Farmer in the city

Dateline: Thu 10 Jun 2010

Indianapolis Business Journal has an amazing story by Norm Heikens about Matthew Jose, 26, who is farming in Center Township for profit.  Under the name of Big City Farms LLC, he's working small plots of ground near Cottage Home and Holy Cross neighborhoods (think Michigan and Oriental), growing vegetables for restaurants including City Cafe and R Bistro, two Downtown establishments.

What a cool story.

The guy went to North Central High School and Wesleyan University, where he dropped out to work on farms. He is the son of an attorney and a hospital chaplain. Now he has 10 vacant lots, or about an acre of land.

 He anticipates about $30,000 in sales, the vast majority of which is profit, writes Heikens. About 25 percent of his $30,000 will come from the restaurants; the rest is from annual memberships ($650 for a family of 4, $375 for two). Consumers can pick up  produce from a Big City Farm lot once a week.

What a concept. The back-to-earth food movement, emphasizing local producers, just keeps growing. Literally.

Comments

hendy [Member] said:

Great concept. Sustainable farming, urban land use.

Isn't it ironic that the burbs are turning back into farm land?

My grandmother regaled me of stories of riding a horse to school. She went down the path of what became 38th St, which was almost the edge of town....

2010-06-10 14:12:20

ruthholl [Member] said:

Yes, it is all really interesting.
Another point made in the story -- he could use some old farming tools, because the ones made for today's operation are large-scale. Bring back the plow, and your grandmother's horse while we're at it!
I think in general we waste out land. Will never forget our German exchange student, the first time we pulled into our driveway on Frederick -- off Hoover and 75h. He could not quit gaping at the big yards. I later asked him what he was looking at, and he said he could not understand why we were not all growing kartoffle -- potatoes -- since we had so much room.
More potatoes, more vodka, I say.

2010-06-10 14:50:23

Marycatherine Barton [unverified] said:

Will read the story and try to get hold of the young men, Ruth. Thanks.

I hope that the City will let me use my fenced front yard, where there is plenty of sunshine, for a vegetable garden, especially with all the predictions from Gerald Celente, Paul Craig Roberts, and many, many others, of Greater Depression and terrible world war plans. The wise avoid Monsanto, and use heirloom seeds, eh.

2010-06-10 19:00:53

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I like the concept. I use Your Neighbor's Garden frequently. But $650 for a year? Is he freaking kidding me? Who can afford that?

2010-06-10 20:16:30

hendy [Member] said:

Ah, I see you don't have children.....TTT.

2010-06-10 20:47:00

ruthholl [Member] said:

I love your neighbor's garden -- he had free sugar snap peas last weekend, and the tomatoes and strawberries were only $4 a lb or a pint.
We all need to support whatever urban gardens that exist. Remember the big flap when Christel de Haan built her manse on Michigan Road, and she pushed out all those city gardeners?
Mary Catherine, front-yard gardens are the new in thing. There is one on Westfield Blvd. near Butler University along the canal. Check it out. I don't think the city can tell you "no"


































2010-06-11 01:52:39

ruthholl [Member] said:

I love your neighbor's garden -- he had free sugar snap peas last weekend, and the tomatoes and strawberries were only $4 a lb or a pint.
We all need to support whatever urban gardens that exist. Remember the big flap when Christel de Haan built her manse on Michigan Road, and she pushed out all those city gardeners?
Mary Catherine, front-yard gardens are the new in thing. There is one on Westfield Blvd. near Butler University along the canal. Check it out. I don't think the city can tell you "no"


































2010-06-11 01:52:39

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

My kids are grown, Hendy.

But $650 for a membership fee is still a lot. I'll do the farmers; markets for free, thank you very much.

2010-06-11 05:49:43

Marycatherine Barton [unverified] said:

Cool! Many thanks for the encouragement, Ms Ruth.

2010-06-12 01:31:21

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