Big Ideas for Small Business: Urban Agriculture/Gardening for Greenbacks


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Big Ideas for Small Business: Urban Agriculture/Gardening for Greenbacks

  1. 1. CITY OF CLEVELAND — GARDENING FOR GREENBACKS PROGRAM Kevin Schmotzer, Executive for Small Business Growth City of Cleveland, Department of Economic Development 601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 210 Cleveland, Ohio 44114 (216) 664-3720 Tracey Nichols, Director City of Cleveland, Department of Economic Development 601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 210 Cleveland, Ohio 44114 (216) 664-3611 CITY OF CLEVELAND—OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY Jenita McGowan, Chief of Sustainability City of Cleveland, Office of Sustainability 601 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114 (216) 664-3720 BURTEN BELL CARR DEVELOPMENT, INC. URBAN AGRICULTURE INNOVATION ZONE Tim Tramble, Executive Director Burten Bell Carr Development, Inc. 7201 Kinsman Road, Suite 104 Cleveland, Ohio 44104 (216) 341-1455 OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION Ohio State University Extension, Cuyahoga County Morgan Taggart, Program Specialist URBAN AGRICULTURE INFORMATION URBAN AGRICULTURE CITY OF CLEVELAND GARDENING FOR GREENBACKS
  2. 2. Page 2 CITY OF CLEVELAND SUSTAINABLE 2019: YEAR OF LOCAL FOOD LOCAL FOOD MOVEMENT IN CLEVELAND All over the country, food systems are currently being re-localized and connected to well-integrated business ecosystems. Cleveland is on the path to doing the same. Over the last several years there have been many new farmers markets established making fresh fruits and vegetables more available. Strong local food systems not only support economic development, they also contribute to ecological and environmental health, social justice and local jobs. Farmers, food processors, and retailers benefit while keeping money circulating in the local economy. Eating local reduces the ecological footprint, decreases the need for packaging, supports the preservation of diverse heirloom and heritage varieties and reduces concerns about food safety. Most important – it is fresher, more nutritious and better tasting! The City’s local and sustainable purchasing Ordinance promotes purchasing of local and sustainable produced products, goods and services. The City offers a 5% discount to local food businesses bidding for City contracts. In 2008, Sustainlane ranked Cleveland as the second best City in the nation for its local foods/agriculture CLEVELAND: 4th Most Visionary City in the WORLD by Yahoo Travel for the Urban Farming movement Cleveland was the ONLY US City mentioned! Cleveland was the ONLY US City mentioned! Page 11 URBAN AGRICULTURE The Department of Economic Development provides low interest loans for entrepreneurs opening or expanding retail businesses in the City of Cleveland through the Neighborhood Retail Assistance Pro- gram (“NRAP”). The loans have assisted in the financing for many restaurants throughout the City. A small portion of these loans may be forgiven if the business incorporates green, energy efficient, and/or sustainable activities into their projects. One of the sustainable activities that is encouraged is the purchase of local produce. Many restaurants have taken advantage of this program and incorporate local produce on their menus . Following are just a few restaurants that support local agriculture by purchasing fruits and vegetable from urban farms in Cleveland or growing produce on their property. The Greenhouse Tavern 2038 East Fourth Street Cleveland, Ohio 44115 Chinato 2079 East Fourth Street Cleveland, Ohio 44115 L’Albatros Brasserie and Bar 11401 Bellflower Road Cleveland, Ohio 44106 Spice Kitchen and Bar 5800 Detroit Avenue LOCAL RESTAURANTS THAT SUPPORT URBAN FARMING SOHO Kitchen and Bar 1889 West 25th Street Cleveland, Ohio 44113 Lucky’s Cafe 777 Starkweather Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44113 Hodge’s 668 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44114 Vegetable and herb garden on the patio of Lucky’s Café in Cleveland’s Tremont Neighborhood
  3. 3. Page 10 CITY OF CLEVELAND URBAN AGRICULTURE INNOVATION ZONE Page 3 URBAN AGRICULTURE In the summer of 2008, the City of Cleveland introduced and passed legislation which created the Gardening for Greenbacks programs that provides grants up to $3,000 to businesses, merchants, or local farmers. The program assists with the acquisition of tools, irrigation equipment, fencing, and other appropriate items needed for urban gardening. The grant is provided to entrepreneurs who sell their produce through local farmers’ markets or to local restaurants as a for-profit business basis. The program was created to advance the local food system agenda and establish Cleveland as a model for local food system development. The City has funded 13 urban farms through the Gardening for Greenbacks Program. HISTORY OF GARDENING FOR GREENBACKS CITY FUNDED URBAN GARDENS INCLUDING GARDENING FOR GREENBACKS PROGRAM SUMMARY Grant Recipients Address Ward City Assistance Total Project cost Jobs Created or to be Created Program Year Akusika Nkomo Mackey dba Africa House 1695 E. 81st Street 6 $3,000 $6,500 1 2009 New Image Life Skills Acade- my, Inc. Corner of 10820 Frank Avenue 6 $3,000 $5,000 1 2009 Urban Growth, Inc. 2156 W. 48th Street 14 $3,000 $4,500 1 2009 Gardens Under Glass 1301 E. 9th Street 3 $3,000 $38,000 1 2010 Green Urban Enterprises 4790 W. 130th Street 18 $3,000 $3,300 1 2010 Ohio City Inc. d.b.a Ohio City Farm W.24th and Bridge 3 $3,000 $3,000 1 2010 Refugee Response W.24th and Bridge 3 $3,000 $3,000 1 2010 Molly Murray dba Erie Edge Farm 2165-2169 Columbus Road and 4512-4514 Clinton Avenue 3 $3,000 $3,450 1 2011 Kevin Kubovcik d.b.a Old Brooklyn Farm 4204 W. 24th Street 13 $3,000 $4,000 1 2011 Lucia’s Fresh Produce ltd 4204 W. 24th Street 13 $3,000 $3,100 1 2011 Afro American Research & Development Association Corner of E. 30th St.& Cedar Ave. 5 $3,000 $5,000 1 2011 Central Roots 5905 Thackery Ave. & W. 25th and Franklin 5 $3,000 $3,100 2 2011 Angela Cavotta d.b.a Cavotta’s Garden Ctr. 19603 Nottingham Road 11 $3,000 $3,035 1 2011 Diane Morgan d.b.a. Maggie's Farm 3413 W. 63rd Street 15 $3,000 $3,200 1 2012 Needham Gardens LLC 12021 Kirton Ave. 18 $3,000 $5,850 1 2012 TOTAL $45,000 $94,035 16
  4. 4. Page 4 CITY OF CLEVELAND GARDENING FOR GREENBACKS Afro-American Research & Development Association Afro-American Research and Development Association is the garden arm of a 501c(3) non-profit. The project used City funds to partially finance equipment for garden expansion in the Central neighborhood that incorporated sustainable initia- tives, which includes raised beds and a hoop house. The com- pany has built a successful garden in conjunction with CMHA over the past two years at E. 33rd Street and Cedar Avenue. Mr. Frank Kidd has successfully grown produce for the pur- pose of providing healthy food to CMHA residents and has sold produce and fresh vegetables to Dave’s Supermarket. Cavotta’s Garden Center Cavotta’s Garden Center received approval for the City’s Gardening for Greenbacks Program grant to fund their expansion needs including equipment, and natural soil ingredients. Angela Cavotta is the current owner and operator of this 80 year old multi-generational family owned Garden Center and market garden located at 19603 Nottingham Road, in the Collinwood Neighborhood. The project will incorporate sustainable initiatives. To maximize revenues, the owner also plans to adopt improved farming techniques and to restore the existing greenhouses and bring them back to 365 day vegetable and fruit production, with the produce marketed on site. Central Roots, Inc. The owners of Central Roots received approval under the Gardening for Greenbacks Program to fund the purchase of tools, equipment and an irrigation system. Central Roots, LLC is an urban farm enterprise that operates on a ½ acre at 5905 Thackeray Ave and a ¾ acre at West 25th & Franklin Avenue with the goal of distributing their fruit and vegetable production through multiple channels including farmer’s markets, on-site farm stands, restaurant sales, and community supported agriculture shares. The company plans to create two full time equivalent jobs over the next three years as a result of the project. Page 9 URBAN AGRICULTURE URBAN AGRICULTURE INNOVATION ZONE . The City of Cleveland, through a variety of Public-Private Partnerships, has supported many of the projects in the Lower Kinsman Corridor. The Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone was a previous residential area, adjacent to an heavy industry area– much like the majority of the City of Cleveland with its manufacturing heritage. The area was consumed by a fire in 1976, due to low water pres- sure in the area. Only a few houses remained after the fire. The City provided funding for the envi- ronmental testing working with the USEPA to insure the area would be safe for farming adaptive reuse.
  5. 5. Page 8 CITY OF CLEVELAND URBAN AGRICULTURE INNOVATION ZONE Bistro at Bridgeport Place The City of Cleveland assisted Burten, Bell, Carr Development Inc. with a match of $40,000 to help them win an HHS grant of $759,374 to establish a fresh food production center. The aim is to improve access to fresh fruits, vegetables and nutritious meals and eliminate food deserts in underserved communities. It will feature fresh food stands, a cafe with hot meals and organic foods made from local products and a community kitchen where local farmers can clean and store produce and where chefs will hold cooking demonstrations to show residents how to prepare healthy meals. The construction for the project will begin in February and is expected to serve at least 20,000 residents in the first year and create 64 jobs for low-income residents. Rid All Green Partnership Rid All Green Partnership, a minority-owned business founded by three local entrepreneurs, Randell McShepard, Damien Sorshe, and Keymah Durden, and has become a key partner in the vision of the Urban Agricultural Innovation Zone. Their current facility uses urban agriculture to educate the next generation of Clevelanders about sustainable healthy living. The mission of Rid All Green Partnership is to transform communities by providing accessible and nutritionally rich food to improve overall health through training and educational activities. They currently harvest 150 to 200 pounds of vegetables per week during the peak growing season in the agricultural zone. They operate a self-sustaining food production system that produces over 100 pounds of tilapia and tons of vegetables per year through aquaponics, a year-round growing method. They have partnered with the West Side Market and Cleveland Food Bank to collect food waste for composting. Rid All Green Partnership is seeking to increase its capacity by expanding the space it has to operate. They are proposing to create additional hydroponics and aquaponics stations at the project site across from their current facility. This will allow them to use their existing hoop houses to grow kale, spinach, celery, and broccoli in the winter months, while the new structure will focus on tomatoes which are scarce in the Cleveland during the winter months. Page 5 URBAN AGRICULTURE GARDENING FOR GREENBACKS Erie’s Edge Farm Erie’s Edge Farm began when Molly Murray returned to Cleveland after teaching and farming in southern Ohio. In 2011, Erin Laffay also returned to Cleveland and the two women decided to partner and expand with the goal of reaching more people with organic, sustainably grown food. The farm is collaborating with Urban Growth Farm to form the Heart of the City CSA. Community Supported Agriculture is an arrangement between a farm and its customers in which customers pay up-front for a full season’s worth of produce and receive a share each week of what is harvested. CSA programs benefit the farmers by providing up-front dollars for supplies as well as a guaranteed market for what they grow. They benefit the shareholders by connecting them to the seasons, and developing a lifestyle of wellness and less energy use. Proprietors Erin Laffay and Molly Murray at their stand at the Tremont Farmer’s Market Green Urban Enterprises LLC d.b.a. Old Husher’s Farm Green Urban Enterprises LLC d.b.a Old Husher’s Farm, is a market garden located at 4790 West 130th Street. The company received the City’s Gardening for Greenbacks Program support to partially fund start up gardening related equipment, machinery, furniture and fixtures. The project uses food growth as an agent of change in an attempt to bring vacant urban land to productive reuse. In addition to incorporating green sustainability and entrepreneurial gardening initiatives, Green Urban Enterprises will also focus on creating healthy bodies through the implementation of a “community yoga in the garden” series. They sell their produce at local farmers markets and on-site during the growing season. Lucia’s Fresh Produce Ltd. Lucia’s Fresh Produce, Ltd is an urban entrepreneurial market garden located at 4204 West 24th Street, in Cleveland. They plan to harvest produce from raised beds and market their crops directly to local restaurants and residents. This market garden is owned and operated by Wilfredo and Phyllis Crespo. The company received funding approval for the City’s Gardening for Greenbacks Program to partially finance a hoop house, equipment, furniture, and fixtures necessary to operate. Lucia’s Produce Ltd will not use pesticides or herbicides in 2011, and seeks to earn the “Certified Naturally Grown” seal. The company plans to create one new job as a result of the project.
  6. 6. Page 6 CITY OF CLEVELAND URBAN AGRICULTURE INNOVATION ZONE Urban Agriculture Incubator Pilot Project: The project is a partnership of the City of Cleveland, the Ohio State Department of Agriculture, Burten, Bell, Carr Development Inc. and Ohio State University Extension- (Cuyahoga County) The project will develop six acres of City Land Bank property as an Urban Agriculture Incubator between East 81st and East 83rd Street, north of Kinsman Avenue in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood. The Extension Service received the first-ever Federal Agriculture grant for an urban location and the City received the first-ever State Agriculture grant for an urban location. As part of the local CDC’s community plan, the area in the Central neighborhood was designated for agricultural development. The site will include an instruction area where 20 prospective farmers will receive intensive training in urban agriculture, direct marketing, and business planning. The Department of Community Development will make 6 acres of land available for the program through its Land Bank program and manage the leasing of property to program participants. Each of the farmers will be provided quarter-acre market garden plots for cultivation. The Urban Agriculture Zone includes the Ridall Green Partnership and the Cooperative Extension’s Kinsman Farm, with room to grow. Page 7 URBAN AGRICULTURE Green City Growers: The City of Cleveland was the first to receive Federal and State grants for the development of urban agriculture. The City was awarded the following grants to assist Green City Growers, a local co- operative, with their $16.5 million project: (1) a $2 million BEDI Grant, (2) $8 million in HUD 108 Loan funding secured by the City, (3) $450,000 in the City’s EDA Funds, and (4) approximately $6 million in private debt and New Markets Tax Credit equity. The greenhouse will primarily produce lettuce and other leafy greens. It is expected to reach an annual production of 3 million heads. One percent of the production will be provided to the Cleveland Food Bank to be distributed throughout Cleveland’s east side. The donation is expected to provide approximately 240,000 meals annually. In addition, the project will be part of the Evergreen Initiative, which works to help lift low-income residents out of poverty. The Initiative focuses on hiring individuals from the neighborhood to become employee-owners, creating additional wealth and ownership in the community. In 10 years, the average employee is expected to have earned an ownership share valued at $65,000 in equity. The Green City Growers project expects to hire 40 local residents for the operation of the greenhouse at peak capacity. The project will target individuals with criminal records and a history of homelessness in an attempt to offer a pathway out of recidivism and poverty. The City and Green City Growers partnered with the local non-profit CDC, Burten Bell Carr Development, Inc. to assemble the individual parcels necessary for the 10-acre development site. Land assembly required the acquisition of over 30 parcels in compliance with Uniform Relocation Act regulations. The project team faced numerous challenges in moving homeowners and provided services including real estate search assistance, extermination, moving, and creative deal structures, including land swaps, in order to meet the needs of the relocated property owners. GREEN CITY GROWERS The Greenhouse under construction, May 2012.