Is it possible to grow food with zero carbon emissions in the city and make a living from it?
Ward Teulon, an agrologist from Vancouver, not only believes the answer is yes, but is actually doing it.
Teulon’s green revolution consists of a network of urban farmers responsible for growing seasonal products in their backyards or unused lands located within five kilometres of their own homes.
The idea is to use organic products, recycled tools and travel only by foot or cycle.
“I used to work in the landscape industry, seeing how people can spend hundreds of dollars to keep grass looking good in places where they could have been growing vegetables, so I saw an opportunity,” City Farm Boy, as Teulon calls himself, said.
“I believe these projects build communities. I know my neighbors. We get together every Thursday in my back yard picking up veggies.”
The West Coaster promises his project is something anybody, anywhere can join.
“There are so many opportunities to grow food, even in balconies or small backyards,” he says.
“You might have a small space, but even there you might be able to grow a few hundred dollars worth of peppers a year to actually afford your hobby. Urban farming can take all shapes and sizes.”
City Farm Boy has been farming in Vancouver since 2006 and promises a green production chain “from seeds to the table.” His vegetables are never sold in bags but straight out of the garden.
No refrigeration is needed.
Many of the vegetables are harvested with the entire root system intact to enhance quality and freshness.
His business has been growing so steadily in the past few years, his shares have even quadrupled.
The next “big thing” in urban farming, at least according to Teulon, is bees.
“The price of honey has skyrocketed. It is something that can be done in the city very easily. I have a couple of beehives in my backyard. It’s just another way of growing food and cheaper than having a cat.”