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Summary of Berea Urban Farm (BUF) Structure and Plans for 2024

The BUF is a 1.4-acre educational market garden located in the center of Berea KY and founded in 2013 as a project of Sustainable Berea – a 501c3 community non-profit. The mission of the BUF is to increase local food security and build community through urban agriculture.

 

Infrastructure includes drip irrigation, trellises, high tunnels, heated greenhouse, packing shed, permanent canopy for small events, two storage sheds, and many raised beds. Labor consists of one full-time volunteer (Farm Director), one paid half-time employee, one paid summer ¾-time worker, and occasional volunteers. People brought in to lead workshops are paid. Sustainable Berea staff provide bookkeeping, financial management, and other office support.

 

The BUF’s main production efforts will demonstrate the growing of 150 species and varieties of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruits using organic principles (not certified). The goals of our regenerative agriculture include healthy living soils, habitat for other species, and nutrient-dense food for our community.

 

Specialty components of BUF production include:

  • 10 food plants listed with the Slow Food Ark of Taste.

  • The Agri-Culture Garden with 36 culturally-significant food plants from the African Diaspora and the Hispanic culture, grown in consultation with local Black and Hispanic communities

  • Medicinal Herb Garden growing 15 herbs in collaboration with a local herbalist and serving as the site for workshops for the 120-member Berea Herb Club

  • Cut flower beds managed by a group of volunteers

  • Orchard and berry patches used in the educational programs of the Backyard Fruit Growers Project

  • The BUF Apiary – the site of workshops for the Backyard Beekeepers Project – is transitioning from top bar hives to Layens hives.

This production is the foundation of our educational programs to support local gardeners, particularly novices. Our planned educational program includes more than 30 on-farm workshops and other events addressing each of the specialty areas and general gardening. Every variety grown will be identified with a sign to inform casual visitors. The BUF Home Garden Demo is a 20’x33’ plot that we will manage as a typical backyard garden. Home gardeners can follow and learn through our blog, facebook page, and regular workshops at the garden. A series of five youth workshops will promote “Kids on the BUF.” Open houses, “BUF Soup” dinners, and Agri-Culture Garden receptions will bring more people to the farm. Spring and Fall issues of Ag Mag will be published as usual.

 

In addition to education, the BUF provides material support to local gardeners including up to 250 low-cost raised beds through the 2024 Victory Garden Blitz, sales of compost/soil blend, and vegetable starts from our greenhouse. In partnership with Madison County Conservation District, we offer vegetable seeds through the BUF Tiny Seed Library, and cover crop seed. BUF produce is sold through a CSA and on-farm from our sidewalk sale table. Produce is also donated to local food banks and to diabetic patients through our “Farmacy” project with a local doctor’s office.

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