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Toledo, Ohio should be encouraging urban farmers, not setting up roadblocks

Owner Liz Harris, center in hat, gives a tour of Glass City Goat Gals, which is part of the Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series.

The Lucas County Land Bank has estimated that Toledo has more than 14,600 vacant lots, and city residents want to turn these potential blight magnets into productive tracts of land to feed themselves and their neighbors.

Editorial
The Blade
Sept. 20, 2017

Excerpt:

The Toledo Plan Commission has a chance to change all that with a set of urban farming rules now in the works.

Plan commission members tabled action on the urban farming policies recently to allow time to consult with the city’s urban farmers. They should have started there, but at least plan commission members want to get input from people actually doing urban farming before finalizing the rules that will govern urban agriculture in the city.

Toledo is sadly far behind other similar cities such as Detroit and Cleveland, where officials recognize the value of the small-scale agriculture that can revive and sustain city neighborhoods.

Urban agriculture is a grassroots strategy for addressing a number of issues cities like Toledo wrestle with — blight, access to healthy fresh produce, and community engagement.

Community gardens can bring neighbors together and brighten vacant spaces that otherwise invite litter, graffiti, and other ugliness. Urban farmers are investing in Toledo, revitalizing soil and neighborhoods.

Read the complete article here.