Meet to SUPPORT LOCAL / URBAN FARMING - Tuesday, October 20th

(re-posting...)

SUPPORT URBAN FARMING
Community Meeting at
BADSEED
Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
6:00-7:30pm

Hello Friends & Foodies:

Most of you have been following the BADSEED Saga and are aware of the zoning/codes issues that were raised in relationship to our urban farm . Our situation is settled for the moment; we can continue operations, the codes inspection division no longer has any possible violations pending with us. However, significant compromises have been made. Two issues in particular were were raised that don’t bode well for BADSEED Farm as well as other urban farms- one, because we are farming on a lot with a residence, the farm is considered to be a home based business, and therefore Dan and I (or other urban farmers) can’t have employees, volunteers, interns, or anyone helping with the production. The second is that no CSA members can come to the farm and pick-up their vegetables, as this is “conducting retail business” on site and that isn’t allowed in a residential neighborhood. Urban livestock is another hefty issue on the table effecting both urban farmers and individual families looking to provide some of their own basic needs like eggs and milk. We were forced to get rid of our 3 dairy goats after loosing an Appeal made to the City, and our chickens have been re-located to a permanent pen on our property (eliminating fresh pasture and rotational grazing) to comply with current distance restrictions within the code. BADSEED can live with this through the rest of the season, but these restrictions work against the benefits and dynamics we are all trying to create with locating farms in city neighborhoods.

Because of the situation with BADSEED, it has become clear that codes restrictions like these would benefit from some adjustments on the question of urban gardens and farms.

In our meetings with the Urban Planning and Development staff, and with various city council people, they expressed a willingness to work with us to develop codes that more accurately fit the ways that urban food production is developing in Kansas City, MO. They are in a review period looking at the revised codes, so the timing is good for refinements.

The Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture, BADSEED, and the Food Policy Coalition for Greater Kansas City are organizing a meeting of any interested community members who would like to have input into this process. You are invited to attend, Tuesday, October 20, 6:00-7:30 pm, at the BADSEED Market at 1909 McGee, Kansas City, MO.

The goals of the meeting are:
· To look at existing codes that impact urban agriculture,
· To brainstorm about changes that might be useful and supportive of the benefits of urban agriculture, and
· To put together a volunteer committee of Kansas City, MO residents to lead the codes revisions process. This committee would work with KCCUA, the Food Policy Coalition, and city staff to research possibilities, prioritize, draft, and build political support for more urban ag applicable codes.
· Start a process that other municipalities in the metro area can use as inspiration and as a model for creating more urban ag friendly cities.

At the meeting, we will have KCMO Councilwoman Beth Gottstein, Patty Knoll from the Planning and Development Department of the city, and possibly other city representatives.

The issues that could be addressed through a codes revision process include:
· Types of agriculture: community gardens, educational gardens/farms, commercial farms, hand intensive, tillers/tractors, etc.
· Light manufacturing/processing (e.g. canning facility, fruit processing, dehydration, etc.)
· Employees, volunteers, trainees
· On site sales
· High tunnels/greenhouses/ other structures
· Livestock: set-backs, numbers allowed, types of livestock, etc.

There are likely to be other issues as well, which is why we especially want those of you who are either currently engaged in or who are considering getting involved in urban agriculture to attend. The models for how we do urban food production in the Kansas City metro area are rapidly evolving; we need to think not only about what we are seeing now, but what we might see in five years, in ten years, or further down the road.

PLEASE RSVP! We want to have some idea of how many folks to expect. And, if you can, bring a folding chair, BADSEED will have some on hand, but depending on the numbers, we may need more.
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=144192076750

If you have any questions about this, you can contact:
Katherine Kelly, KC Center for Urban Agriculture, 913-831-2444, or
katherine @ kccua.org
Gretchen Kunkel, Food Policy Coalition of Greater Kansas City,
ghkunkel @ kc.rr.com
Dan Heryer & Brooke Salvaggio,
brooke @ badseedfarm.com, dan @ badseedfarm.com

We’re excited about entering into this process and look forward to working with the city to nurture ethical food production within the metro area!!! The benefits of urban food production are vast, and Kansas City has the unique opportunity to be leaders in the Urban Agriculture movement. Please attend this meeting to ensure it's continued growth through pro-active policies for greener communities.