A new program of the Greater Lansing Food Bank beginning in 2013, Lansing Roots is designed to help limited resource and/or historically under-served individuals from the greater Lansing area begin successful market gardening and farming enterprises through an incubator farm setting. Lansing Roots is made possible through a Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program grant administered by the USDA-NIFA.
For years many area gardeners were looking to scale up their production space and learn to market and sell their crops. At the same time, the GLFB recognized the increased demand for local produce.
Lansing Roots serves as a complement to The Garden Project’s on-going support for community gardens by both encouraging successful gardeners and interested entrepreneurs to develop farm enterprises, and lowering the barriers to success. Lansing Roots will do this by starting an incubator farm, where participants will each have a small plot of land to start their own farms. Lansing Roots will provide training workshops focused around practical skills in agriculture and business, and will provide a collaborative network through which to market and sell the food produced.
This program will help bridge this growing gap by:
- Improving the economic livelihood of low-income individuals and families through self-employment in farming.
- Increasing the number of small-scale producers growing for market.
- Improving community food security and generating new foods for donation to the GLFB (through a demonstration farm area).