Little Artshram has supported community gardening in the Traverse City area since 2004, and created the Urban Farming Collective in March of 2009.
Our mission and dedicated work for community gardening and now with our Urban Farming Collective, is to bring people of all ages, together to create neighborhood and community garden-farm sites, transform unproductive lawns and vacant lots into neighborhood food gardens for the purposes of education, research, community building and improving food security. In addition to our goal of improving food security within the city, we assist local food pantries and soup kitchens with fresh produce, provide garden-based education to local participants and empower members with food self-reliance.
Our urban garden farming roots have been firmly established with Little Artshram’s leadership and support, through the mending, tending and transformation that took place from 2004 to 2011 at the only city and township owned property former farm-site on the old State Hospital grounds in Traverse City.
Through the care-taking and visionary efforts of Little Artshram and it’s various dedicated board members and teaching/apprentice staff, this single, longtime community garden, from the first year of being little more than grassland, has bloomed into what is now becoming a thriving, centrally located community garden site within the combined plans for development of the Historic Barns Park, 56 acre site.
Little Artshram gradually, expanded to offer more than two dozen community garden plots, created garden growing space and food for dozens of families, and brought hundreds of people to this community owned site. The success and positive feedback at this site, over the past seven years, and the need to expand community gardens and urban farming has taken off like wild-fire. The UFC was born to address those needs, and, with Little Artshram’s support, is now turning to the effort through our shared mission of building an ever-expanding guild structure to create more community gardening and urban farming opportunities all over Traverse City.
As of June, 2012, in addition to the community garden at the Historic Barns Park (formerly referred to as the old State Hospital Farm) we have three garden farm sites in the Central, Slabtown and Bohemia neighborhoods, in Traverse City and are discussing ways to develop those models further in 2013, so that we can share it with your neighborhood! We hope to see an Urban Farming Collective in every neighborhood in Traverse City!
The UFC is a project of Little Artshram, with the organizational support of O’k CSA which is developing an inclusive leadership gardening guild at the first three garden-farm sites, as a model to be expanded and mimicked. Our mission is to gather community to organize a community garden-farm site in each neighborhood, and transform unproductive yards and vacant lots into productive food gardens. We already see a multiplying effect of this project which is staggering. The community comes together to learn about gardening, build gardens, harvest the food and enjoy the bounty together. The environment benefits as local food off-sets imported food. The poor benefit as healthy food is made accessible. The neighborhood benefits as once quiet, unproductive lawns, or a vacant, over-grown lot begins to thrive with life and becoming a vibrant positive place to gather with neighbors.
As of June, 2012, in addition to plots we tend at the community garden at the Historic Barns Park (formerly referred to as the old State Hospital Farm) we have three gardens in the Central, Slabtown and Bohemia neighborhoods, in Traverse City and are discussing ways to develop those models further in 2013, so that we can share it with your neighborhood! We hope to see an Urban Farming Collective in every neighborhood in Traverse City!
Contact us at email@example.com
Directly contact the O’k CSA garden-farm sites at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks in advance for helping us bring Traverse City neighborhoods together to grow and share food.
The Urban Farm Collective is a project of Greater Lansing ARTSPACE, d/b/a Little Artshram a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that will work to accept donated land and hold it in perpetuity as agricultural land, for the purposes of education and research into sustainable agriculture. This partnership plan will continue to provide the UFC and Little Artshram with the ability to accept tax-exempt charitable contributions and grants. The UFC is looking for land in all Traverse City neighborhoods and gardeners of all experience levels, from seasoned veterans to total beginners. Come grow with us!