Vacant lot in May 2010 Urbandale Farm in August 2010
A little background on Urbandale Farm . . .
Urbandale Farm was established in 2010, the first agricultural venture of the Lansing Urban Farm Project (501c3). LUFP’s mission is to a) make fresh, affordable produce available to urban residents; b) develop programs that integrate food and farming into larger community-building efforts; and c) provide for economic, environmental, and cultural and social sustainability.The farm is located in the 700 block of S. Hayford in the heart of the city’s 100 year flood plain.
Since 2010 the farm has quadrupled in size and production. Today we raise and sell vegetables, flowers and herbs on five separate fields, totaling about two acres. This land has been leased to us by the Ingham County Land Bank, the City, and an individual land owner.
The majority of the work at Urbandale Farm is done by an experienced, part-time farm manager, who currently lives on site, and 3-4 farm apprentices. Our apprenticeship program, begun in 2011, is designed to teach selected area residents how to farm in an urban setting and engage with the local food system. To date, we have worked with 10 adult apprentices, the majority of whom have become active urban farmers and food leaders. Salaries and stipends for the farm manager and the apprentices come largely through grants from the USDA via the Greater Lansing Food Bank.
We sell our produce at the farm on Saturdays, June-Sept (offering discounts to Urbandale residents) and at the Allen Street Farmers Market year round. We also sell to local businesses like Fork in the Road, The Ave Café, and ELFCO. A grant from the Lansing Rotary Club Foundation helps to underwrite our veggie wagon project, which brings fresh produce to neighbors who are elderly or unable to visit the farm .This non-motorized cart was painted by local kids and operates on kid power (with adult supervision).
A 30’ x 48’ hoophouse was put up on our home field in June 2012 and allows us to raise produce year-round. It was made possible by grants from the Ingham County Land Bank and the City’s Office of Planning a Neighborhood Development (CDBG).
Over the last three years we have partnered with hundreds of individuals, organizations, and public and private institutions to make the most of all our local assets and talents and to build a secure food system that serves and belongs to Eastside residents. We encourage you to share your talents with us and to involve yourself in the delicious and nutritious process of place-making and community development.
Lansing Urban Farm Project board members
Laura B. DeLind is a sociocultural anthropologist and food system activist. Officially retired from Michigan State University, she remains an advocate of more placed-based, democratic, and just systems of food production, distribution, and consumption. Laura is a co-founder of the Lansing Urban Farm Project and currently serves as board president.
Nancy McCrohan has been a board member since 2016. She is a long-time Eastside resident, local food enthusiast, and herb devotee. In her day job, she conducts policy and program research focused on healthy communities, food systems, workforce, and community development.
Jeremy Herliczek is a photographer for the Michigan House of Representatives. He owns a fixer-upper in Lansing’s Eastside neighborhood. He really likes Hakurei turnips and peaches.
Eric Schertzing –The heart of a farm boy beats strong despite 35 years working in elective politics. Serving as County Treasurer and Land Bank Chair has honored me every day with the opportunity to improve people’s lives. Enjoy reading, travel and the richness from being engaged in our diverse community.
Colleen Matts has lived in Lansing’s Eastside neighborhood for over ten years and has served on the LUFP Board since fall of 2016. She works as Farm to Institution Specialist with the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and is currently pursuing a culinary arts degree. She is a Master Urban Gardener and an avid food preserver and runner.
Matthew Miller is an editor at the Lansing State Journal and a fresh tomato enthusiast. He has served on the Lansing Urban Farm Project’s board since the end of 2015.