Growing Change in Place
Urbandale Farm was established in 2010, the first agricultural venture of the Lansing Urban Farm Project (501c3). LUFP’s mission is to a) make fresh, affordable produce available to urban residents; b) develop programs that integrate food and farming into larger community-building efforts; and c) provide for economic, environmental, and cultural and social sustainability.The farm is located in the 700 block of S. Hayford in the heart of the city’s 100 year flood plain.
Since 2010 the farm has quadrupled in size and production. Today we raise and sell vegetables, flowers and herbs on five separate fields, totaling about two acres with just under an acre in production. This land has been leased to us by the Ingham County Land Bank, the City, and an individual land owner.
A 30’ x 48’ hoophouse was put up on our home field in June 2012 and allows us to raise produce year-round. It was made possible by grants from the Ingham County Land Bank and the City’s Office of Planning a Neighborhood Development (CDBG).
Our apprenticeship program, begun in 2011, is designed to teach selected area residents how to farm in an urban setting and engage with the local food system. The majority of our Apprentice Program graduates have become active urban farmers and food leaders. Stipends for the apprentices come largely through grants from the USDA via the Greater Lansing Food Bank.
2016 marks a new direction for Urbandale Farm. The Farm Manager position, previously funded by grants, is now serving to continue supporting local farmers by offering the space and time for beginning farmers to grow their own business. Urbandale Farm is currently managed by Caitlin Schneider, who was an apprentice is 2012. As well as running the apprentice program, Caitlin is incubating a small cut flower business at Urbandale Farm.
Over the last five years we have partnered with hundreds of individuals, organizations, and public and private institutions to make the most of all our local assets and talents and to build a secure food system that serves and belongs to Eastside residents. We encourage you to share your talents with us and to involve yourself in the delicious and nutritious process of place-making and community development.