The co-founder of a Vancouver-based social enterprise has written a book.
Sole Foods Street Farms director Michael Ableman says he wrote Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs and Hope on the Urban Frontier to demonstrate what is possible, illustrate the challenges and give a voice to individuals who are often voiceless.
"The book is an intimate story of the people's lives that we're working with. How we work with municipal governments to do what had never been done before on this scale. All the ups and downs and challenges," Ableman says.
Sole Food Street Farms trains and employs up to 25 people at a time from the Downtown Eastside, many who are dealing with drug addiction and mental illness.
Ableman says the Farm produces 50,000 pounds of food every year for local restaurants and farmer's markets.
"We're not trying to get people off of drugs or save them. We're just trying to provide a reason to get out of bed each day and a community of people to work with, employment that's healthy and a place for them to go where they're actually depended on, where they're needed," he says.
He says the project, which started in 2009, has changed his perceptions of those living in the Downtown Eastside.
There are 5 farm sites covering 4.5 acres in Vancouver including the largest urban orchard in North America.
Ableman invites the public to attend their fundraising dinner prepared by chefs from Vancouver restaurants on October 6 called An Evening in the Orchard.