Community Involvement

harvest festivalOne of the primary goals of the Farm Food Program is to assist non-profit organizations while educating the Greater Cleveland community. We offer a variety of programs to various organizations, including:

  • The Cleveland Food Bank- In 2010, the farm donated over 300 pounds of fresh squash and zucchini to help feed the hungry. In 2011, the farm donated over 800 pounds.
  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo - In March 2014, the Farm Food Program started to supply produce to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. From March to December farm staff delivered over 3,000 lbs. of lettuce, dandelions and endives. Read more about at http://www.case.edu/thinkbeyond/video-zoo.html
  • Cleveland Botanical Garden - The farm has provided space in the Debra Ann November Research Greenhouse for Cleveland Botanical Garden to grow the vegetables it needs for its Green Corps Program at various urban sites around Cleveland proper.
  • The Refugee Response - The farm is providing space for the Refugee Response program in Cleveland to start their crops for their agricultural program.
  • Local Initiatives - In 2010, University Farm's high tunnel served as a model for Stanard Farm, a not-for-profit farm that partner with the urban agricultural initiatives of the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The farm also worked directly with Pearl Development in Cleveland to enhance the company's urban agricultural initiatives.
  • Local School Educational Programs - Various grade schools from northeast Ohio often come to the farm to learn about farming at the turn of the century, as well as about current methods to plant and harvest food. For example, sixth- and seventh-grade students from Marion Sterling Elementary School visit the farm in the spring and fall to learn about locally-grown food. The farm also collaborates with the Michael R. White School in Cleveland to help teach their students about local agriculture and healthy eating.

Volunteering on the University Farm is a nurturing escape from the stresses of being a graduate student. Sometimes I would go into a dining hall, see what the cooks were making, and think to myself, "I probably had my hands on those vegetables the day before!" It is wonderful to know that the vegetables and herbs that I was harvesting were going to nourish the bodies and minds of those around me on campus.

Kathyrn Abbott, CWRU Student, Farm Volunteer