In 2010 a collaborative effort of Cleveland organizations created the largest urban farm within its city limits. Known as Ohio City Farm, nearly six acres of formerly unused land adjacent to the West Side Market have been repurposed for urban agriculture, community development, and job training. The consortium of partners behind this effort includes Great Lakes Brewing Company® (GLBC), and not-for-profit organizations: The Refugee Response, Ohio City Near West Development Corporation, and Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority. For GLBC, Ohio City Farm follows on the heels of Pint Size Farm at Hale Farm and Village (established in 2008) as its latest local farming venture in support of the triple bottom line: environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
GLBC supports the farm with an upfront payment for produce akin to those in community supported agriculture (CSA) arrangements. GLBC's Brewpub pays for produce at the start of the season when the farmers incur expenses, and benefits from receiving fresh produce throughout the season as crops are cultivated. Payment supports The Refugee Response’s job training program for resettled Burmese refugees, many of whom were farmers in their home country.
“It’s really gratifying to see this collaboration at work in our community, just few hundred yards from our Brewery,” comments Saul Kliorys, GLBC Environmental Programs Coordinator. “All of our organizations contribute a unique set of skills and vision to the farm, and that’s why it stands to be a point of pride for our neighborhood.”
GLBC and The Refugee Response have also committed to the improvement of the site through soil amendments (e.g., spent brewery grain), irrigation, and fencing. Organic material for the site has been provided by Kurtz Brothers and Waste Management of Ohio.
When you dine in the GLBC Brewpub, you can feel good about supporting local farmers while you enjoy the literal fruits (and veggies and herbs) of our labor!
OHIO CITY FARM STAND:
Produce grown on the Ohio City Farm is sold to the public every Friday and Saturday from 9AM - 3PM, June through November.
Great Lakes Brewing Company is a tenant of the Ohio City Farm, a public/private partnership managed by Ohio City Incorporated in collaboration with Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), Great Lakes Brewing Company, The Refugee Response, Cleveland Crops and Central Roots. As a tenant, GLBC grows organic produce and brewing ingredients for the Brewpub.
Support generously provided by Charter One Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, Neighborhood Progress Inc, City of Cleveland, Councilman Joe Cimperman, Cleveland Public Art, the Sullivan Foundation, and the private investment from each farm tenant.