Local Food Systems

Kansas City Community Gardens

Kansas City Community Gardens (KCCG) is a non-profit founded in 2002 to help improve the well-being of low-income households by assisting them in growing their own produce. KCCG operates two community gardens in Kansas City, including their "Freeway Garden" which can be seen from the I-70. Through their Community Partners Program, KCCG partners with other local non-profit groups that aim to provide food assistance to low-income residents and education for the youth. Read more about Kansas City Community Gardens...

Cultivate Kansas City

Cultivate Kansas City, formerly known as Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture, is a non-profit founded in 2005. They help Kansas City residents grow and eat good food in their city by teaching residents how to grow their own food, making available produce from Cultivate's own farms, and educating Kansas City about real food, good health, and vibrant communities. Read more about Cultivate Kansas City...

The Last Organic Outpost

Striving to create a sense of community, the Last Organic Outpost is an inner city urban farm project that uses regenerative agriculture to restore unused vacant lots. Beginning as an idea by Joe Nelson, six years and $17,000 later, the Outpost had expanded from a simple backyard garden to a teaching nonprofit on several adjacent abandoned lots that had been used for dumping. In 2009, Mayor Bill White asked the city to turn off another adjacent lot after seeing the success of a project that is striving to serve as an anchor for an urban farm belt across the city. Read more about The Last Organic Outpost...

The Alliance Community Garden Project

As a program for the Alliance for Multicultural Community Services, the Alliance Community Garden Project began in October 2010 with the goal of training refugees in farming methods applicable in their new community. To date, 27 refugee growers from Bhutan have registered with the program; and in addition to farming training, they receive English classes from the Alliance. Read more about The Alliance Community Garden Project...

South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS), Inc.

Founded in 1994, South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS) nurtures youths’ capacity to respect life, the earth, and each other through growing, cooking, and sharing.  To do so, the nonprofit has a two-acre urban garden and kitchen classroom from which it operates a range of youth-focused programs including a summer camp and a free after-school farm club.  The nonprofit also helped launch the Durham Farmers Market in 1998, a venue from which it sells produce.

Frijolito Farm

Frijolito Farm is a backyard farm with multiple locations in northeast Columbus that raises chickens and grows vegetables in a traditional natural practice. All produce are sold in person locally at farmers’ markets around the Columbus area. Read more about Frijolito Farm...

Four Seasons City Farm

Four Seasons City Farm is a non-profit focused on the production of food and community-building projects around eastside Columbus founded in 2004. By converting abandoned lots into gardens, City Farm sells its produce at local farmers’ markets, grocers and restaurants. City Farm’s urban garden program is funded by these proceeds, with a total count of 14 community gardens in Columbus as of 2007. Read more about Four Seasons City Farm...

East Meets West Community Garden

The East Meets West Community Garden was founded in 2008 with a 2500-square-foot plot. This community garden focuses on the growth of food that is divided among the participants and a local food pantry. In 2010, the garden was one of thirteen community produce gardens to receive a grant from the Recreation and Park Committee of Columbus. Read more about East Meets West Community Garden...

Urban Agriculture

Healthy Food Access Portal

HealthyFoodAccess.com is an information clearinghouse draws awareness to inequitable access to healthy foods in communities across the country and provides tools to launch and expand healthy food access retail projects in low-income communities. It offers resources on policy efforts, news, and strategy to help improve access for consumers and communities. The Healthy Food Access website is a collaborative effort of PolicyLink, The Food Trust, and The Reinvestment Fund, and was launched with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture)

An initiative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Alternative Farming Information Systems Information Center includes a range of resources focused on sustainable food systems and practices.  Many resources are also focused on urban agriculture.

 

City Farmer News

City Farmer News is City Farmer's - a Vancouver-based nonprofit that runs the city's compost and waterwise demonstration garden, the city's natural yard care promotion and the regional compost hotline - new website.  Started in 2008, City Farmer News is a continuation of Urban Agriculture Notes, providing a comprehensive online resource for the urban agricultural community.

King County Extension: Gardening (Washington State University)

The King County's Extension gardening resource page provides research-based information on sustainable gardening practices. Fact sheets include information on soil testing, compositing, raised beds and other insights that could assist community gardens.

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service lists news, events and funding opportunities and provides comprehensive publications and reports regarding sustainable agriculture and organic farming.  The site contains a section specifically dedicated to urban and community agriculture, providing resource links and downloadable reports.

RUAF Foundation (Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security)

The RUAF Foundation is an international network of seven regional centers and one global resource center on Urban Agriculture and Food Security.  Focusing more heavily on urban agriculture in developing countries, the foundation publishes the Urban Agriculture Magazine and other papers, books and policy briefs about urban agriculture developments. 

SPIN Farming

Standing for S-mall P-lot IN-tensive, SPIN farming is advertised as a non-technical, easy-to-learn and inexpensive-to-implement vegetable farming system that allows an individual to grow more than $50,000 worth of produce per half acre. The system was created by Wally Satzewich and Gail Vandersteen, who themselves manage Wallys Urban Market Garden, a multi-locational sub-acre urban farm in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

The Lunch Box

The Lunch Box is an online toolkit with Healthy Tools For All Schools, designed to transform school food into healthy and delicious food for all children. The site offers recipes and other best practices from school districts across the country.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program

UC Davis

UC Davis’ Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP)’s website includes a wealth of materials focused on local food systems including a downloadable bibliography of over 2,000 articles and the results of several food system assessments, which examine the connections between and impact of food production, distribution, consumption and waste disposal.

Urban Agriculture Notes

Maintained by City Farmer, a Vancouver-based nonprofit that runs the city's compost and waterwise demonstration garden, the city's natural yard care promotion and the regional compost hotline, Urban Agriculture Notes is an online resource of 14 years (1994-2008) of urban agriculture information.  In 2008, City Farmer created a new website to feature new postings and links.

Urban Agriculture Notes

Maintained by City Farmer, a Vancouver-based nonprofit that runs the city's compost and waterwise demonstration garden, the city's natural yard care promotion and the regional compost hotline, Urban Agriculture Notes is an online resource of 14 years (1994-2008) of urban agriculture information.  In 2008, City Farmer created a new website to feature new postings and links.

SPIN Farming

Standing for S-mall P-lot IN-tensive, SPIN farming is advertised as a non-technical, easy-to-learn and inexpensive-to-implement vegetable farming system that allows an individual to grow more than $50,000 worth of produce per half acre. The system was created by Wally Satzewich and Gail Vandersteen, who themselves manage Wallys Urban Market Garden, a multi-locational sub-acre urban farm in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

RUAF Foundation (Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security)

The RUAF Foundation is an international network of seven regional centers and one global resource center on Urban Agriculture and Food Security.  Focusing more heavily on urban agriculture in developing countries, the foundation publishes the Urban Agriculture Magazine and other papers, books and policy briefs about urban agriculture developments. 

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service lists news, events and funding opportunities and provides comprehensive publications and reports regarding sustainable agriculture and organic farming.  The site contains a section specifically dedicated to urban and community agriculture, providing resource links and downloadable reports.

The Lunch Box

The Lunch Box is an online toolkit with Healthy Tools For All Schools, designed to transform school food into healthy and delicious food for all children. The site offers recipes and other best practices from school districts across the country.

King County Extension: Gardening (Washington State University)

The King County's Extension gardening resource page provides research-based information on sustainable gardening practices. Fact sheets include information on soil testing, compositing, raised beds and other insights that could assist community gardens.

City Farmer News

City Farmer News is City Farmer's - a Vancouver-based nonprofit that runs the city's compost and waterwise demonstration garden, the city's natural yard care promotion and the regional compost hotline - new website.  Started in 2008, City Farmer News is a continuation of Urban Agriculture Notes, providing a comprehensive online resource for the urban agricultural community.

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture)

An initiative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Alternative Farming Information Systems Information Center includes a range of resources focused on sustainable food systems and practices.  Many resources are also focused on urban agriculture.

 

Local Food Systems

A local food system is a collaborative network that integrates sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste management in order to enhance the environmental, economic, and social health of a particular area. Increasingly, communities are organizing “food hubs” around co-ops or other community wealth building enterprises to anchor local food systems. Read more about Local Food Systems...

Urban Agriculture

Grit City Greens? Lincoln Park project could spark economic boost

Dan Voelpel
South Sound Business

Tacoma is looking to model a community wealth and development program after the greenhouse built in Cleveland through Green City Growers. 

“Plain and simple, it works,” Ted Howard, a Clevelander, told Tacoma’s anchor institution representatives last September. Howard now serves as president and co-founder of The Democracy Collaborative, which provides research, support, and evangelism around this idea of institutions pooling their power for their communities.

Building resilience in nonprofit food hubs

Jacqueline R. LeBlanc, et al.
Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development

Food Hubs: A Producer Guide

Andy Pressman and Chris Lent
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

2010 Local Food Guide

Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition

Farming Inside Cities

Jerry Kaufman and Martin Bailkey
Land Lines, volume 13, number 1, pages 1-3

Economic Analysis Of Detroit’s Food System

Econsult Solutions, Inc. and Urbane Development, LLC

The food economy in Detroit is already the city’s third largest economic sector, and is poised to be the next largest growth sector for the city, note Econsult Solutions, Inc. and Urbane Development in a report written on behalf of The Detroit Food and Fitness Collaborative. In their report, the authors outline several strategies to foster equitable growth, including connecting local, small-scale food producers and manufactures to anchor institution demand. Only by engaging Detroiters and supporting the local, small, and medium sized actors in the system, the report argues, will food sector growth be effective in creating jobs and building community wealth for Detroit residents. 

Best Practices for Creating a Sustainable and Equitable Food System in the United States

Ashley Blackwell

 This issue brief outlines a road map to create a more sustainable and equitable food system. It first provides an overview of the existing state of food insecurity in the United States; it then gives an overview of national best practices, highlighted through specific case studies, and discusses tools to fund such initiatives and to build cross-sector partnerships that take a holistic approach to addressing food deserts and food insecurity. 

Community Supported Agriculture: A Model for the Farmer and the Community?

Mark Paul
Economics for Equity and the Environment Network

This case study provides an analysis and evaluation of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). To examine CSA as a potentially viable Future Economy Initiative, interviews, a survey, and secondary data sources were utilized. From May 2014 to October 2014 16 in-person semi-structured interviews with CSA farmers were conducted across three counties in Western Massachusetts. A copy of the interview and survey can be found in the appendix. There have been few comprehensive efforts to analyze CSA across the United States, however this study provides an overview of the CSA and the resulting economic, social, and environmental outcomes. 

Growing in Place: Building a Local Food Economy in Vermont

Kathryn A. Olson
Economics for Equity and the Environment Network

The local food movement has been gaining momentum in the United States, with farmers’ markets and new direct-to-consumer arrangements such as Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) gaining in popularity. Yet while proponents of local food point to its environmental, economic, and social benefits, little research has investigated the impact of local food on community wellbeing. Vermont leads the country in farm stands, direct-to-consumer sales, and farmers’ markets per capita and the town of Hardwick has received attention for its growing economy based on new food and agriculture businesses. This project applied a multi-disciplinary methodology to assess the impact of a local food economy on the environmental, economic, and social wellbeing of the community. 

The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Literature Review of the Production, Distribution, and Consumption of Local Food

Ariel Pinchot
University of Minnesota

With the recent and continued growth in the demand for locally grown food, questions emerge about market characteristics, the capacity of local food systems to support regional economic development, and the economic aspects of the production and consumption of local foods. What do we know about the economics of local and regional food systems? What is the status of research in this arena? The authors and contributors to this report found no comprehensive literature review concentrating solely on the economics of local or regional food system development. We seek to address this literature gap by providing a review and annotation of key publications on the economics of local food system development. Within this subject, we specifically focus on the characteristics of local food markets, local food consumers and motivations for purchases, local food producers and food hubs, and the role of food systems in community and economic development. Potential beneficiaries of this literature review include educators and other academic staff, students, local food advocates, and a range of professionals who participate in local food system development. Structured to highlight key findings from many sources up front, and followed by an annotated bibliography of selected publications, the review is designed to serve as a helpful introduction to recent research on the economics of local foods in the United States. Food system research in the state of Minnesota receives a special focus in this review. 

Fresh Food Distribution Models for the Greater Los Angeles Region

Vanessa Zafjen

Barriers and Opportunities to Facilitate and Scale Up the Distribution of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables 

Findings from an Action Research Project of the Center for Food & Justice, a division of the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, Occidental College 

December 2006-March 2008 

Findings of the 2015 National Food Hub Survey

Jill Hardy, Dr. Michael Hamm, Rich Pirog, Dr. John Fisk, Jeff Farbman and Micaela Fischer

Food hubs—businesses that actively manage the aggregation and distribution of source-identified food products—are receiving continued, growing attention from diverse stakeholders who see food hubs as vectors for economic growth and social and environmental change. As consumer desire for local and regional foods continues to grow and evolve, food hubs are increasing in number and adapting to shifting demand from intermediated local and regional food markets. The 2015 National Food Hub Survey and its predecessor, the 2013 National Food Hub Survey, represent a broad effort to aggregate national-level data on the characteristics and impact of food hubs. Together, these surveys represent the beginning of a longitudinal database from a large, broad national sample of food hubs. 

Dismantling Racism in the Food System

Elsadig Elsheikh
Institute for Food & Development Policy

According to a new paper by Food First, in 2012 over 97 percent of federal farm payments went to white farmers, most of which came through crop insurance or commodity support payments designed to bolster corporate agriculture. The author discusses how the growing influence of agribusiness in U.S. Farm Bill policy exacerbates racial, gender, and economic discrimination and furthers land dispossession for black farmers. He recommends refocusing the Farm Bill on programs that benefit women, people of color, and immigrant food system workers, not only as a means to create a more democratic food system, but also to build a more equitable society:

The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices

Dawn Thilmany McFadden et al.

Compiled by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service, this new toolkit provides resources for communities to capture the impact of local food system investments. The toolkit describes how to develop the necessary infrastructure to collect data, and details various economic analysis methodologies. Topics covered include assembling a research team, defining the parameters of a local food system, identifying economic indicators to measure, developing processes for accessing datasets, and communicating findings.  

U.S. Kitchen Incubators: An Industry Update

Adam Wodka

This most recent state-of-the-industry survey describes common characteristics of kitchen incubators, which stand at the nexus of the artisanal food movement, the sharing economy, and small business development. The authors find that the growth of the industry, which has increased by more than 50 percent over the past three years, is not a fad, but rather is representative of sustained and increasing interest in food as a tool for job creation and economic development. The report highlights common services offered by incubators to ensure business viability, such as such as small-business counseling, workforce development, and connecting businesses to affordable capital.

Exploring Economic and Health Impacts of Local Food Procurement

Jess Lynch et al.

Minneapolis-based Crossroads Resource Center and the Illinois Public Health Institute contribute to the growing body of research on the health and economic impacts of local food procurement by institutional purchasers. The authors examine how communities in southern Arizona, Kentucky, southwest Wisconsin, San Diego County, and Burlington, Vermont foster collaboration and structure local procurement activities and identify the policies, systems, processes, and procedures that maximize health and economic benefits. The study outlines several key principles for expanding and enhancing support of local food procurement and outlines practical strategies for building networks, educating stakeholders, and marketing local food programs. 

Economic and Community Development Outcomes of Healthy Food Retail

Erin Hagan and Victor Rubin

A new report from PolicyLink examines the economic development benefits of improving healthy food access. Authors Erin Hagan and Victor Rubin argue that new grocery stores, corner stores, farmer’s markets, and other food retailers generate significant economic activity in all communities, and specifically in low-income communities. The report encourages researchers to consider the economic benefits (not just the health benefits) of innovations in food retail, distribution and production, such as financing incentives, urban agriculture, food hubs, and federal assistance programs. The report concludes by offering a series of recommendations to help understand and promote the economic benefits of improved access to healthy food. 

Building Successful Food Hubs

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, University of Illinois Business Innovation Services, Illinois Department of Agriculture and FamilyFarmed.org

Building Successful Food Hubs: A Business Planning Guide for Aggregating and Processing Local Food in Illinois is a new resource for communities, businesses, not-for- profits, and others interested in establishing food hubs. The guide "includes descriptions of key functions, best practices, and “how-to” strategies for food hub establishment and operation that are based on successful models operating in other regions that have been specifically adapted for application in Illinois." 

Growing Urban Agriculture: Equitable Strategies and Policies for Improving Access to Healthy Foods and Revitalizing Communities

Allison Hagey, Solana Rice and Rebecca Flournoy

PolicyLink examines how cities across the United States are adopting urban agriculture as a means to address equity issues in our food system and communities. This report details the benefits of urban agriculture, looks at innovative strategies to overcome common challenges, and offers policy recommendations to ensure equity in the growing movement. It lays out how urban agriculture can improve access to healthier food through innovative distribution, processing, and marketing efforts; improve economic health by creating jobs, attracting new business, and creating savings for families; and improve community health by using vacant or underused urban spaces to create safe, clean outdoor spaces for people to gather.

Building Regional Produce Supply Chains

Melanie Chang and Kate Seely

 Helping Farms Access & Sell to Multiple Channels  Helping Large‐Volume Buyers Access Regional Foods

Comparing the Structure, Size, and Performance of Local and Mainstream Food Supply Chains

Robert P. King, Michael S. Hand, Gigi DiGiacomo, Kate Clancy, Miguel I. Gómez, Shermain D. Hardesty, Larry Lev and Edward W. McLaughlin
Economic Research Report Number 99

A CALIFORNIA  NETWORK OF REGIONAL FOODHUBS

Brett Melone, et al.

A Vision Statement and Strategic Implementation Plan

Scaling Up: Meeting the Demand for Local Food

Lindsey Day-Farnsworth, Brent McCown, Michelle Miller and Anne Pfeiffer

Citywide Strategies for the Reuse of Vacant Land

Cleveland Land Lab at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, Kent State University

Webinar: Food Hubs, Trends & Resources (2018)

Edward A. Ragland, Jr. , Americo Vega-Labiosa, Jim Barham and Jeff Farbman

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service lists news, events and funding opportunities and provides comprehensive publications and reports regarding sustainable agriculture and organic farming.  The site contains a section specifically dedicated to urban and community agriculture, providing resource links and downloadable reports.