Local Food Cleveland

I am doing a little research about implimenting hydroponic gardening...if you can imagine the Galleria as a natural Greenhouse structure, Bright Farm Systems has developed a vertical integrated system, as well as the work they have done on the Science Barge in New York City assumed by Groundwork Hudson Valley and New York Sun Works. It is my desire to see the Galleria transform into a sustainable urban farm and environmental education center. I would also like to open it up to other farmers, or Garden Centers as there are carts that could be utilized to sell product as well as banisters to hang container gardens. Any suggestions or ideas would be welcome. If we implement the Hydrophonic garden, I am sure I will have to obtain funding, and then figure out how to keep it sustainable.

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Interesting and ambitious project. Indoor (greenhouse) year-around growing is a must have for the future of Cleveland. Who owns the Galleria property? I am willing to help with the research/planning/implementing. How far along are you? At the Sustainable Cleveland Summit I put forth an idea regarding empty multiple story office building retro-fit to indoor greenhouse space... Grow-up not out... But with the roof structure like it is at the Galleria... it is one step closer to reality. Imagine that space ... here is a link to Sweetwater Growers in Canton Georgia http://www.sweetwatergrowers.com/ they received a low-interest loan from Whole Foods. I like the education portion and also the store fronts could be used to lure urban farm suppliers of equipment and supplies under one roof.
Hi Carlton,

Thank you for your interest. The Galleria is owned by a private development Company out of Bethesda Maryland, Minshall Development Company. Our owner likes my idea and as Cleveland has a group (Civic Inovation Lab) that awards grants, I suggested we apply for that. It would be due in September which is too close...however the next submission is May 2010.
We are not far at all...I have been doing some research at this point, but I am a visionary and I am struggling with the next step...I would be happy to invite you up tho the Galleria so tht you can see first hand how perfect the building could be.
The civic innovation lab grants only about $30,000... This needs to have a process like this... http://www.thegrandvision.org/about/

Right now the big thing is putting together a plan... if the owner likes the idea is he willing to help finance the planning stage which would then go out to the community for funding and support? Does he have floor plans in digital format that could be used to help with the concept... the owners support should be a great boon, so don't be afraid to ask him how he can help you make it a reality...

The plan needs to be a business plan... but not long and complicated... I am a firm believer in a ONE PAGE PLAN think of it like a verbal three-block comic - Set-up, details, conclusion - succinct ... with this you can then work with the community groups to achieve the necessary funding.
He likes the idea and I will consider talking with him about support. I do have digital floor plans. We would not be able to offer any up front compensation however, I am certainly hoping to develop a team of people that believe in the concept, and willing to work through the development process for the reward at the end.
Keep me posted... Bullet point your thoughts & tell me how I can help. Are you are looking to start a non-profit or for-profit venture... don't rule out non-profit, with education and research in the mix the project can follow the Cleveland Clinic Foundation model... that will allow growth, excellent wage, and the ability to receive large grants, endowments and use the fundraising techniques unavailable to for-profit ventures. With that in mind there are what I call the not-just-for-profit companies that compete in the marketplace allow growth and excellent wage and dedicates all "after tax" profits to the sister foundation e.g. Greyston Bakery or Newman's Own.

Keep the plan simple now (but factual with "WOW factor") because when you shop it for support, you want the proposal read... and if it is 10+ pages of what I call business BS... it won't get read. This is a great idea and I believe this has the potential to be an exceptional piece of work.
Attached is our preliminary proposal to the Civic Innovation Lab. There is a lot of "repeat" verbage, however, many of the questions create duplication. I would be interested in your feedback...thank you for your time.
Victoria, check out the Cleveland Greenhouse Project...you will find friends there. Here's the link:
Hi Rosemary,

Thank you so much for the excellent direction you provided me. Their project mirrors ours, except for the building Square Footage. The Galleria provides the perfect backdrop and surroundings for a sustainable project such as this. I look forward to future conversation.
Hi Victoria,

If ever I saw a dream writ large then yours is it. Your idea about the Galleria came up briefly in a conversation last night during a viewing of Polycultures at the Waterloo Cafe and I reread your idea when I got home. You propose a massive undertaking, which is something Cleveland can use, and I wonder where does one begin such a project. I think visiting the Bright Farms examples in NY is in order as is perhaps Will Allen's operation in Milwaukee. How did they do it, where are the bumps in the road ahead, and what about funding? What is your market? All of that asked I do think there is a market in this city, I do think it can from the technical end be done and I as I said earlier, the city will benefit. I'm interested in looking into this more with you. I have a background in urban gardening, management including program development and education.
It IS a big dream, however every project starts with one. I appreciate your suggestions, and I will investigate the Milwaukee project and others...perhaps I will suggest setting up a meeting time where those that have the background and the knowledge can participate in a brainstorm session.
Victoria: The Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit is about to make 26 recommendations from the summit and Local Food features prominently in the recommendations. The summary is being finalized as we speak and an announcement will come next week from the mayors office. If the summary stays as it is written one the five thrust of Local food will be to develop year-round agriculture in Cleveland... I will keep you posted on any developments.
Thank you...I will be attending an event tomorrow night to participate in Major Jackson's “Back to the Future: Envision a Sustainable Cleveland Part I The Waterfront Tour.” In short summary, Mayor Jackson has booked the Goodtime III on the evening of Wednesday, September 9, 2009, from 5:30 PM to 8 PM. During the first half of the cruise, which leaves the docks at 6 PM, Mayor Jackson’s narrative will highlight up to a dozen current and pending waterfront development projects visible from the decks of the Goodtime III. He will also be directing atention to Sustainability in Downtown Cleveland. I hope to have the opportunity to talk with him about our ideas.


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