First Urban Farm Coming to Fort Wayne


Published 04/03 2014 03:22PM

Updated 04/03 2014 03:41PM

Imagine taking a walk in Southeast Fort Wayne and seeing rows of vegetables and fruit right beside apartment buildings and houses.  This is called an urban farm and City Officials have announced plans to create the first one for Fort Wayne and they expect to have it ready for planting season right around the corner.

Residents say they are excited that the city is doing something with this vacant land.

"I think it's nice that they're doing this for us."

The location of 26 acres on Stardale and Radcliff Drives is on purpose.  Deputy Director of Community Development Heather Presley-Cowen explains.

"The area that we're proposing it in, happens to be an area known as a food desert which means people there that live in those neighborhoods have to drive quite a ways in order to get fresh fruit and vegetables, get produce."

Ashley Sewell lives in the community and says driving for groceries is hard when you don't have transportation.

"I think it will be helpful.  You know you don't have to really drive anywhere if you don't have cars.  A lot of people around here really don't so it's walking distance."

The new market would be across the street and Sewell says it's important to have healthy food available for her son.

"I think it's very thrilling, ya know.  He loves fruit, I like fruit."

Right now Presley-Cowen says they will just do a trial of 2 acres and will begin taking applications in 2 weeks from farmers interested in harvesting the land.

"Asking for experienced farmers to come to us with proposals, business plan proposals to help develop those properties and start making them produce."

Each participating farmer will be under a 3 year lease, and responsible for the days and times they want to sell their produce.

If this urban farm is a success, the city say they will try to put additional urban farms throughout the city.

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