Urban framing is gaining popularity here in Toronto and that is good for jobs and people’s health.
Urban agriculture should not be confused with gardening, says Field. The main difference is the scale – the plots are larger – and the food is sold, not shared among a community or taken home at the end of the day by one gardener.
The harvest from FoodShare’s rooftop garden and greenhouses is included in its urban agriculture, as well as its bounty from city soil. And, as urban farmers such as Matchbox Garden and Seed Co. and The Cutting Veg begin to set up stalls at farmers’ markets, Toronto joins a larger movement that recognizes living in the city doesn’t mean you have to live miles from your food.
On Wednesday, Michael Ableman, the granddaddy of urban farming, is to speak at the Robert Rose lecture series From the Ground Up, a fundraiser for the Gardiner Museum. Ableman’s talk will be followed by a panel discussion on urban agriculture with Field from FoodShare, food columnist and author Elizabeth Driver and architect Stephen Teeple, who is designing community housing with green spaces for agriculture.
“What Michael did in his big garden in Los Angeles was to go from community garden to urban agriculture and he showed he could do it,” says Field.