The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture seeks to promote and work towards the establishment, development, and maintenance of a functional, efficient and, above all, sustainable local food system in the city of Columbia, Missouri. The center is a local non-profit organization that depends on volunteers, vegetable sales, landscaping clients, grants, and the generosity of the public to fulfill its mission.
Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture exists to facilitate the development of local and urban agriculture food systems and their community, environmental, economic, and health benefits.
CCUA uses many approaches to reach this Vision and Mission. Our organization is very entrepreneurial in nature and uses a range of strategies. Here is a snapshot of our actions:
- Education is used to empower and mobilize our community. CCUA works with organizations that have a desire to learn about and work with local food systems.
- Internships provide students of all ages and backgrounds with the in-depth knowledge of urban agriculture methods and the complexity of food systems.
- Educational outreach programs with area families, schools, groups, and agencies exposes people to our vision of a vibrant local food system.
- Tours and workshops show our production methods and teach models to replicate.
- Production of food in an urban setting is a critical part of the local food movement. CCUA directly produces and sells food, supports area producers (backyard, community garden and commercial), and creates markets for this food to be bought and sold.
- Outreach to the community is critical to empower people to join the movement and make it accessible to all those willing to get their hands dirty. The Opportunity Gardens program is our primary outreach tool to integrate gardening into the everyday lives of Columbia residents. Low-income residents, schools and agencies serving low-income people are eligible for this free raised bed installation and mentoring service.
- Landscaping reaches people at their homes, business, and gardens. Our hourly service can convert any space into an aesthetic oasis in the city or a productive biodynamic vegetable patch. Clients are not the only ones to receive a boom to their local environment; our Opportunity Garden program receives a percentage of every billable hour. Thus hiring CCUA for your landscaping needs also helps low-income families grow vegetables at their home.
- Advocacy for the creation and implementation of policy that supports the expansion of urban agricultural endeavors is spearheaded by CCUA and their fellow supporters. Furthermore, CCUA advocates for lifestyles that embrace local seasonal food consumption and production.
For more information about Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture please contact us.
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