Views / Toronto / Mom and Pop Shops

Want to grow veggies on your balcony? Call these guys

A fertile future awaits city dwellers across the country. All they have to do is look up or peek over their neighbour’s fence to take advantage of the growing — pun intended — business model.

Need some cilantro? Look to your patio not the produce aisle. In desperate need of onions? Check out your own backyard.

Christopher Wong, 27, and his team at Young Urban Farmers are helping urban consumers produce their own chemical-free herbs and vegetables, from chickpeas to tomatoes, in their own backyards and a growing number of condo balconies.

The inspiration for the business, which launched in 2007, was born while Christopher was studying at Queen’s University.

“The 100-mile diet and the trend toward locally-grown food was just starting and my classmates and I knew there would be an opportunity for people like us who want to improve their relationship or re-connect with their food.”

How does it work? Christopher and his team of four help clients choose the herbs and vegetables they want to grow, then plant them in wooden boxes.

Easy peasy.

And if you’d like the crew to look after your patio, deck or balcony garden, they’ll do that too — without using chemicals or pesticides.

“There are a lot of misconceptions that gardening is difficult and hard work and it can be like that,” he admits, “but it can also be enjoyable and something to look forward to. We help create and maintain their gardens so people and families can learn to enjoy it.”

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