Who we are
We are Marc Green and Arlene Hazzan Green, co-owners of The Backyard Urban Farm Company. Our mission is to ignite people’s passion for growing their own food, and to help them reconnect with Nature.
We have spent the past 30 years working in the motion picture industry, Marc as a location scout and manager, and Arlene as a multiple award winning writer and director. Over the years we have had many great adventures on film sets, working hard behind the scenes with fantastically creative peers, highly skilled technicians, and inspiring actors, in order to create many hours of filmed entertainment. And then one chilly spring evening in 2007, everything changed. We were watching a riveting Canadian documentary called "The End of Suburbia", about peak oil and the bleak future that lay ahead if and when the oil runs out.
No longer could we look the other way and assume "they" will solve our planet’s environmental problems. We were suddenly and urgently committed to the idea that we must stop consuming so much stuff and become actively part of a solution. We had been avid gardeners for as long as we could remember, but after seeing that film and after many restless, soul-searching nights we began our transformation.
By mid-summer, we had converted our tiny backyard in the heart of downtown Toronto into a productive, organic, edible garden. We installed three cedar raised beds, filled them with the best triple mix soil we could find, and planted a whack of heirloom seeds and seedlings. In the first season we harvested over a hundred pounds of food.
There has been so much doom and gloom through recent history, the World Trade Center tragedy, crushing economic downturns, countless wars, human made and natural disasters that threaten us all. With so much suffering, we, like many others, found it difficult to stay positive, to believe there is anything that two over-consuming urbanites and their young son can do to make a difference. But once we began tending our own vegetable garden we discovered a whole new and wonderful world of Urban Agriculture and started to feel good again. And almost like magic, as we started to live a little more simply, a little more naturally and a lot more locally, we realized we were actually riding a wave. We discovered an exciting and proactive food movement that was growing in our city and in many other cities around the world, and almost without even knowing, we became part of it. We realized we can make a difference. And so the Backyard Urban Farm Company was born, and along with it, a renewed sense of hope.