The Origins of REALNEO
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Rest in Peace,
Welcome to the Star Suburban Farming Institute
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 10/25/2008 - 11:51.
As we develop the infrastructure to reinvent our food systems to provide significantly more healthy, local foods to the residents of Northeast Ohio, there are needs for many types of facilities, programs, services and areas of research and development. One area of R&D Star Neighborhood Development intends to spearhead is for suburban farming - how do we optimize suburban land, spaces and structures for suburban residents to maximize the food value added to their communities. Where costs for land are high, and greenspace is scarce, like in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and many other suburbs of Cleveland, local farming will happen through farming reuse of surplus property that does become available, like out-of-commission schools and shopping centers, and farming of government and private property by "sharecroppers" and property owners alike.
To learn how to do this best, within a specific community, and educate people in the community on how and why to focus effort and attention on local food, there must be educational and program development facilities, and demonstration sites and local research centers. Star Neighborhood Development proposes two such local foods community research and development facilities for the suburbs of Cleveland, in two surplus schools in Cleveland Heights - Coventry Elementary and Milliken School.
Shown on the header of the day today, the Milliken site offers many acres of cleared, flat, open space - paved and grassed - and over an acre of flat rooftop, and over an acre of interior space, and many acres of woods, offering an excellent range of growing environments in which to develop best practices for high yield farming of every type to be encountered in this type of place - a NEO suburb. The objective at this site will be to experiment with different strategies of farming to maximize the food value added under different growing conditions - which are similar to what will be experienced by suburban farmers working in this region.
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