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The Lansing Urban Farm Project is lending another helping hand to local farmers with its new initiative: Lansing Grown Project — an effort to improve Lansing farmers markets’ share via stickers, ala the USDA Organic label.
“All these farmers have outside jobs.
And yet they cannot generate enough income. They’re not large enough. They’re not powerful enough individually,” said LUFP cofounder Laura DeLind.
“So the board decided that it would expand its mission and create programs that would improve the public market opportunities for urban farmers.”
The proposed sticker, which aims to appeal to consumers searching for produce grown as close to home as possible, will identify specialty crops that are grown on urban farms no larger than 2 acres in size that lie within the city of Lansing or Lansing Township.
“It gets muddied as far as who’s bringing in what produce and exactly what’s Lansing grown and what may be brought in from a secondary source,” said Tony Browne of Lansing-based Highwater Farms. “It gives the customer insight that you’re local. It gives them a gateway to Organic certification from the U.S. Agriculture Department can be costly, especially to farmers that are working out of pocket in their own backyard.
“When you’re growing with organic practices, your risk is higher, your investment is higher, your time put into the project is higher,” said Lansing City Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar, who manages the South Lansing Farmers Market. “You’ve got to make the money to just to sustain your farm. This is just one tool the board at LUFP came up with to help.”
The proposed sticker has yet to be designed. Rather than making a single hire on a graphic designer, LUFP decided to engage its community for inspiration. The logo will be selected as part of an upcoming open submission contest.
“It was decided at a public meeting that it could be an event and you could engage residents in the whole process,” DeLind said.
Though LUFP led the initial charge, it’s receiving help from groups like the Allen Neighborhood Center, Ingham County Land Bank and the South Lansing Community Development Association.
Those wishing to get involved will have to stay tuned to LUFP’s and Urbandale Farm’s social media for further announcements.
To promote the Lansing Grown Project, three pop-up markets at the Riverfront near Lansing City Market are on the way on July 14, Aug. 18 and Sept. 22.
Urbandale Farm Open House
Saturday, June 30 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 653 S. Hayford Ave., Lansing For more info as details on the Lansing Grown Project logo contest emerge, follow: www.lansingurbanfarmproject.wordpress.com www.urbandalefarm.com