Local Food Systems

Evergreen Cooperatives Field Study

In its newest Field Guide to Investing in a Regenerative Economy, the Capital Institute outlines Cleveland’s Evergreen model and provides overviews of the three enterprises: Evergreen Cooperative Laundry, Evergreen Energy Solutions, and Green City Growers. 

Cities at Work: Progressive Local Policies to Rebuild the Middle Class

Joel Rogers and Satya Rhodes-Conway

In a new report from the Center for American Progress, Joel Rogers and Satya Rhodes-Conway of the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) outline policies that cities can adopt to become more inclusive and sustainable. The authors espouse democratic organization as a critical component to social equity and wealth creation and highlight the critical linking of anchor procurement strategies and employee ownership, as seen in the Cleveland Model, to strengthen local economies and stabilize communities.

The Farm Incubator Toolkit: Growing the Next Generation of Farmers

Eva Agudelo Winther and Meaghan Overton

This new guide developed by the National Incubator Farm Training Initiative (NIFTI) and published by the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project offers a framework to develop local farm incubators. Bringing together practioners and training expertize, this toolkit provides a variety of resources to support small-scale sustainable farmers, from project planning and management to planning for long-term growth. This toolkit is part of national effort to build a network of incubators that empower disadvantaged new producers to build economic opportunity and grow the vitality of small-scale, localized agriculture across the nation.

Tricycle Gardens

Tricycle Gardens uses its year-round ½ acre urban farm in South Richmond as a living classroom for adults and youth to learn about farming, soil improvement, nutrition, and organic growing. Producing over 20,000 pounds of produce per year, it is able to run its own farm stand in addition to supplying online grocer Relay Foods and local restaurants. It has also launched five community gardens. In 2013, Tricycle Gardens partnered with the Richmond City Health District, Virginia Community Capital, and Bon Secours Richmond to reduce food deserts in Richmond’s East End through the Get Fresh East End! pilot, modeled after the national Healthy Corner Stores Initiative. Tricycle Gardens provides fresh, affordable, and locally grown produce to two corner store owners. As the program grows to include more corner stores, Tricycle Gardens will work with other urban farms and community gardens for additional local food sources. 

Shalom Farms

Begun in the fall of 2008, Shalom Farms is a regional food security, community development project of United Methodist Urban Ministries of Richmond. Using high-density urban farming techniques that are replicable in urban communities, Shalom Farms provides experiential learning opportunities for children and adults to engage in food production and healthy cooking. The farm has also supplied over 30,000 of pounds of food to Central Virginia's hunger-relief leader FeedMore and the Peter Paul Development Center. Together with the Neighborhood Resource Center for Greater Fulton, Shalom Farms operates a weekly farmers’ market, operated by Fulton Hill youth.

Feed RVA

Feed RVA developed from the for-profit Grow RVA, which operates one the largest farmers’ market in Virginia, the South of the James Market. Though originally formed to create an incentive program to provide matching funds for SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets, Feed RVA’s mission has since expanded. Feed RVA is working to expand selling opportunities for the 100+ South of the James Market vendors, three quarters of which make at least two thirds of their total incomes at the Saturday market. It is now putting together a group of stakeholders, including purchasers from Richmond hospitals and universities and Richmond’s Economic Development Authority to form an advisory committee on the formation of a food hub.

Fifth Season Cooperative

 Founded by the Vernon Economic Development Association (VEDA on a Buy Local Buy Wisconsin grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture (DATCP), Fifth Season Cooperative is a multi-stakeholder organization that focuses on producing, processing, and selling healthy local foods. Read more about Fifth Season Cooperative...

Growing a Cleveland Renaissance

Stephen A. Thompson
Rural Cooperatives

In the November/December edition of Rural Cooperatives magazine, the United States Department of Agriculture featured Green City Growers Cooperative, the third worker-owned enterprise established by the Evergreen Cooperatives. The article highlights how Green City Growers created twenty-five jobs while transforming eleven acres of abandoned lots into a productive urban greenhouse. The article also provides insight for how cooperatives can partner with city governments, anchor institutions, and foundations to stabilize local economies. 

National Food Hub Conference

March 26th, 2014 to March 28th, 2014
Raleigh, North Carolina

Ensuring a Sustainable Future

Jody Heymann and Magda Barrera

Jody Heymann of UCLA and Magda Barrera of McGill University bring experts together from the fields of public health, climate risk, urban and regional planning, sustainable agriculture, and water governance in a new book that examines economically viable solutions to the environmental challenges that disproportionately impact the world’s poorest populations. 

Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative

The Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative (CUCI) emerged in the wake of a historic agreement signed in October, 2009 between Mondragon and the United Steelworkers, North America’s largest industrial union, to launch union-cooperatives in the United States.

Farm to People

Farm to People

Farm To People is an online farm stand for buying food directly from small, sustainable farmers and craft producers around the United States with the goal of strengthening the link between food, health, environment, and people. This website provides a diversity of avenues for small farmers to reach consumers and offers a directory based on specialty so that eaters can simplify their search for environmentally and socially sustainable food.  

Findings of the 2013 National Food Hub Survey

Micaela Fischer, Michael Hamm, Rich Pirog, John Fisk, Jeff Farbman and Stacia Kiraly