Videos tagged as 'urban-rural interface'

Urban and Rural Cooperation

Jim Converse and Pat Rosenthal from Common Wealth in Youngstown describe their efforts to link urban and rural communities through their north-side farmers market and planned food incubator. Converse describes how their farmers market has both re-vitalized the Wick Park neighborhood. The farmers market has brought a variety of rural and urban growers together. The farmers market itself has provided the seed-bed out of which their community food incubator and shared-used kitchen facility grew. Converse and Rosenthal also reflect on how farmers markets and their incubator provide a space where rural and urban populations can gain more mutual respect. A we look to grow our regional food system, fostering quality urban and rural interactions will be critical.

Local Food Systems and the New Ohio Economy

Casey Hoy, Kellogg endowed chair of the AgroEcosystems Management Program at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, describes how agriculture in Ohio has had a historic orientation toward export-oriented production. While Ohio began as a largely rural and farm-based economy in the 1800's, Hoy notes that urban populations have since moved in. However, there are still many un-explored economic connections that can be created between Ohio's urban centers and the surrounding rural areas. Hoy looks to local food systems as creating a significant growth space in regional economic systems at a time that the global economy has become less stable and reliable. He describes the unique ecologies of Ohio and how they can support a wide variety of diverse foods. 

Affinity Groups: Economic Development
Rural Communities and Regional Economic Development

Brian Gwin serves as a project manager for the Wayne County Economic Development Council. Gwin describes the importance of rural land-use and agriculture in shaping a stronger regional economy in Northeast Ohio. He talks about greater Wayne County, including the southern tier of counties in Northeast Ohio, as one of the most productive agricultural areas in the state. The diverse landscapes and prevalence of horse-drawn farm operations create a variety of agricultural products that could feed urban markets. He notes that every time a new barn gets built, the agricultural mystique of the area is preserved, benefiting both tourism and the agricultural economy. How can we connect stronger local food markets in cities like Cleveland with robust farm economies in rural counties like Wayne County?

Northeast Ohio and Creating a 21st Century Food System

During a visit with the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition in 2008, author and life-stime community food activist Mark Winne posits that Cleveland and Ohio are in a position to create a model for regional food self-reliance that can serve as a model for the nation. To get there, Winne describes the need to get a strong and diverse mix of farms and markets to make it happen. He recognizes the importance of, but also the limitations of farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture programs alone in creating regional food self-reliance. He suggests that a strong mix of small, medium-sized farms that can serve a variety of markets. Ultimately, the environmental sustainability of farms and the overall food system will be central to the longevity of our food systems.

Natural Wealth of Northeast Ohio

Darren Doherty, an international permaculture expert from Australia, takes a few minutes during a permaculture design certification training in Oberlin, to share some perspectives on local food systems in Northeast Ohio. He describes how Northeast Ohio has among the strongest natural assets in the world to support a regenerative local agricultural system. He describes how the key opportunity for creating a more regenerative food system in Northeast Ohio lies in creating economic connections between farms and the small towns and cities in the region. 

Linking the Town and the Country

The screen on this video is blank for the first 30 seconds, so be patient! In this video, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) in Toledo talks about her history growing up around her father's small business, an independent produce and meat dealer. She describes the impact of consolidation in the food industry and its effects on small farmers and small businesses. She talks about how difficult it is for many smaller and independent producers to access growing larger. "Our whole food system has become a transportation system," she observes, describing how our urban and rural communities have become disconnected. Shouldn't the country be the lifeblood of the surrounding towns and cities? Kaptur discusses some of the initiatives she has taken to create markets for independent businesses and producers, including the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. 

Urban Agrarian Commons

We travel to the Stuart's Place near the Wick Park neighborhood area in downtown Youngstown, near the Youngstown State University. Pat Rosenthal, Executive Director and Jim Converse, Community Development Director of Common Wealth, Inc. take us through a recently acquired property. The property includes several upstairs apartments and an old warehouse space and restaurant. Jim and Pat are working on an effort to re-purpose these properties to create a mixed-used facility that includes a food coop, a restaurant, and a community food incubator. The space will serve both urban and rural entrepreneurs, providing an outlet to process and preserve agricultural surplus from rural farmers and to support small enterprises for urban residents. Their vision for the space reveals the importance of connecting the needs of both urban and rural communities. Their space will provide an asset to serve the neighbors in the area while fostering new connections with the broader Mahoning Valley region. Their site also includes an urban demonstration site being developed for education and training by a farmer from Geneva. 

Goodness Grows in North Lima

This short video shows a collaboration between Flying High in Youngstown Ohio and Goodness Grows, a non-profit organization focused on promoting regenerative agriculture and food systems. Goodness Grows is part of the Common Ground Church in North Lima, which is located on the former site of the 20 acre Mellinger Landscaping company. The collaboration featured here shows how the farm is used to teach basic business skills and micro-enterprise development to ex-offenders who are receiving their GED's and moving toward higher education or stable employment. Pastor Steve Fortenberry talks about the efforts to link his faith community with broader efforts to connect job training with local agriculture. It also provides an example of how rural and urban communities can collaborate.