Why are urban farms the new black market?
The Canadian farmer has built an urban farm in a city that’s a few kilometres from the city’s biggest airport.
The farm’s owner, Bill McKibben, is in the midst of an auction of his land to fund the construction of a new school in the same city.
But the process of converting his land into a farm is proving to be far more difficult than anticipated.
With the city in the middle of a massive housing boom, the land is a prime candidate for the urban farm.
The city’s current plan calls for the land to be converted into a residential development, and a developer has proposed building the school on the site.
The land has never been used for residential development before.
“The land itself is the most important thing,” said McKibham, a former cattle rancher who now runs a food farm near his home.
“It’s where I grew up.
I’ve got to sell my cows, get rid of the animals.
The real problem is the people that live on the land.”
The land’s future is uncertain.
A number of projects have cropped up in recent years with the city of Vancouver planning to demolish or relocate more than 50,000 acres of vacant land around the city.
The property sits just east of the airport and west of a city centre.
“This land will be turned into something more than a parking lot,” said Vancouver City Councillor Geoff Meggs, who sits on the city council’s urban agriculture committee.
“I don’t know how many properties will be built here, but there’s a real risk of urban farming taking over.
It could become an opportunity for commercial agriculture and a housing project.”
With files from the Canadian Press