Urban Farms


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.

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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

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Owner Vel Scott is in the middle.

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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.

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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

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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.

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5 thoughts on “Urban Farms

  1. Hi Marianne,

    Sorry to have missed this! Looks like a great tour of what’s going on in the city related to local food production. Thanks for sharing….great blog!

    Annabel

  2. Thanks for checking out the blog, Annabel! I hope that your farm grows beautifully as well.

    Best wishes,
    Marianne

  3. Carl Skalak, owner and farmer of Blue Pike Farm, wrote to me after I sent him the link to this post:

    “Do you really want to know how and why I started this thing? Pitcher of beer story. Pick the place.”

    Not really sure which beer place to take this particular farmer.

  4. Pingback: The Full (Green) Cleveland « Renovating the Rust Belt

  5. Hi Marianne – just found your site. Thanks for the great write up you gave us. How is your little sister. Tell her hello. Hank Haberman is the wonderful person who helps make things happen at Vel’s Purple Oasis Garden. We’ve acquired a house to complement our work at the garden. Please stop by and see us again. Warm regards. Vel

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