Hamilton, Ohio to amend rules for neighborhood farming
Elizabeth Torres, an intern with Hamilton Urban Garden Systems, waters tomato plants at a community garden lat University Commerce Park. Hamilton is set to amend an ordinance that will allow residents to use city-owned or private property to grow produce to be eaten, sold or donated. Photo by Nick Daggy.
Passing the ordinance is important because it relaxes restrictions on what can be done on a privately-owned lot
By Eric Schwartzberg
HAMILTON — A measure that promotes and encourages urban agriculture by allowing anyone to use city or private property to grow produce is expected to become a reality starting this summer.
New urban agriculture amendments will establish rules for local neighborhood farming and allow any Hamilton resident to take an underdeveloped or undeveloped city lot or private property and use it to grow vegetables, herbs, flowers, nut trees or fruit trees.
The harvested bounty could then be used for their own consumption, to sell to others or donate to area food pantries, according to Alfred Hall, co-founder of Hamilton Urban Garden Systems, or HUGS.
Hall said the change is an important step to not only beautifying Hamilton, but helping it become “the greenest little city in America.”
“They’ve made a very important first step in a process that will eventually grow into a local regional food system, which will allow us to feed ourselves, develop community and create economic opportunity,” Hall said.
For example, someone who has multiple lots in the city and wants to erect 10-by-20-foot greenhouses on each one to grow flowers to sell will be able to do so, he said.