An average parking space is nine-by-eighteen feet or 162 square feet. If you are working with biologically active soils and you are reasonably skilled as a farmer, a 162 square foot parking space can produce 450-500 pounds of food in a 4-6 month growing season.
500 pounds of food at an average retail market value of $3 per pound is worth $1500. There are an average of 150 parking spaces in an acre; Concord Pacific’s undeveloped False Creek land holdings are approximately 9 acres, totaling 1350 parking spaces.
Multiply 500 pounds times those 1350 parking spaces and you get 675,000 pounds of food in a 4-6 month season with an average retail market value of over two million dollars.
Of course all of this is based on ideal conditions, a high skill level, and a guaranteed market for products produced. But there’s a lot of potential in a parking lot.
Excerpted from “Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier” by Michael Ableman
Street Farm is the inspirational account of residents in the notorious Low Track in Vancouver, British Columbia―one of the worst urban slums in North America―who joined together to create an urban farm as a means of addressing the chronic problems in their neighborhood. It is a story of recovery, of land and food, of people, and of the power of farming and nourishing others as a way to heal our world and ourselves.
Michael Ableman is a farmer, author, photographer and urban and local food systems advocate. Michael has been farming organically since the 1970′s and is considered one of the pioneers of the organic farming and urban agriculture movements. Ableman is a frequent lecturer to audiences all over the world, and the winner of numerous awards for his work.