Culture Urban Agriculture in Kansas City

Published on July 29th, 2011 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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Urban Agriculture in Kansas City

kansas city uban agriculture: salt of the earth program

Garderners in Kansas City's Salt of the Earth program

Editor’s note: This is the third post in our series on the success of urban agriculture across the United States.

Like Chicago and Omaha, Kansas City has a historical association with the meat industry… and, yes, you can definitely still get a good steak there. But during growing season, there’s also a lot of fresh, local produce from which to choose… KC’s become another hotbed of urban agriculture, ranging from community gardens to non-profit education and community-oriented organizations to for-profit operations (probably small profit, but entrepreneurial nonetheless).

Among the elements that contribute to Kansas City’s success in building robust small-scale community-oriented agriculture:

  • Cultivate Kansas City (formerly the Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture), yet another organization that’s taking leadership in urban food production (and which also owns the Gibbs Road Community Farm, a two-acre model and demonstration farm).
  • The biannual Kansas City Urban Farms & Garden Tour, which appears to be a misnomer at this point: the event not only allows visitors the check out urban agricultural sites within the city (38 at this year’s tour), but also leads up to tour weekend with films, workshops, and dining experiences.
  • The Urban Farming Guys, an ongoing experiment in urban renewal and self-sufficiency (that’s received quite a bit of attention: check out Eat.Drink.Better‘s, Treehugger‘s and Triplepundit‘s coverage). Billed as twenty families that moved from the suburbs into one of Kansas City’s most distressed urban neighborhoods, this project not only involves growing produce, but also small-scale fish farming, infrastructure (re)development, and serving at-risk youth. Do-gooders? Definitely… but do-gooders with a plan and a hell of a work ethic. And they’re documenting their experiences on a video blog.
  • A new city ordinance that allows for sale of produce from home-based gardens (that’s a bit controversial, for a number of reasons)
  • And, of course, a lot of other gardens, plots and other growing spaces… take a look at the America’s Heartland overview of some of these KC efforts:

As in Chicago, we’ve got friends of sustainablog in the metro Kansas City area… so let us know what we missed in this brief overview.

Last (but not least): Baltimore



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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



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