MONROE CO., N.Y. — Crops were still in the field this fall when Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County decided to expand its successful urban farm and workforce development programs to a second site for the 2024 season. Founded in 2022, the South Lawn Project, located at 2449 St. Paul Boulevard, was designed to be a teaching farm, outdoor laboratory, and community space where Rochesterians could gather to learn about regenerative agriculture, soil health, and sustainable living. The farm grows over 90 varieties of fruits, vegetables, fungi, and herbs, and has donated more than 1500 lbs. of food to local food pantries over the past two seasons. Agriculture is not the only positive impact the South Lawn has had on the Rochester community. The land, which two years ago was merely a lawn, is farmed by GROWS (Gaining Relevant and Outstanding Work Skills), a transitional job program for young adults 18 to 26 from the City of Rochester. The GROWS program has employed 18 young people over the past two seasons, teaching job as well as life skills to young adults looking to build a more sustainable future for themselves and the community.
The Remington Street farm, located on city-owned vacant lots between Ketchum and Morrill Streets, is an ideal location for an expansion farm. In the heart of the Group 14621 neighborhood of the Northeast Quadrant, the Remington Street farm is more than 2 miles away from the nearest supermarket, and will offer residents space to grow their own fresh produce right in the neighborhood. Additionally, the farm is only a block away from two important partner organizations, the Lincoln Branch of the Rochester Public Library, where CCE Monroe will offer its Seed to Supper program this winter, and The People’s Pantry, which will distribute fresh produce and host collaborative cooking and nutrition classes during the harvest season.
CCE Monroe is fundraising to support the build out of the Remington Street farm, including a $100 “Buy A Bed” promotion, which will pay for the materials required to construct one 3’ by 15’ raised garden bed. When fully built out the Remington Street farm will double the available growing space at the South Lawn, and enable the GROWS program to hire twice as many young adults. Any donations made to CCE Monroe through the end of 2023 will be matched one-for-one by a generous supporter. Visit Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County’s website to get involved, to learn more, or to donate.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County