Urban farming catching on with Toledo Public School students

Urban farming catching on with Toledo Public School students

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Urban farming has become more and more popular over the last few years as more people have become interested in what they're eating and where it comes from.

"Chefs call me and ask, 'hey, how much romaine lettuce can I get from you. Did your students grow that?' They are so interested in a product that came from here," said Bryan Ellis, who teaches in one of the Toledo Public Schools newest programs, Urban Agriculture and hydroponics.

"We started out with a light amount of interest. As we started to show what we're capable of and how we can grow food. As of right now I've got a packed class next year. Might even need to add a second class," said Ellis.

The class, he says, is filling a demand that Toledo Grows has seen since 1996.

For years The urban farming branch of the Toledo Botanical Gardens has worked to supply knowledge and resources to 128 community gardens.

"It's come to an understanding I think with the relationship to food and the earth. What we put into the earth we're going to get back. We know that the healthier our food is, the healthier our bodies are going to be," said Sister Rita Wienkin, an urban farmer with Toledo GROWS.

Urban growers believe these farms will go a long way to help the problem of food deserts in urban communities.

But also that educating the young can help put them ahead in what they see as an emerging market.

"We can actually impact our local economy by having more producers, I think that would make a big dent in the city," said Sister Rita.

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