Urban Agricultural Adventure

On April 26th faculty, staff, and students participated in the CFAES Urban Agricultural Adventure & Cultural Exploration and visited several urban farmers in Cleveland, Ohio.  Students from both the Columbus campus and Wooster’s ATI campus joined together to make up thirty five participants for Saturday’s excursion.   The program kicked off with a welcome by the Cuyahoga County Extension office, a historical overview of the area, and present-day demographics of the city.  Throughout the day, the group toured a 10+ acre incubator farm located in the Kinsman Neighborhood of the city, an initiative dedicated to providing fresh, reasonably priced produce to urban residents while also providing new farmers a chance to start their own business, while serving the community.  Two farmers shared their personal stories of learning, participation, growth and reward while involved in the effort.  The FAES  group next visited Rid-All, a demonstration/ educational facility showcasing vermiculture,  tilapia ponds featuring 1 ½ - 2 pound fish, advanced composting, fresh produce, flowers and herbs grown under various hoop  houses located on the site previously occupied by waste, tires  and refuge. The final stop of the day on the Urban Adventure was to Cleveland’s West Side Market, home of over 100 ethnically diverse vendors.  As the group shopped among seafood, baked goods, dairy and cheese products, reasonably priced produce and herbs from the urban farms toured was on sale.  The Urban Agricultural Adventure was made possible by funds from the FAES Diversity Catalyst Team.