City Folk’s Farm Shop in Columbus, Ohio
“When we talk about sustainable living and urban homesteading, people think of hippy-dippy types,” she says. “But we’re really not in that category.”
By Emily Thompson
Amid the many businesses that sprawl up High Street, City Folk’s Farm Shop stands out with a bright orange awning and large logo boasting a chicken on the window. At first glance, the inside of the shop looks like a small-town garden supply store—standard gardening tools line the walls, birdhouses sit atop shelves and trashcans are off to the side. But a closer look reveals those trashcans are actually composting bins, and some of the products are even less recognizable. What exactly is a Nut Wizard, anyway? Customers frequent the store for this nut- and seed-gathering gadget, along with cheese-making kits, how-to books about fermenting, food dehydrators and the Farmer’s Almanac.
The Clintonville shop is quiet one Tuesday evening in February as owner Shawn Fiegelist arranges a spread of snacks from a recent food share—local farmers and gardeners trade homegrown food at regular gatherings—for tonight’s meeting. The first of many, this is a meeting of urban homesteaders—both experienced and aspiring—hoping to rely less on conventional sources of food and energy. For nine months, they will work as mentors and students in a program called Ground Swell.