A little while ago I went on a tour of the urban farms in Cleveland. I brought my little sister from Big Brother Big Sister of Greater Cleveland with me, and since she is 7 years-old, she faded long before we made it to all 9 of the farms on the tour, but here are a few highlights from the day.
Blue Pike Farm:
900 E. 72nd St
Cleveland, OH 44103
Owner: Carl Skalak
Blue Pike Farm Market: Thursdays 4:00 – 7:00 P.M.
Blue Pike Farm is the first farm started in Cleveland proper in the 21st Century. They are dedicated to growing fresh products, using natural and sustainable agricultural practices. They collect and compost organic matter from local municipalities, coffee shops and roasteries, and local food markets.
Their products are available for sale on the farm, at local farmers markets and in restaurants that appreciate and support quality, fresh and locally grown produce.
Vel’s Purple Oasis:
10821 Frank Ave
Cleveland, OH, US
Owner Vel Scott is in the middle.
This guy is an expert in urban agriculture and gardening. Am hitting myself for not remembering his name right now (if anyone knows, please leave a comment). He works at Vel’s Purple Oasis and is showing us how they are using cardboard to create a lasagna-type compost to enrich the soil.
Vel Scott’s Garden is a blend of market and community gardening. The garden is in its first year of major soil remediation and bed building. Plants that tolerate unamended soil are being grown for market side-by-side with traditional annual crops in raised beds.
Gather ‘Round Farm:
3919 Lorain Ave
Cleveland, OH, US
This garden, built over an asphalt parking lot, grows vegetables, berries, herbs, and flowers. It is being developed as an educational and market farm, to serve the neighborhood. It is also features a Thyme Keepers Herbs and Crafts garden. Using permaculture principals, it demonstrates backyard sustainability practices such as: rain water use, run off best management practice, and native plantings for wildlife support. Tour the garden and feed the chickens.