Providing a Zero-Mile Diet the Organic Way
Seann Dory and Suzy Keown may be the new farmers at Southlands Community Farm, yet they are far from new to farming. Seann is the co-founder of Sole Food Street Farms, North America’s largest urban farm project. As well as turning vacant lots into productive farmland throughout downtown Vancouver, Sole Food creates meaningful employment for many people who struggle to keep more conventional work.
Seann’s partner, Suzy, used to be Operations Manager of Dogwood Brewing. For her, this role means coming home: She grew up in Tsawwassen and went to school at South Park Elementary. She and Seann recently moved their own farm, Salt & Harrow, from Vancouver Island to a 56th Street location so they could be closer to Southlands and begin preparing the site.
The opportunity to raise our family and move our farm to my hometown is not something I ever expected. It’s like coming full circle and I can’t wait to get started on our journey at Southlands.
Both are excited about their new certified organic farm at Southlands Community Farm, where they plan to grow mixed vegetables for a hyper-local market. Their vegetables will be available at farmers’ markets and local restaurants, but they hope the majority of what they produce will be consumed by the farm’s own neighbours—Southlands residents. They’re exploring the idea of a Community Supported Agriculture box program that would have subscribers receiving a box of fresh, seasonal produce each week. They also plan to offer farming apprenticeships, teach workshops, and host events like Harvest Festivals.
As for the residents of Southlands, they’ll enjoy a low-footprint diet of fresh, organic produce grown on their own soil. Children will grow up knowing where food comes from, because they’ll see the seeds planted and will celebrate the harvest months later.