Small Places believes that quality, local food should be made available to all people regardless of location and income, that food should stay as close as possible to where it is produced, and that through thought, collaboration, and the right resources we can show small places matter.

 

Developing a Culture of Health

 

OUR MISSION is to develop a CULTURE OF HEALTH in our communities by renewing the bond between PEOPLE, PLACE, and FOOD. We believe that farming can become a focal point from which we can alter how the various aspects that make up our communities interact in ways that establish health at the center of our Human Ecosystem.

 

People

Agriculture is not about plants; agriculture is fundamentally about people. Our work is focused on improving the health and quality of life of the people living in the communities we serve. Farming not only provides essential food access that many communities lack, but also establishes a space where important relationships between each other can be built.

Place

Many mourn the loss of the "small town" feel, when we could leave our doors unlocked and everyone knew everyone. At its core, the small town is based on connectivity and the realization that interdependence is a way of life. Agricultural spaces have the ability to refocus the dependence we still have to our neighbors and community.

Food

Food is at the core of our work providing a unique tranformational tool that we can utilize to connect people to each other and the place where we live, work, and play. So much of our daily lives revolves around food and contribute to our overall health, not just in the nutrients we consume, but also our social relationships, cultural identity, and urban design.


Solving for Pattern

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Our approach to long-term change focuses on analyzing systems to alter how pieces work together which writer and environmentalist Wendell Berry calls “Solving for Pattern.” Being overly focused on a single problem can create other problems - pesticides are great at addressing the problem of pests but have led to cancer in farm workers, decimated the bee population, destroyed soil fertility, and polluted our ecosystems. We look past individual problems to instead focus on the patterns that connect them to create solutions that can lead to more solutions.

 

 

Culture & Placemaking

Farming is the practice of managing relationships — the bugs to the soil, the microbes to the roots, the weather to the pests — and these relationships are intrinsically dependent upon the place in which they are located to create an intricate, interconnected ecosystem. The most critical relationship a farm has to its place is often forgotten - its community and the people that live there. As we design a farm, we look beyond the physical aspects of the land to the history and context that makes communities unique. Each farm becomes a unique design that develops in reciprocity to its place, ultimately defining the farm.

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Sustainability & Innovation

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Small Places has been developing a unique approach to farming in an urban environment with the concept of Limited Resource Farming which looks to establish systems using free available resources to build fertility, increase production, and lower initial and long-term expenditures. Utilizing the advantages of our urban location such as access to green organic wastes (woodchips, grass clippings, etc), recyclable materials, and roofs for water catchment, we are developing ways to farm better and cheaper which is vital in making urban farming financially sustainable. We believe in farming’s potential to change communities and see our model as one that applicable and replicable in other cities as well as parts of our own.