, an Ann Arbor-based provider of urban farms and gardening services, continues to expand the fresh food supply in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Plymouth, and is plotting out its impact on the city of Detroit. The company has installed two new gardens there and is digging deeper into the city.
Since its inception in January, CityFARM has amassed 30 garden installations, some of which are up to five beds in size, according to Lauren Maloney, business director. Maloney has partnered with real estate developer Stewart Beal in the venture.
All gardening clients have been residential thus far, Maloney says, but "I think as it gets more popular, we will see more commercial spaces with gardens." She anticipates having 50 clients by year-end. Urban packages include the design, installation, and materials to grow a season's worth of produce in a yard.
"All of the gardens I've been back to are just huge and bountiful..." Maloney says, adding, "I just went to a client last week and she had green beans and cucumbers and eggplant and basil and cherry tomatoes already, and right now, kale, and just everything bursting out of the box. She was really happy."
With each bed purchase, cityFARM installs a matching one in its donation garden at 103 N. Adams St. in Ypsilanti and then donates the produce crop to Food Gatherers. In its first year alone, the garden is already 1,500 square feet. So what happens if space runs out?
"Luckily [Beal] owns a lot of properties, including open space and lots of apartments with yards and things, so we will be able to expand in Ypsi. We'll just have to move maybe down the street a few houses," Maloney says.
Source: Lauren Maloney, business director of cityFARM
Writer: Tanya Muzumdar