A Letter to Aycock

Urban Harvest?

Most of you in Aycock are probably familiar with the name Urban Harvest, or at least know something about the community garden that was installed at Dunleith back in June of 2009. But I wouldn’t be surprised if you said, “so what’s going on with that?” or “who are they again?”

Though you may have seen many other faces at the ground-breaking event in June, Urban Harvest is composed of Dawn and Justin Leonard and Lou Gamble. We began as an LLC in the fall of 2007 by installing residential vegetable gardens or as we like to call it “edible landscaping.” We soon realized that what we really wanted was to educate citizens and teach people about the benefits of local food in addition to providing sustainably produced food within the city of Greensboro. Over time, we’ve changed our mission to reflect these new ideas:

Our mission is to provide and promote local urban food production, distribution and education, made accessible to all citizens, using the principles of sustainability. The vision of Urban Harvest is to create a community where all citizens have access to healthy, fresh food grown right in Greensboro.

Community Garden at Dunleith

The installation of the garden at Dunleith was an important first step to achieving some of our goals, and we are eternally grateful to all who participated and who continue to support the garden. It was also an important step in continuing the dialogue for development of this historic site. From a bountiful sea of red tomatoes in the heat of the summer, to the varying shades of green that replaced the summer crops, such a variety of food is accessible right around the corner.

In our first season we offered a few different kinds of plot rental agreements, and this season we’re going to be changing things up a bit. We will still have traditional space available for community rental where you’re responsible for your own spot (we’re increasing the space of each plot and revising the pricing)!! Our new offering will be for CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) membership. This will be a great opportunity for anyone who wants to support the garden, receive fresh produce, but doesn’t want to do any of the work!!  To learn more about plot rentals or CSA membership, visit our website at www.urbanharvest-gso.com or send an email to urbanharvest.gso@gmail.com. We also still provide the service of installating residential edible landscaping (see the website for more info).

Urban Harvest in Greensboro and Aycock

If you don’t remember meeting Dawn or Justin Leonard at the ground-breaking event in June, your memory has not failed you. While our colleagues were working like busy bees to install the garden, we were up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin toiling away at an urban farm internship with Growing Power. With this experience, combined with Lou’s experience as a Landscape Architect and small-scale farmer, we at Urban Harvest have some big ideas.

Our long-term vision is focused around a model urban farm in Greensboro which will serve as our hub for urban food production, education, and the distribution of food through our mobile market. The mobile market, will serve communities which lack access to affordable, healthy food, and will be supported by an ever-expanding network of urban farms growing food in those same communities.

We believe that our vision relates to the conversation of future development at Dunleith, but Dunleith may or may not be the permanent location for our model urban farm. This conversation has begun, and we hope to meet many of you along the way as these conversations continue. An important lesson that we took from our internship this summer, was that partnerships are essential in doing the important work that needs to be done. We hope that we can continue to work as beneficial partners to one another.

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