Since the inception of the idea to build an organic foodsouce
for our community, the project has evolved; changing from
an organic garden...
...to a fully organic urban foodsouce for the
Crowley Park Community, local pre-schools & schools,
low income, the elderly, and anyone willing to help farm the land.
Through the generousity of City of Dearborn, Mayor John C. O'Rielly, the Dearborn City Council, and with the help of John Cascardo, TheGoingGreenFoundation.org now has to 2.5 acres of land to develop a Sustainable Organic Farm at Crowley Park in Dearborn, Michigan.
TheGoingGreenFoundation.org, with the help of sustainable landscape architect Tom Vanderworp, developed a 3 phase plan that will provide the community with a sustainable organic farm and low cost or free organic produce. The farm will serve to educate and feed the community for many generations. It is our hope that this pilot urban farm inspires other communities to join us in our efforts towards a sustainable future. Our goal is to make this process repeatable so that other communities can accomplish the same thing. We will be documenting and sharing everything we learn along the way, so check back often or contact us.
Phase 1 starts initially with raised bed gardens that will be used to grow a variety of vegetables grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. We have also started the process for Organic Certification. Once crop rows are started in later phases, the raised bed gardens will be used for the Herb, Healing, Senior, and Childrens Gardens. The next steps in Phase 1 are The Entrance Way, porous pavers, recycled benches, purgolas, and a pagoda. We will also start the process of amending the soil for phase 2 and 3 by planting cover crops.
Cover crops will be planted and a majority of the farm's growing area will be allowed to lay fallow while periodically tilling in compost and re-planting cover crops. TheGoingGreenFoundation.org intends to implement a compost tumbler project in our neighborhood to enable local residents to donate their vegetable scraps, egg shells, and yard waste in support of soil amendment of 2.5 acres of compacted soil with low organic and nutrient content.
Phase 2 will include an educational center and greenhouse. This phase also brings the introduction of fruit and nut trees. We will be integrating solar power and our large underground cistern for automated irrigation in Phase 2 as well. The soil amendment process continues throughout Phase 2 with sections being planted as they become able to support crops and irrigation delivery systems are expanded.
The purpose of the educational center is to educate children and our community in sustainable practices, conservation, and growing organic foods as well as the health benefits of good nutrition.
We complete the planting of the 2.5 acres during phase 3. We build 2nd pagoda and storage shed, purchase a electric vehicle that will be used for matinence and will continue to be a pilot for other communities to build a sustainable, healthy, organic, foodsouce.
TheGoingGreenFoundation.org has started planning initiatives to implement sustainable systems at the adjacent Crowley Park Pool and Long Elementary School. Some of the organic produce from the farm is already slated to go to the school. We hope that the sustainable systems for all three of these locations can be combined reducing the cost for all three locations and starting a huge green footprint in the Crowley Park Neighborhood. What's more sustainable than synergy? Conservation, also very important for sustainable systems to be effective.
It is out intent to help residents of our neighborhood implement low cost, easy to use, do-it-yourself systems that will start saving money for them right away without great expense to get them working. We also intend to negotiate collective bargaining with vendors, search for grants, and attempt to find sponsorship to help reduce the costs of bringing sustainability to our neighborhood.
Michigan State University as well as many Master Gardeners we know have been a huge help in planning for this project. The advice we received regarding community gardening and urban farm management was instrumental in allowing us to avoid the many pitfalls of community driven farming.
We have learned much about community co-operative gardening and it's pitfalls and some solutions from University of Michigan's Dearborn Campus Community Organic Garden as well as a long list of individuals and community based efforts we have ran across along the way. Long term volunteer driven community projects like this can be daunting, but we feel that we have developed a plan that will work. The information shared by many via the Internet have been invaluable in planning and research for this garden. Without the Internet and co-operation of others this project would not be a reality.
Here at TheGoingGreenFoundation.org, we have put alot of thought into ways of managing the resources of the farm to keep the costs associated with producing vegetables down. The farm will eventually generate revenue to pay the salaries of the permanent staff associated with the project like the farm manager and other incidental expenses that are invariably encountered. The Farm will sell produce at local farmers markets and receive support through ShareCropper Organic Raised Bed Garden donors and sponsors.
The ShareCropper Organic Raised Beds will contain rich amended organic soil, have an automated irrigation system, and hoop house covers (so plants can be started early and to extend the season). The beds can be sponsored for the growing season and allow locally grown organic produce in west Dearborn at a signifigantly cheaper cost than buying from an organic distributor or market as well as being able to say they grew them green!
These raised bed gardens can be farmed by someone appointed (and paid) by the Sponsor of the bed, like a master gardener or green thumbed kitchen staff; as long as they adhere to our organic policies. Alternatively, farm staff can maintain the raised bed gardens for the season for a fee.
This project will:
Please show your support by getting active with what's going on in your own neighborhood or starting something positive and socially responsible.
We are all in this together.
Last Updated on Saturday, 03 November 2012 05:33