Urban Farming | St. Louis Public Radio

Urban Farming

Fifth graders at The Soulard School take turns feeding and caring for chickens in the school's yard.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On a recent sunny-side-up morning, Seth Jansen delivered two lively hens and a rental coop to Anne Miller’s home in Olivette.

Miller smiled nervously as Jansen showed her how to hold a chicken.

“Hi, little friend,’’ Miller cheerfully told her new backyard guest. “We’re going to have to get to know each other. And then we’ll come up with a name, because I can’t just call you Chicken One and Chicken Two.”

Suk (right) and Chandra Sapkota prepare gardens beds for planting at Global Farms' south St. Louis location on a Saturday in May 11, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The first time Jean de Dieu Sebunyenzi saw American food, he didn’t want to eat it. It was airplane food — hardly America’s finest culinary introduction.

Sebunyenzi had never been on a flight before, much less a 20-plus-hour travel marathon from Rwanda to Amsterdam to New York to his new home in St. Louis. The whole time, he ate nothing. It all looked so foreign to him.

Gibron Jones founded HOSCO eight years ago to help provide training, education and expand urban farming food operations.
Ashley Gieseking | Sauce Magazine

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about urban agriculture and food justice in the St. Louis region for our monthly Sound Bites segment in partnership with Sauce Magazine.

Sauce Magazine managing editor Catherine Klene, HOSCO Foods founder Gibron Jones and Missouri Coalition for the Environment farm and food director Melissa Vatterott joined the discussion to talk about urban farming in St. Louis.

Erin Williams | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

Anyone in St. Louis, Kansas City, or any other urban area in Missouri who wants to plant rooftop gardens or fruit trees can get financial help from the state.

The Department of Agriculture is providing matching grants of up to $7,500 for urban and non-traditional agriculture projects. A total of $100,000 is available for the current fiscal year, and higher priority will be given to projects that create jobs and "demonstrate an economic benefit and potential for sustainable revenue generation."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Twenty-two years ago, when Merryl Winstein began raising chickens in her own Webster Groves backyard, the practice brought up certain words for some people -- like low-class.

“Now, there are other words,” says Winstein, “like sustainability, low-carbon footprint and green living.”

In the more than two decades since her first chickens began laying their first eggs, a lot has changed. Raising backyard chickens is seen, by many, as sustainable and a way to have some control over their food source.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 9, 2009 - "The Burning Kumquat," Washington University's student-run organic farm, located adjacent to the Alumni House on the Washington University campus, became a free-of-charge urban farm camp this summer.

Co-founded by two students -- myself (garden name: "Dragonfly") and Katie Anderson (garden name: "Chestnut") -- Camp Kumquat brought students and campers, ranging from 9 to 12, together to investigate and reconnect to the sources of their food.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 19, 2009 - A tiny farm outside the St. Louis Science Center will provide city dwellers with a first-hand opportunity to see how farmers grow crops, including those that have been genetically engineered.