Farming Flowers in Baltimore’s Vacant Lots

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Photo via Hidden Harvest Farm
Photo via Hidden Harvest Farm

There are vacant lots all over Baltimore. Some people have devoted time and effort to planting vegetables in those empty spaces; now, the Baltimore Sun reports, there’s a growing movement to turn other vacant lots into flower farms.

The success of local fruit and vegetable farms inspired the city to start looking into the viability of local flower farming. Other cities with similar vacancy issues–including St. Louis, Detroit, and Minneapolis–have found success in turning vacant land into small-scale flower farms. Flowers make more money per acre than vegetables do, one expert told the Sun.

Kristin Dawson, a former city policy analyst and urban agriculture expert, will be paid $10,000 (half of that coming from the city and half from the Abell Foundation) to investigate how flower farms could function in Baltimore–that is, whether there’s supply, demand, and infrastructure to start flower farms around town.

Walker Marsh of the Real Food Farm is a few steps ahead of the city on this one–he’s already planning a flower farm on a vacant lot at North Gay and North Washington streets, after winning the Growing Green Design Competition. In a few years, perhaps we’ll be seeing blooms all over the city.



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