On April 26, faculty, staff and students participated in the CFAES Urban Agricultural Adventure and Cultural Exploration and visited several urban farmers in Cleveland. Students from both the Columbus campus and Wooster's ATI campus joined together to make up 35 participants for the Saturday excursion.
The program kicked off with a welcome by OSU Extension's Cuyahoga County office, a historical overview of the area, and the present-day demographics of the city.
Throughout the day, the group toured a 10-plus-acre incubator farm located in Cleveland's Kinsman neighborhood, an initiative dedicated to providing fresh, reasonably priced produce to urban residents while also providing new farmers a chance to start their own business while serving the community. Two farmers shared their personal stories of learning, participation, growth and reward while involved in the effort.
The CFAES group next visited Rid-All, a demonstration/educational facility showcasing vermiculture, tilapia ponds featuring 1.5- to 2-pound fish, advanced composting, fresh produce, and flowers and herbs grown under hoop houses located on a site previously occupied by waste, old tires and refuse.
The final stop of the day was at Cleveland's West Side Market, home of more than 100 ethnically diverse food vendors. As the group shopped among seafood, baked goods, dairy and cheese products, reasonably priced produce and herbs from the urban farms toured was on sale.
The Urban Agricultural Adventure was made possible by funds from the CFAES Diversity Catalyst Team.—Pamela Thomas, Academic Programs