"Air Park Farm" to sustain local food production
By Lauren Dietrich, Student News Reporter Nebraska Public Media
July 8, 2021, 3 p.m. ·
A Lincoln nonprofit is finding a sustainable, and unique way to increase local food production. Community Crops is leasing a 12-acre piece of property from the Lincoln Airport Authority to put in cover crops, create habitat for pollinators, and give new farmers a chance to get started The “Air Park Farm” will be the first urban agriculture plot of its kind in Lincoln.
Community Crops executive director Megan McGuffey said it is very difficult for farmers to get started without inheriting land from their families. So, by leasing portions of the airport property out, they are giving new farmers a chance to grow their business, and in turn producing food for the community.
"The dream we are able to access now that we have the Air Park Farm, is that we can allow local farmers who are starting out to access. So they don't have to worry if they will still have their same farm year after year, which makes it really hard for them to grow their business."
For the inaugural growing season, a quarter acre of the farm will be leased to a Yazidi farmer to produce vegetable crops. Edo, speaking through a translator, said he is blessed to be able to be the first farmer to use the land.
The rest of the land will be used for cover crops, a conservation farming practice used to increase soil health.
The new Air Park Farm, located near the Lincoln airport authority off Northwest 39th street, was made possible partially through a donation from retiring farmer Ron Todd-Meyer. He believes strongly in producing food locally and used the proceeds from selling his farm to invest in the next generation of farmers.
"I've come to realize that with climate change we need to change our food system and we need to start growing food locally again."
After a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, the farm is officially open.