableman (Chelsea Green, 2016).

I have been developing the following Urban Food Manifesto over the last ten years. Some of the ideas may sound radical; others will likely seem terribly obvious. Some are practical, some more ideological, but either way they are focused on the municipal and on individual ways to address what I consider to be some of the most prominent challenges in how we feed ourselves.

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