We love farming in the city. It feels like we’re right in the middle of things, eking out a living from small plots in the middle of the bustle. We get to talk to people about what we’re doing on the daily. It feels hectic and vibrant.
But there are lots of challenges that come with growing in an urban area. Water access is expensive and dependent entirely on neighbors. It’s noisy and hot. And land is expensive.
This is the biggest challenge for us as city farmers- land here is relatively scarce, and is valued for residential and commercial development, not agriculture. Even if we could afford to buy land, we couldn’t afford to pay taxes on it. We’re fortunate enough to have found many land owners who are willing to lease us land for free, but the condition is always this: only until we can find something better to do with it. If landowners decide to sell or build, we’re out. All our work on building soil is lost, and we’re forced to move on. We’ve been fortunate to not have this happen too often, but we’re nervous about the future. Many of our sites unlikely to be ours in a few years.
So we’re asking for help. Do you own land in or near the city? Do you know folks who do? Is there a vacant lot near you screaming for someone to use it? If so, let us know.
Here are our criteria:
- Land must be at least a full lot- side yards are rarely large enough to make it worth it for us to use.
- The farther from our hubs (South Minneapolis and Frogtown) the land is, the larger the parcel needs to be to be useful
- We can use anything up to two acres, no more than 20 minutes from the city.
- Water must be available on-site (we reimburse for water usage)
- A minimum of 3 years land tenure, preferably more long-term.
If you know of a piece of land that fits these criteria, let us know. We’re always happy to learn about new opportunities, and if we can’t use it ourselves, we might know of someone who can.