Think about your favorite vegetable. Maybe a peppery bunch of arugula, or your Grandma’s famous collard greens- before they land in your Doorganics bin, would you recognize even the most familiar of plants?

CityFarmers

Here in Michigan, we are lucky to reap the benefits of city life as well as beautiful agricultural bounty, and as a Doorganics customer, you have access to the freshest local produce as well as the farmers who grow it. Now, we are proud to partner with a new style of farm whose benefits can be seen in your bin and beyond.

Urban farming is an initiative which is gaining footing across the nation, but especially right here in Grand Rapids. An overgrown plot of land between two buildings may not seem like much on your walk to work, but when converted into small low-cost farms, less than an acre can provide nutrition, education and sustainable income for those who may otherwise be lacking. Using a type of farming which has been nicknamed SPIN (Small Plot Intensive), individuals and groups work together, sharing resources and manpower, thus making urban growing financial viable.

For Andy Dragt, founder of Grand Rapids’ City Farmers Collective, urban farming is about more than just providing another source for food.

“This was the result of years of passion,” Dragt explains. “Passion for the city, food systems–things that grow. To me, it’s just miraculous every year when you put seeds in the ground and something comes of it. But it seemed like anything anyone had going on to bring that to the city was extremely resource intensive to get started or even try, so I wanted to see what we could do with manpower and hard work instead of a lot of money.”

CityFarmers

Starting out with Monday night potlucks at his own home, Dragt, his neighbors and parish members began a mini-garden, and the City Farmers Collective was born. After renting the lot on Wealthy Street, the farm continued to grow, eventually attracting our attention here at Doorganics.

With City Farmers’ excess produce just a short bike ride away, you can feel good about what your purchases are doing for our community. In addition to providing income, jobs and sustainable food sources to low-income areas, City Farmers’ is scooping up land near local schools to help get kids actively involved in learning where their food comes from, a step which will hopefully help set them on the path to full seed-to-plate involvement with their food choices.

“There’s something really powerful about working on something together and sharing in the fruits of it together, building an extended family… And my kids are growing up as a part of that. I think that kind of community building is significant,” Dragt said.

CityFarmers

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