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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Whole Country Talking About Cleveland's Urban Farming Efforts and Vacant Lots

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 2:11 PM

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Urban farming efforts in Cleveland are not exactly breaking news in town anymore. You know about it, you've read about it, you've driven by the farm off W. 25th, you've eaten vegetables grown right here in Cleveland and served up in dishes from Jonathan Sawyer and Michael Symon and others.

But those outside of Cleveland are beginning to take notice and spread the word of the Forest City's penchant for local food, focus on sustainability, and a host of other buzzwords and trends that don't sound very sexy but boil down to: eating fresh, keeping money and work in the city, and making use of vacant land in productive ways. It's that last part that was a focus of a study from researchers at Ohio State — “Can cities become self-reliant in food?” — which was published in July and claims "the city of Cleveland could meet all of its fresh produce, poultry and honey needs. These steps would save up to $155 million annually, boost employment and scale back obesity."

Cleveland's excelled at the whole urban farm thing, and Cleveland boasts untold number of vacant lots, so why not? The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Wired all wrote about the findings, and all are fine afternoon reading options while you nosh on some locally grown carrots.

(Also, from our archives: "Downtown on the Farm," our cover story on urban farming in Cleveland )

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