The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture has plans to use a $20,000 state grant from the Missouri Department of Agriculture to build a new greenhouse to expand its ability to grow produce. Food production for one year will be increased to an estimated 50,000 pounds (~22,600 kilos) from the new agriculture park production site and the greenhouse up from the current 17,000 pounds.
The greenhouse construction is affiliated with the “Build This Town: Campaign for the Agriculture Park” construction project which matched the grant by using some donations for the whole project.
“The food that we grow on-site will be donated to hunger relief at the food bank and the food pantry here locally,” Adam Saunders, CCUA development director said.
Some plants from the greenhouse will also be given out to local families who will have the opportunity to learn how to establish a home garden This program is free of charge for low-income families.
“Folks who […] get poor access to healthy food because of limited income, if they can grow some food at home, that’s a good strategy to help improve access to healthy food,” stated Saunders.
Columbia Agriculture Park was officially dedicated July 13 and is under phase one of the “Build This Town: Campaign for the Agriculture Park” construction project. The project includes:
- a year-round covered facility for the Columbia Farmers Market;
- an interactive urban farm;
- an outdoor nature playground ;
- a multi-purpose building; and,
- an outdoor recreational trail.
The project is a joint effort of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, the CCUA, Columbia Farmers Market and Sustainable Farms and Communities.