Chow Town

Explore the food growing in Kansas City area’s urban neighborhoods

Jessica Logsdon searched for ripe mulberries at Pink Pony Farm, 1009 Chestnut Ave., in Kansas City. The farm will be on Cultivate KC's Urban Grown Tour of farms and gardens on Saturday and Sunday.
Jessica Logsdon searched for ripe mulberries at Pink Pony Farm, 1009 Chestnut Ave., in Kansas City. The farm will be on Cultivate KC's Urban Grown Tour of farms and gardens on Saturday and Sunday. tljungblad@kcstar.com

Kansas City was not talking about urban agriculture 10 years ago.

Sure, a handful of farmers grew food in the city; a couple farmers’ markets popped up every Saturday morning, and a few community gardens filled vacant lots. In 2005, Cultivate Kansas City (then the Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture) hosted the first Urban Grown Tour with just six farms and 200 visitors.

Things have changed since then.

Kansas City now has one of the most vibrant urban agriculture communities in the country. As the tour celebrates 10 years of growth, more than 2,000 participants are expected to visit 30 farms and gardens during this year’s Urban Grown Tour which will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

This self-guided tour of farms and gardens is your chance to visit folks who are feeding Kansas City, glean ideas for your home garden, learn about keeping chickens in your backyard, understand what it takes to run a farm business in the city and get inspired by neighbors working together to feed each other.

The Urban Grown Tour offers the whole family an opportunity to see how food is grown and to reconnect with the people who are growing it.

Over the last decade, Cultivate Kansas City has been part of reintroducing food to the urban landscape, with an emphasis on supporting entrepreneurial farm businesses. This year’s tour celebrates the tremendous growth over the years, while looking forward to the next decade.

Here’s an overview of the Urban Grown Event:

▪ The Urban Grown Kick Off: Our Roots, Our Fruits, Our Future event will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Central Branch of the Kansas City Public Library, 14 W. 10th St. A reception will be held prior to the event at 6 p.m.

▪ Eat Out Local: People are encouraged on Thursday to dine at participating restaurants offering special Urban Grown menu items that feature produce from local growers. Ten percent of sales will be donated to Cultivate Kansas City.

The participating restaurants are Blue Bird Bistro, Eden Alley, Lidia’s Kansas City, Renee Kelly’s Harvest, Story, The Farmhouse, The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange, The Sundry and Webster House.

▪ Urban Grown Tour: People can tour 30 farms and grounds in the Kansas City area from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Press here for a list of participating farms. The cost is $8 for individuals and $20 for families if purchased in advance. On tour weekend, the cost is $12 for individuals and $25 for families. Group tickets are $5 for each person in a group of 10 or more people.

▪ Urban Grown Birthday Bash: A picnic will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. at Westport Middle School field, 300 E. 39th St., Kansas City. Although the deadline has passed to order a picnic meal, you are welcome to attend by bringing your own picnic.

Visit www.cultivatekc.org/urbangrowntour/ for all event details and tickets.

Ami Freeberg is the communications and outreach manager for Cultivate Kansas City.

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