NEO Food Study- What 25% Localization Means

Michael Shuman, project director for the Northeast Ohio Local Food System Assessment and Plan, talks about what it means to achieve a 25% localization of the NEO food system. He makes the important point that localization spans across the almost 60 sectors of the local food economy and should not be exclusively focused on raw foodstuffs. In some sectors of our food economy, there already is significant localization and local business ownership already. Farming and ranching are two areas where there is a significant gap between what is consumed locally and what is produced locally. About 35% of the potential jobs in a 25% localization would come in farming and ranching activities.

Central Community Cooperative

This video details efforts in the Central neighborhood of Cleveland to establish a cooperative to provide better food access in this food desert neighborhood. The Central Community Cooperative project emerged out of a student project to identify business opportunities to meet unmet needs within the neighborhood. Here current and past students of Cuyahoga Community College describe their efforts to establish a cooperative that combines volunteerism, affordable food access, and connections to broader urban agriculture projects in their neighborhood.

2010 First Year of the Stanard Urban Farm

The Stanard Farm is a unique urban agriculture project taking place at the former site of the Stanard School on the east side of Cleveland. The farm was established in 2010 around where the school buiilding once sat. The school was recently de-constructed, with many of the bricks utilized for urban gardens around Cleveland, including brick walkways at the Stanard site. The farm is opearted by the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD). The CCBDD works to identify employment opportunties for adults with various developmental disabilities (autism, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, etc.). In a tough economy, adults with these challenges find it particularly difficult to find employment. The CCBDD hired about 8 adults to work on the 1 acre Stanard Farm. They have a vision of eventually operating 10 urban farm sites across Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, ultimately providing employment to 50 individuals. Plans are also being considered to incorproate food processing and preservation that could add another 50 potential jobs to the community. In addition to employment, the farm provides a unique space where the farm workers can connect with the neighborhood and local community.

Urban Growth Farm

Peter McDermott talks about Urban Growth, a 1/3 acre urban farm on the west side of Cleveland owned by the Urban Community School. Peter reflects on his connection with the land in the neighborhood where he grew up and went to school. Peter introduces some of the techniques utilized to maximize production on a limited plot of land, including Small Plot INtensive (SPIN) farming,permaculture, and techniques developed by organic farmer Elliot Coleman. Peter also talks about his work promoting stronger regional networks and leadership around local food systems through his work with Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (E4S) and

Origins of Local Roots

The members of Local Roots received the 2010 Local Hero Award from Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Robert Boggs. Opening their doors for operations only in January of 2010, Local Roots has grown quickly from 12 to 500 members, including 110 participating farmers. Local Roots was established through a collaboration with the Wayne County Commissioners who made the empty storefront available to the establishment of the cooperative. Learn about how Local Roots all began when people were having trouble finding food for Thanksgiving dinner in farm country. 

How Local Roots Works

This video breaks down how local food operates. Hear operations manager Jessica Barkheimer describe the flow of activities that support this dynamic cooperative market space. Local Roots was established by and is run by all volunteers. Meet some of the youngest volunteers and learn about some of the financial and management background of the operation. Jessica shares her views on how the Local Roots model can be replicated.

Farmers of Local Roots Cooperative

This short film introduces some of the farmers around greater Wayne County to supply the Local Roots Cooperative in downtown Wooster. Farmers and consumers are both member-owners in this hybrid cooperative. The cooperative has 110 producer-members that provide a wide-range of products to the cooperative: produce, meats, processed and baked goods, fiber, personal care, and artisan goods. Farmers get to set-up their own display spaces within the cooperative and get to set their own prices. Local Roots also provides a year-round market which has enabled farmers to extend their growing season. Beyond a place for selling local foods, farmers participate in the many educational programs through Local Roots, ranging from cooking demonstrations to gardening workshops.

Case Western Reserve University Farm

This video captures the beginnings of a new local farm initiative through a collaboration between Case Western Reserve University and Bon Appetit Management Company. Located on the university's Squire Valleevue and Valley Ridge Farms, about 25 minutes east of their main campus, Christopher Bond, campus horticulturalist, describes their first efforts to grow food for use in university dining halls. Bond describes the high degree of student involvement to support the initiative and future efforts to link with different departments on campus to foster the educational potential for the farm. In the background, Tunnel-Vision-Hoops, a greenhouse construction company started by three urban farmers from Cleveland, installs a high-tunnel to extend seasonal production on the farm. The greenhouse was a joint investment between the university and Bon Appetit.

Affinity Groups: Higher Education
Cleveland Green Corps Program

The Cleveland Green Corps program provides experiential education for more than 80 9th and 10th grade youth from across Cleveland. With five neighborhood-based learning gardens, students learn a variety of growing and marketing techniques while enhancing skills in teamwork, scientific literacy, and communications. Food raised at the gardens is sold at area farmers markets and road-stands operated at some of the garden sites. The students also process "Ripe from Downtown" salsa which utilizes food grown from the gardens.