|Posted by Anne Siren on January 4, 2013 at 2:10 PM|
Oakland Park – An urban farm that brings Oakland Park back to its agricultural roots, but with a new urban look could be sprouting soon.
City staff is close to final negotiations with Jon Albee of the Urban Farm Institute who has submitted a proposal for a farm north of Jaco Pastorius Park. The item will come before the commission this month.
“This will be another phase of our culinary arts district,” said Mayor Anne Sallee. “His could be the farm that grows the lemon grass for a special beer brewed by Funky Buddha,” [the brewery coming soon to Oakland Park Station,] she said.
Residents here have requested community gardens but Sallee said those are difficult.
“But with the urban farm, restaurant owners and residents will be able to buy produce grown in our downtown center,” she said. “We’ll be able to offer a fresh, local product that we haven’t had in a long time.”
Albee proposes an urban farm, green market and community garden with the city as a partner. The site is vacant farmland off Dixie Highway.
The idea is to make locally-grown food more available and to help people grow it themselves. By paying a monthly fee, participants become part of Community Supported Agriculture [CSA] and share in the food raised.
As the word spreads about the culinary arts district, Sallee said the city is getting more inquiries and interest from businesses. Additional development will be coming.
Sallee’s seat on the city commission is one of three up in the March 12 election. She was elected in March 2009.
Asked if she is running for re-election, she said, “I don’t have to make that decision until the qualifying period in January.” Two residents have filed for her seat.
City residents will vote on several proposed charter amendments, including one that would move city elections from March to November.
“It will be a busy year. It will be anything but boring,” Sallee said.