A Greener Indiana

Everybody can do something to make a greener Indiana

Urban Farming/Gardening Project


Urban Farming/Gardening Project

There is a great need to develop more sustainable communityfarming/ gardening practices within urban areas to feed the most needy. In this group we are looking for land preservation strategies for community farms.

Location: Fort Wayne
Members: 51
Latest Activity: Jun 12, 2017

Discussion Forum

Self built homes 2 Replies

Started by J Benabou. Last reply by J Benabou Feb 10, 2012.

Hunger in Indiana, America 9 Replies

Started by Ellen. Last reply by Ellen Jun 16, 2011.

Amish=organic? 4 Replies

Started by Ellen. Last reply by Ellen Dec 23, 2010.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Urban Farming/Gardening Project to add comments!

Comment by K Keys on March 19, 2009 at 10:10pm
Wonderful news being announced today, the First Lady will indeed be planting an organic vegetable garden on the South Lawn of the White House. Check out the details here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/dining/19garden-web.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss#

Way to go Mrs O !!!!!!!!!
Comment by Ellen on February 5, 2009 at 12:32pm
The urban farming community of Fort Wayne would like to congatulate Indianapolis on Indy's 1st Urban Farming Forum! With an attendance of 150+ gathered together enlightened and educated to the neccessity of food security and sustainability in our communities, is really heartening.

I have posted the following to show the great deeds being done in Indy!

Growing Vegetables, Training Youth, Feeding Our Neighbors
TheUrban Farm Project
The Project
Purdue Extension-Marion County began The Urban Farm Project in Spring 2008. The project is designed to directly impact residents of the near-eastside of Indianapolis. The Urban Farm Project is dedicated to working with local youth and community leaders to increase fresh produce availability in addition to providing accessible training for urban gardeners.

Currently, the project utilizes several vacant city lots for high-yield food production. Three urban lots are owned by Riley Area Development Corporation and will be used for up to three years. We also obtained the use of two vacant lots from a local property owner. Two students from Arsenal Tech High School were hired as program apprentices, where they learn to plant, grow, and maintain gardens. The garden sites are currently producing a variety of quality produce including tomatoes, lettuce/greens, cucumbers, green beans, green onions, and peas. This produce is being utilized by the First Free Methodist Food Pantry. These food donations will supplement the pantry’s existing food supplies with fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables.

The Urban Farm Project has recently secured a land donation from First Friends Meeting in Indianapolis, IN. This generous support will allow the program to significantly expand its operations and increase its impact throughout Indianapolis in 2009. For more information on the Urban Farm Project and potential volunteer opportunities, please contact Matthew Jose, Urban Garden Program Assistant, at info@indyurbanfarm.org.
Purdue Extension-Marion County

6640 Intech Blvd., Suite 120

Indianapolis, IN 46278-2012

For Project Information:

Matthew Jose at info@indyurbanfarm.org or 317.275.9287
Contact Information
For Sponsorship Information:

Lydia Armstrong at lbootz@purdue.edu or 317.275.9274
Thank you to our sponsors...

With no less than 20 years of experience in the Fort Wayne urban community farming program, the Garden Angels and Ephraim Smiley will be gardening 10 acres this year; the challenges are immense, but not insurmountable. Sharing the bounty of fresh,natural,community grown produce with the ones most needing it is the easy part: It is getting the community active, and involved, or engaged, and committed to working these gardens, and to land preservation strategies for community gardens.
Is there in the state of Indiana an all volunteer neighborhood--based land trust that owns and manages community gardens?
And what of a Growing Power---- Growing Farmers! regional training center here in Indiana? It seems like this state has been skipped over, whereas our neighboring states like Illinois, Wisconsin,and Ohio have a regional center.
Comment by Ellen on January 27, 2009 at 1:32am
Garden Angels of Fort Wayne

The Garden Angels is a non-profit community gardening group that provides organically grown vegetables to older and low-income residents while giving local children hands-on organic gardening experience and plenty of exercise.

Here are a few items on the Garden Angels’ wish list. For more information, contact Ephraim Smiley at Maplewood Elementary School:

• Used and repairable lawn and garden equipment such as hand tools, tillers and lawnmowers
• Cricket manure
• Wheel barrow
• Seed allowance for Asian vegetables
• Fuel allowance for garden tillers
• Natural fertilizers and pesticides
• Wood ashes
• Snack allowance for children and senior citizens
• Old metal lawn chairs
• Used or repairable 8-horsepower
• Troybilt tiller
• Pedometers
• 5-10 acre plot of land for Asian vegetables Advertisement

Cupped inside his calloused hand, Ephraim Smiley cradles a few dozen seeds. Pretty ordinary to look at, the seeds are large and small; some beige or gray, a few crimson. But all of them – a pile, wrapped carefully inside a couple of pieces of crumpled newspaper – have a story.

They were a gift. Carried thousands of miles inside the pocket of a refugee from Burma.

“These seeds have been entrusted to us,” Smiley says, taking a few seeds from his hand and placing them on the table in front of him.

“He brought them all the way from Burma – thinking he wouldn’t be able to find them here. And that demonstrates the power of plants.”

Surrounding Smiley are some of his fellow gardeners – Danielle Scheeringa, Marquz Jones, Terrence Caldwell and Amber Sims – all fifth-graders at Maplewood Elementary School and all members of the Garden Angels, Smiley’s community gardening group.

“What are they?” Danielle asks, pinching one seed between her fingers.

“I’ve eaten some of these Asian vegetables,” Marquz says. “They taste pretty good with ranch.”

Smiley has a vague idea what the seed will eventually turn out to be, he says. (One of the mystery seeds is an edible gourd.)

But it won’t be long before he and the other gardeners find out for sure.

This year, Smiley and the Garden Angels – a collaborative effort among Maplewood Elementary School, Health Visions Inc., Come As You Are Community Church, Anthony and Sandy Peyton, Fort Wayne Community Fishing Club and Friends of Bethany – are planting a variety of Asian vegetables.

Asparagus bean, bitter gourd, Chinese mustard; the addition of Asian vegetables is designed to help better serve Fort Wayne’s Burmese community. In return, several Burmese farmers are helping the Garden Angels plant vegetables in their 200-foot garden near Tillman and Hessen Cassel roads.

“We’ve got Burmese families struggling in this community,” Maplewood Elementary School Principal Frank Kline says. “It’s our responsibility to give them the opportunities to become self-sufficient. That’s the American Dream. And bringing the Burmese into this community gardening project makes them a part of the community and gives them a little piece of what many of the rest of us have been given.”

In the field, farmers (the majority of whom are women) crouch side by side with the children, planting broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes, okra, turnip greens, and several varieties of lettuce. Occasionally, they experiment with Smiley’s recycled gardening inventions – plows made from old bicycles, compost sifters formed out of old clothes dryers. The concept of recycling is nothing new to them, Smiley says.

“The Burmese farmers use what they have,” he says. “And in that way, they are very similar to us. Being recycling and organic gardeners, we believe in not letting anything go to waste. And you can see the care these farmers put into every seed they plant.”

The Asian vegetables and the more familiar organic vegetables the gardening group grows every year are given to local senior citizens and other families in need. But they will also be on sale to the general public on Saturday mornings from July to August in the parking lot at League for the Blind & Disabled, 5821 S. Anthony Blvd.

“It feels good to offer people healthy food,” Garden Angel Terrence Caldwell says. “So they don’t have to choose between paying for food and paying for medications.

And the Burmese have their own style, their own way of planting. Maybe the food will taste better if we use their techniques, too.”

The Garden Angels are hoping one day to expand their program – currently the largest community gardening program in northeast Indiana – to include a separate plot of land for local Burmese families, Smiley says.

“Working with the farmers has changed our outlook,” he says. “This is the tip of the iceberg. We want to help the local Burmese farmers find land they can farm commercially. Right now, some of these families are struggling. But, eventually, their farming will benefit everyone.”

Comment by Ellen on January 26, 2009 at 2:32pm
This might be of interest to you, Bernie Dahl:

Urban Agriculture College
Written by Kiki Hubbard
Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Urban agriculture is hitting the classroom. And we're not just talking about school gardens and farms, which are getting a lot of attention these days.

We're talking about a Chicago technical school and its new urban agriculture program. Daley College's West Side Technical Institute is working with the Chicago Botanic Garden to offer students six months of training in greenhouse agriculture, a three-month paid internship in the field, and lessons in distributing and selling a product. The program hopes to accept its first 15 students in January.

The people behind the program say the goal is to give students skills to grow their own food and feed nearby residents. They hope graduates will move on to do great things in urban agriculture, be it rooftop gardens, urban greenhouses, or urban landscaping.

Source: Associated Press
Comment by ephraim smiley on January 20, 2009 at 10:05am
The Garden Angels recycle gas powered lawn and garden equipment in Fort Wayne at 3511 S.Lafayette Street/ The Lafayette Bait Store. We support our community gardening efforts with the recycling.
Comment by Ellen on January 18, 2009 at 11:51am
Hi Cara, I posted a comment about Capital City Garden Project of Indianapolis (CCGP) that is a participant of the Plant A Row For the Hungry(PAR) of Garden Writers Assoc. of America(GWA) in site tips/tricks/questions on the discussion "urban farming" started by Eric. I have tried to contact CCGP several times to see if all CCGP gardens are still active, but have not gotten any response from the contacts posted. So this site is either removed, had it's name changed, or is unavailable. If you or anybody else has any idea of what is going on with the program CCGP, please, by all means post it!
Comment by Mrs. Cara Dafforn on January 18, 2009 at 8:05am
As you pour through your seed books and dream of spring... consider this resource "Planting a row for the Hungry" or the PAR program featured here
Comment by Bernie Dahl on January 18, 2009 at 2:27am
I intend to engage some students in a local (Lafayette) urban agriculture research/design project this spring semester. I you would like to participate in the project of would like to offer any advise, please let me know either here or at bdahl@purdue.edu. Or if you know of an active group or community that is eager to get some planning/design assistance, send be a name and contact info. Thanks

Members (51)


Feed from Indiana Living Green Magazine

Reface Don't Replace

Refacing is greener than replacing - ecocountertopsusa.com

Reface! Don't Replace!

© 2018   Created by Eric Stallsmith.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service