Ohio City Farm
The Ohio City Farm is one of the country’s largest contiguous urban farm at nearly 6 acres. The 2010 ground-breaking was made possible through a partnership between Ohio City Incorporated and The Refugee Response and Great Lakes Brewing Company and the generous support of Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) and Councilman Joe Cimperman. The Farm continues to be a public/private partnership managed by Ohio City Incorporated in collaboration with CMHA and all Ohio City Farm tenants.
The Ohio City Farm is designed to incubate entrepreneurial farm businesses and support workforce development programs. Ohio City Farm provides urban farmers with low-cost land, shared facilities and technical assistance and is designed to develop and support entrepreneurial farmers. Incubator farm tenants are expected to run economically viable businesses and provide financial information on their operations.
The Riverview site, over looking Downtown Cleveland and one-block from the West Side Market, remained vacant for 10-years prior to the Farm development.
Constructed in 1963, Riverview Terrace sits on top of a hillside looking over Cuyahoga River with dramatic views of Downtown Cleveland and Lake Erie. Originally, the site contained ten low-rise residential buildings with 135 units, in addition to the current fifteen-story high-rise tower with 644 units for elderly residents. In an effort to create a mixed-income housing development, CMHA applied and received a Hope VI grant, plans were developed between 1996-1998, to demolish the low-rise buildings and construct a new mixed income development. The buildings were demolished in 2000 paving the way for the unveiling for the new mixed-income development. It wasn’t until 2008 – 2009 when several community leaders in urban agriculture, City of Cleveland joined CMHA leadership in an effort to evaluate the feasibility of the land being transformed into a potential site for an urban garden or farm.
CMHA Green Teams include residents from various housing estates who participate in a work-study program, led by Landscape Specialist Brittany Barski, who works with residents interested in urban farming and gardening. Residents learn the skills to cultivate healthy soil, organic planting methods and harvest schedules that will lay a foundation to one day allow residents to start their own farms.
Central Roots is a for-profit market farm with locations on the East and West side of Cleveland, and was founded in the summer of 2010 by Sarah Sampsell, Matthew Pietro, and Todd Alexander. This one acre site produces a mixture of produce from beans and beets, to pumpkins and spinach. The site is home to a High Tunnel Hoop House that will give Central Roots the ability to extend its growing season and sell for more months out of the year.
Cleveland Crops is an agricultural training and workforce development enterprise established by Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Its purpose is to create employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. This entrepreneurial venture grows and sells fresh fruits and vegetables, bringing healthy food choices to the local Cleveland market.
Great Lakes Brewing Company (GLBC), comprised of a brewery and a brewpub and located right around the corner from Ohio City Farm, was founded in 1988 by brothers Pat and Dan Conway as the first microbrewery in the state of Ohio. The Ohio City Farm is GLBC’s second farming venture after Pint Size Farm at Hale Farm and Village (established in 2008) in support of their triple bottom line: environmental, social and economic prosperity.
The Refugee Response (TRR) empowers refugees to become self-sufficient and contributing members of their new communities. The Refugee Empowerment Agricultural Program (REAP), an initiative of the Refugee Response, nourishes the community with local food and empowers resettled refugee trainees in Northeast Ohio providing them with employment, education, and training.