Our gardens have the incredible ability to act as carbon sinks. Home gardeners can apply many of the same principles as large farms on a much smaller scale. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, victory gardens and community gardens are rapidly growing in popularity. Seed sales have more than tripled as people look to take control of their access to fresh food.
Gaining an awareness of how soil mitigates climate change allows the home gardener to understand the important role it plays. In our 2019 report, Climate Change Mitigation Opportunities, the outlined practices to avoid include plowing, rototilling, and extensive digging. When gardeners and farmers use these practices, they can break up fungal networks and expose buried soil to the air, allowing stored carbon to be “released” into the atmosphere.
Home and community gardeners may not realize the powerful opportunity they have to make a positive, meaningful impact. City Beet Farm is a small-scale, multi-site urban farm located in Vancouver. They are transforming homeowners’ yards from grass to highly productive farm sites. This unique approach to farming is a commitment between homeowners and farmers.
City Beet Farm was started in 2013, by two young women, Ruth and Katie who had a passion for farming but were unable to afford access to land. They came up with a creative solution to use neighbourhood front and back yards as farmland to grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Over the years, the farm has evolved from 5 sites and 20 CSA members to 14 sites and 82 CSA members. Madelaine Clerk and Elana Evans, who took over the farm in 2016, host a weekly market and sell a small amount of produce through wholesale opportunities.