Last week I visited the Cleveland-based RidAll Green Partnership's urban farming project, an inspirational example of inner-city revitalization through environmental infrastructure. Located in the 'forgotten triangle', the RidAll Green Partnership incorporates aquaponics, soil-based urban farming, composting, and public education.
RidAll founder Damien Forshe was well aware of the need for access to healthy food given his work as an exterminator in Cleveland communities. Forshe responded by founding the RidAll Foundation in 2011 and began building the RidAll partnership, located in Cleveland's Urban Innovation Zone. The Ridall partnership grows fresh produce and fish that it sells to local residents and institutions. The partnership also re-used demolition debris that was on-site to create educational space. The site generates revenues from twenty-two sources, including selling tilapia from the farm's aquaponics tanks and compost of food scraps donated by the local food bank. The St. Vincent's Hospital committed to purchasing produce from the facility for its first two years of existence, providing a consistent source of income during the project's most fledgling stage. Thousands of local residents have visited the site for educational purposes, while many purchase fresh produce -- especially kale -- from the farm.