Started in 2010, the Urban Farm, located at 1209 Smith Street in Columbia, is 1.3 acres large and packed full of vegetables, fruits, chickens, native plants, insects, and friendly folks. Two-thirds of an acre is devoted solely to vegetable production. All food grown at the Urban Farm is donated to local hunger relief outlets. In 2017, we were able to donate over 17,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to families in need, through our Planting for the Pantry Program. Our farm also hosts thousands of visitors every year through our PLANTS Program, and events like our Harvest Hootenanny, many being exposed to agriculture for the first time.
The purpose of the Urban Farm is to break down the common notion that where we live should be geographically and intentionally distant from where our food is produced. Although this is a relatively new idea (ask your grandma – if she is a Missouri native she most likely grew up with a radically different understanding of where food comes from than youngsters of today), it is terrifyingly pervasive. Did you know that most elementary school kids think that food comes from the store?! No, it comes from the land! And not from just a far-away land: it can come from that old vacant lot around the corner from your home. Stop by the Urban Farm and learn about our intensive production methods and get your own case of urban farming fever.
A few notable details about the place if you just can’t make it (but, really, what’s five minutes?):
- We grow organically; however, we are not certified. BUT that doesn’t mean that we don’t live and breathe sustainable farming practices. COME OUT to the Farm to experience for yourself what being on an ecologically sustainable farm looks and feels like.
- We love manure and (specific forms of) trash. We are ardent composters. We collect food scraps from downtown restaurants and horse bedding from Stephen’s stables and make the original black gold out if it: humus. If you want, we’ll take your personal kitchen scraps to our pile, too.
- We have bugs! Boy, do we have bugs! With so much plant diversity, life is literally crawling back to this 1.3 acre lot. Cityscapes hurt ecosystems because most plants and animals cannot live within the confines of our concrete jungles; but our little farm is turning back into the oasis it used to be.
- We also have birds: the wild kinds that flock to the farm to eat the bugs (that came in the first place to eat our plants!) and those domesticated farm birds, too. That’s right: we have chickens! We are the “chicken pound,” home for Columbia’s lost, forgotten, and wayward chickens. They have lots of grass and veggies to eat and lots of room to stretch out their wings. The chickens are easily the biggest stars of our farm and they show it; when it gets hot here, like it always does, they turn into a bunch of divas…
That is only the tip of the iceberg. Interested in learning more? Stop by or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.