urban agriculture

Urban Harvest STL's new farm will cover 10,000 sq. ft. on the roof of a two-story building in downtown St. Louis.
Artist's rendition courtesy of HOK

St. Louis will soon have its first rooftop farm.

Urban Harvest STL signed a lease for the space this week on the roof of a two-story building a couple of blocks east of the City Museum.

The non-profit’s founding director, Mary Ostafi, said the 10,000 sq. ft. rooftop will be more than just a community garden. “We’re going to have an outdoor classroom, as well as a gathering space for community events," Ostafi said. "We’ll be raising chickens and tending bees."

Gateway Greening intern Ting "Bella" Liu shows students at Clay Elementary School in North St. Louis how to harvest peas.
Gateway Greening

A St. Louis-based community gardening organization is wrapping up its 30th year with a record harvest.

Gateway Greening’s community and youth gardens harvested more than 190,000 pounds of fresh vegetables and fruit in 2014.

The nonprofit’s executive director, Mike Sorth, said the organization provides basic gardening supplies and assistance to neighborhood gardens, schools and youth groups.

Sweet Potato Project
St. Louis Public Radio

Sweet potatoes planted by St. Louis teens now have their own plot in the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Young members of an effort called the Sweet Potato Project planted seedlings on Saturday, joined by Garden leaders and other supporters. The project teaches teens from north St. Louis how to grow sweet potatoes sustainably, mainly in vacant lots, and then how to brand and sell sweet potato products.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

If you live in any big city in the Midwest, and St. Louis in particular, you’re probably all too familiar with the site of vacant, empty land where homes and businesses used to be. 

This issue of vacant land in an otherwise urban environment presents tough challenges for cities.  This weekend ground will be broken on several projects which aim to change the way neighborhoods and cities deal with vacant property.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Even though up to a foot of snow could blanket parts of the region by tomorrow night, that didn’t stop the St. Louis County Library District from launching a pilot program to put community gardens outside some of its branch locations.

This morning volunteers began assembling 20 raised beds at Prairie Commons Branch in Hazelwood that organizers hope will serve as test plot for future efforts.