Farmer Interview – Brien Darby, Cultivate KC
We’re delighted to share the news that Cultivate KC’s Westport Commons Farm has been selected as a recipient of a 2022 USDA Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production grant. This funding was made possible by a provision in the 2018 Farm Bill that mandated the creation of the Office of Urban Ag and Innovative Production within the USDA and this subsequent funding opportunity. We celebrate this announcement with several other worthy organizations across the country who engage in the work necessary to create and maintain a safe, robust and equitable local food economy.
This funding, along with contributions from Accenture, Tantillo Family Foundation, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Centurion Legacy project, and the ReBuild KC program, allows us to realize our vision of building the Westport Commons Farm site as a resource and education hub for urban farmers and community members. Our organization has a strong commitment to supporting urban farmers, and the Westport Commons Farm is our response to your request for shared infrastructure, tools and resources to improve outcomes for local farm businesses. Westport also provides a unique opportunity to address the social and collective advocacy needs of farmers in our area.
Over the next year, you will see the addition of a community greenhouse, a tool lending library, a compostable waste drop-off program, the addition of an outdoor classroom and many opportunities to engage with the farm through volunteerism, education and celebration. In later phases of development, we will add an urban farm store stocked with supplies that are difficult to obtain locally but are highly sought after by urban farmers. Additionally, we are building a mobile tool library and washstand that can be deployed to partner farms and organizations to assist with workdays and other projects.
Join us in celebrating our success for a Harvest Happy Hour at the farm on October 20th from 4-6pm. We’ll also be honoring our hardworking volunteers that afternoon, so you won’t want to miss it!