|Our Farm CommunityMcLaughlin Grows is an organic urban farm located in the McLaughlin Neighborhood of Muskegon, Michigan. When Community enCompass, a non-profit neighborhood development organization began exploring the idea of community gardens, several area businesses supported the idea and the seeds of diverse partnerships were planted. Goodwill Industries of West Michigan offered use of a vacant half-acre lot behind their corporate headquarters; the Community Foundation for Muskegon County provided a generous donation for start-up costs; and we secured a full-time program coordinator with a life long background in organic farming. With help from the Muskegon County Department of Employment and Training, the Community EnCompass Youth Employment Program hired six neighborhood youth, and we broke ground in May 2009.
As a community-based social enterprise, McLaughlin Grows! seeks to:
• Provide employment to McLaughlin residents by offering job training opportunities as well as the development of entrepreneurial and business skills
• Transform the local food system by providing neighborhood residents with access to nutritious, affordable, organic produce
• Build a healthy neighborhood by creating green space, promoting social interaction and fostering a sense of community
McLaughlin Grows aims to become a sustainable model of urban agriculture within its first three years of operation. We are now heading into our third year and are expanding rapidly. The future is looking bright!
|“McLaughlin Grows is part of
a dynamic base of localvores applying
triple bottom line principles
of sustainable health for people,
planet & profits, to our role
in growing the local food system.”“I never imagined myself growing an
organic garden & liking my job,
but I loved it!”