New $1.1 million program to create urban farms in Cleveland’s Kinsman neighborhood
Kathleen Merrigan, a deputy secretary with the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides funds
By Mark Gillispie
The Plain Dealer
Oct 27, 2010
CLEVELAND, Ohio — By next fall, a group of fledgling farmers could be harvesting the last of their crops on what today is a bleak stretch of vacant property in Cleveland’s Kinsman neighborhood.
Officials from the city of Cleveland, the Ohio and U.S. Departments of Agriculture and the Ohio State University Extension Service announced a three-year, $1.1 million pilot program Wednesday to create an urban farm at East 83rd Street and Gill Avenue.
These officials hope that the Cleveland Urban Agricultural Incubator Project will not only turn people into entrepreneurs but will help convert a food “desert” into an oasis of fruits and vegetables.
The project calls for recruiting 20 residents from the Kinsman neighborhood to receive training and a quarter acre of land to grow crops that they can sell for a profit to local schools, restaurants and farmers’ markets.
Cleveland officials hope someday to expand the program in Kinsman and to other Cleveland neighborhoods.
The pilot program will start with 6 acres. It is being funded with a $740,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and grants of $100,000 each from Cleveland and the Ohio Department of Agriculture.