Unwasted Land

The growth of the Urban garden is not a new trend but I found myself intrigued by the new garden community within the electrical corridor near my apartment, which has recently sprouted in North York, a roughly five minute walk from the York University campus.

Underneath the towering power lines over 130 plots of varying sizes are marked off by makeshift fences and adorned with hanging boots and shoes. Some of the spaces have constructed ramshackle huts for escaping the Sun or cleaning up, one woman even had a mirror.

The land costs 76$ to rent for a year and in exchange the city provides spartan water lines and… well, nothing. Yet that’s the beauty of the entire project, Kumar, one of the local gardeners doesn’t need the government to provide fertilizer, fences, hoses or skill, he has all that, land and water is all it takes and in this massively sprawling, otherwise unused setting, land is abundant.

Kumar currently has green onions, tomatoes, chilies and green beans all growing on his small lot and of course this garden fails to cover all of his family’s food needs but it does supplement their diet with healthy, naturally grown produce and in a world where GMOs and pesticides are indistinguishable from corn that doesn’t contain “acceptable” levels of poison that will explode root worms’ stomachs, this seems like a good thing.The only remaining question is why it is, in this unused corridor of arable land 10.4 km long, that we are only instituting this program along 15 400 square meters, when the cost to the taxpayer is no more then setting up a drinking fountain?

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