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CAN: From Gas to Grass

CAN: From Gas to Grass

A Canadian company is transforming an old gas station into a city-centered farm. Urban agriculture means more than planting a few fruits and vegetables – at least for Sole Food Street Farms. The organization produces 60 tons of food per year, and recently transformed an old gas station into what locals call “the largest urban orchard in North America.” Better still, Sole Foods employs recovering addicts and individuals suffering from mental illness in this area of Vancouver, Canada, providing them with meaningful work. Co-founders Michael Ableman and Seann Dory started Sole Food primarily to provide work opportunities to a group who need it the most. The Downtown Eastside of Vancouver is considered one of the poorest areas in Canada, and reports the highest recorded drug use. Filling the gas station with 500 fruit trees provides apples, persimmons, quinces, Meyer lemons, cherries and rare plums to local restaurants and grocery stores. But it also provides hope for the 25 employees trying to turn their lives around.

(Read More: theoptimist.com/stories/business/from-gas-to-grass)