Growing ‘a sense of belonging’

Eighteen central Ohio veterans spent summer farming at CFAES’ Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory in Columbus. As participants in a pilot project called the Veteran Farming Program—organized by the Central Ohio VA Healthcare System and CFAES’ OSU Extension outreach arm—the veterans gained practice in farming and gardening while benefiting from the activities’ therapeutic aspects. They graduated from the program earlier this month.

“I used to farm when I was younger,” said Vietnam veteran Bob Udeck, 74. “It feels really good to get your hands dirty again—planting something, nurturing it, and watching it produce.”

Read the full story on our CFAES Stories site. (Photo: Mike Hogan, OSU Extension.)

Teaching kids how to grow food

Next in the ongoing Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series, see an award-winning youth garden focused on food insecurity, year-round growing, hands-on learning, and gardening and nutrition education. It’s Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Highland Youth Garden, located in Columbus’ Hilltop neighborhood. Find out more.

CFAES is one of the series presenters and is the specific presenter of this tour.

How vacant lots can become urban farms

A tour this Saturday, Aug. 10, part of both the Columbus Urban Farm Tour Series and Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series, will show how to turn vacant lots into urban farms—producing healthy food for people and improving neighborhoods in the process (p. 3).

CFAES is a co-sponsor of both series.

On going organic — and on being a woman urban farmer

In addition to the Pioneering Urban Farm Tour, the Columbus Urban Farm Tour Series features a second tour on Saturday, July 13: the Transitional Produce and Flower Farm Tour at Happy Toes Homestead in Columbus. Owner Katie Hawkins started the 2-acre farm just two years ago. She grows microgreens, herbs, cut flowers, and heirloom vegetables, which she sells through a CSA, at farmer’s markets, and to local restaurants.

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‘Demonstrating a sense of hope’

You’re invited to check out the oldest working urban farm in Columbus.

The Pioneering Urban Farm Tour, set for 10–11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 13, features Four Seasons City Farm, a nonprofit urban garden serving Columbus’s Near East neighborhood. Started in 2004, and now with four locations, the farm grows berries, tree fruits, vegetables, and more.

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These students and crops are for change

Some Ohio State students are spending their summer helping fight hunger. Working at the 4-acre Ohio State Student Farm, located at CFAES’ Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory in Columbus, the students are growing more than 30 kinds of fruits and vegetables, are learning about and practicing urban farming, and are donating some of what they grow to local food security efforts.

Read more in a new CFAES Story called “Crops for change.”

Expert to speak on controlled environment ag

More and more farms could be under a roof. Meiny Prins, CEO and co-owner of the Dutch company Priva, presents “Do You Know the Green Belt? Sustainable Urban Agriculture in a Challenging World” from 10–11 a.m. Tuesday, May 21, on Ohio State’s campus in Columbus. The event is billed as an industry summit on controlled environment agriculture, a technology-driven way to produce food in greenhouses, buildings, grow rooms, and the like. Admission to the event is free, but attendees are asked to register in advance. There’s also a way to watch online. Find full details.

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Friday: Community gardens, ‘Blackout’ concert

Ohio State’s 2019 Time for Change Week continues on Friday, April 5, with:

  • A presentation on community gardens, including how to run them and how they can improve a neighborhood’s food security, by members of the student group Nourish International, 11 a.m. to noon. Find out more.
  • Buckeye Blackout Concert, 6–9 p.m. “Lights out, get loud!” the event listing says. “Join us for a night of student and local bands, friends, and sustainable giveaways, all against the backdrop of Mirror Lake.”

Glean further details.

‘We grow food for the neighborhood’

“Urban agriculture and local food production are a growing phenomenon for several reasons, including to address food insecurity, as a means for an economic enterprise, for community building, and as job training for young people and others.”

That’s Mike Hogan, educator in the Franklin County office of OSU Extension, CFAES’ statewide outreach arm, quoted in a recent article by Tracy Turner, a writer with CFAES, on our CFAES Stories website. (Hogan recently received the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s 2019 Service Award.)

Called “Urban Agriculture in Ohio,” the article looks at how OSU Extension is helping farmers in Cleveland and Columbus.

“Our mission is simple,” one of the growers said in the article. “We grow food for the neighborhood.”

Check it out. (Photo: Getty Images.)