Urban Farming as a Sustainable Business

Final report for YENC18-127

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2018: $2,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2020
Grant Recipient: Asbury Community Development Corporation
Region: North Central
State: Michigan
Project Manager:
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Project Information


Our project will be a combination of in the classroom and on the farm workshops that will highlight new trends in urban agriculture and introduce youth to successful urban farming projects and entrepreneurs.

Our goal is to help youth discover that urban farming is profitable and show them how empty city lots can quickly be transformed into local food that is good for the community but also profitable. Therefore, we will focus on soil quality improvement and crop planning techniques provided by leaders in the industry such as The Market Gardener and The Urban Farmer.

Project Objectives:

1) Increase sustainable farming skills of high school students through hands-on work sessions with local farmers at our urban farming campus.
2) Introduce youth to sustainable urban farming career opportunities through meetings with local farmers and introducing them to all the support partners in Flint.
3) Provide students with the know how to turn vacant lots into producing market gardens with nutrient rich soil.
4) Give youth an introduction to crop planning that can maximize yields and in doing so showcase how market gardens can provide a large amount of local food for the community while creating a sustainable business.

Educational & Outreach Activities

2 On-farm demonstrations
1 Tours
1 Webinars / talks / presentations
14 Workshop field days

Participation Summary:

3 Farmers/ranchers
16 Youth
1 Educators
Education/outreach description:

Presentation: Youth watched a screening of The Market Gardener’s Toolkit and youth packets were handed out.

On farm demonstrations: (1) Soil health (2) Planning and Planting

Field days: From May to October we had over 14 field days for our 16 youth 

Tour: Students were given the opportunity to bring their parents for a tour and then had a meal where our chef also handed out recipe books to use for produce youth helped grow.


Project Outcomes

1 Number of youth considering a career in sustainable agriculture
2 Grants received that built upon this project
2 New working collaborations
Increased organizational support to explore and teach sustainable ag:
Success stories:

One of our youth said he wanted to become a farmer one day and he said that he was also interested in working with us through the Americorp program.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.