Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mayor Ballard Announces Urban Farms Expansion at 2nd Annual Indy Urban Farming Forum

Land Bank Property to be Made Available for Neighborhoods to Grow Food

Consistent with his priority to make Indianapolis one of the most sustainable cities in the Midwest, Mayor Greg Ballard kicked off the 2nd Annual Urban Farming Forum tonight with the announcement that the City will now make some vacant property managed by the Indianapolis Land Bank available for urban gardens. This new urban garden program is a joint effort between the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Department of Metropolitan Development, and the Indianapolis Land Bank.

“My hope is that by making these vacant properties available for the purposes of growing food, we will see an increase in the number of urban gardens in Indianapolis,” said Mayor Ballard.

Held in the Garfield Park Arts Center, the public forum attended by more than 100 people discussed urban gardening and farming in Indianapolis. The event was organized by the City of Indianapolis’ Office of Sustainability and Brownfields program.

Urban farming and urban gardening is growing food, mainly fruits and vegetables, in an urban setting instead of a conventional rural farm. It can be as simple as growing tomatoes in your backyard, participating in a community garden, or as a small-scale farm in an urban setting.

There is a growing urban farming movement in Indianapolis. This event highlighted some of the urban farming organizations in Indianapolis and served as a resource for groups or individuals who want to get started growing food in an urban setting. An urban gardening section is now available at the SustainIndy Web site, www.sustainindy.org.

Those in attendance learned about the importance of safe soils, what community development corporations are doing to encourage urban gardening, how people are growing food to feed the hungry and also what the city is doing to support urban farming.

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