Lansing Roots Beginning Farmer Program in Michigan 2014
Lansing Roots is a program of the Greater Lansing Food Bank (GLFB), designed to help beginning farmers from the greater Lansing area begin successful market gardening and farming enterprises through an incubator farm setting. Our primary purpose is to encourage beginning farmers to grow produce for sale in Mid-Michigan.
The GLFB has been supporting home and community gardens for over thirty years through the Garden Project. With a network of over 90 community gardens, the Garden Project served over 5,000 individuals in 2012. Lansing Roots will serve as a complement to the GLFB’s on-going support for community gardens by encouraging successful gardeners and interested entrepreneurs to develop farm enterprises, and by lowering the barriers to success.
Designed to host new farm businesses for 2-5 years, the incubator plots for first year farmers are 100’ x 100’ (1/4 acre). With opportunities to expand in later years, participants will have the opportunity to scale up their farm production to support their new businesses. Lansing Roots is also home to a Demonstration Farm which grows donation produce for the GLFB to distribute to the 200+ agencies it serves. In addition, it provides an outdoor classroom for farmers, interns, and volunteers as it hosts workshops and showcases different styles of crop production.
Lansing Roots focuses on limited resource and historically under-served individuals and is made possible through a Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program grant through the USDA-NIFA. With an emphasis on refugee, immigrant, minority, low-income, and women farmers, we accept applications from all beginning farmers. Applicants should have a background and strong interest in farming or gardening. Most successful applicants will have participated in a farmer training program, apprentice or internship, will have an agricultural background from their country of origin, or have completed multiple seasons of community gardening successfully.
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