Building community owned and operated urban farms to address food and economic insecurity.
Through our initial exploration of this project we identified a few residents in East and Southeast Fort Worth that expressed interest in using their land for urban agriculture as a means to address the food insecurities in their community. A newly enacted ordinance allowed for land in the City of Fort Worth to be utilized for farming without the need to change zoning. However it quickly became apparent the ordinance had a few inconsistencies that created obstacles for permitting the farms. We also identified a need to develop specific resources catered to running a successful farm. Realizing this, our strategy led to the creation of Grow Southeast, an independent cohort focused on capacity building and support services to help each farm become a successful and self sufficient entity.
Grow Southeast provides support services and capacity building for each of the (5x) farms we are serving. Each has unique individual needs requiring us to develop and pilot new solutions. Long term CoAct is working with the City of Fort Worth to update the urban agriculture ordinance and help establish a standard operating procedure so other residents may be able to navigate the municipal process easily. Our goal is to build a hub of resources so community members in Fort Worth can easily develop their own urban farms without our intervention. As each farm becomes successful we will be able to shift our focus to other key priority areas while we work collectively to better understand and address food insecurity.