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Sunrise for Ohio City Farm

Posted July 26, 2010

GLBC supports neighboring CSA-type farm

July 26, 2010--CLEVELAND, OHIO--A collaborative effort of Cleveland organizations has resulted in the formation of the largest urban farm within its city limits.  Known as the “Ohio City Farm”, nearly six acres of land adjacent to the West Side Market (resting unused since 1999) have been repurposed for urban agriculture, community development and job training.  The consortium of partners behind this effort includes for-profit company, 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, the 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 its triple bottom line: environmental, social and economic prosperity.

GLBC is supporting the farm with an upfront payment for produce akin to those in community supported agriculture (CSA) arrangements.  Customers of a CSA farm pay for their produce at the start of the season when the farmer incurs expenses and receive their produce throughout the season as it matures.  In this instance, GLBC’s Brewpub is the only customer, and as the season progresses, it will receive the bounty of midsummer and fall crops currently under cultivation.  Payment will support 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 also been provided by Kurtz Brothers and Waste Management of Ohio.  Ohio City Farm’s partners are rising and responding to the challenges of our times – environmental degradation, disinvestment and unemployment – in an innovative and inspiring way.

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Great Lakes Brewing Company, which is comprised of a brewery and brewpub, was founded in 1988 by brothers Pat and Dan Conway as the first microbrewery in the state of Ohio and today remains Ohio’s most celebrated and award-winning brewer of lagers and ales. Great Lakes Brewing Company’s distribution area extends throughout Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s July 19 article on Ohio City Farm is reprinted in our “News” section.