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Urban agriculture on the rise in Columbia, Missouri

Click on image for larger file. An ambitious Agriculture Park on the old fairgrounds next to the Activity and Recreation Center and the Columbia Farmers Market.

He told us that the center has been seven years at its current site and last year alone donated more than 7,000 pounds of produce to the food pantry.

By George Kennedy
Missourian
Apr 13, 2017

Excerpt:

It turned out that, along with the exotic nourishment, the 100 or so of us in attendance got a useful reminder that “urban agriculture” is not the oxymoron it might appear to be.

Instead, what that term means for Columbia is, at the moment, a 1.3-acre mid-city cooperative garden and, just over the horizon, an ambitious Agriculture Park on the old fairgrounds next to the Activity and Recreation Center and the Columbia Farmers Market.

Monday night’s gathering was the quiet launch of what will be a three-stage, $5 million fund drive with the goal of creating a 5-acre garden and outdoor classroom, a permanent shelter for the market and a couple of other structures that will house a demonstration kitchen, meeting space and equipment storage.

The plan, we were told, is to go public in a ceremony at the site on May 6, with ground breaking later this year. Already, more than half the first-phase goal of $1.5 million is in hand, including a $400,000 contribution from the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, which will oversee what will be formally called Clary-Shy Park.

Read the complete article here.