Posted Apr. 16 2013, 02:11:13 pm

Andrea Shea

Sustainability and agriculture work hand in hand. 

Farmers can’t produce good food without caring for the land, the people they feed or the long-term economic stability of the operation.

St. Louis’ Gateway Greening is another example of sustainability and agriculture working in unison, so I was excited to hear the organization’s executive director speak at the most recent St. Louis Agribusiness Club meeting. Gateway Greening is at the crossroads of the local food, urban agriculture, sustainability and urban revitalization movements. The executive director talked about Gateway Greening’s many programs, from community gardens to youth education.

At Standing Partnership, we’re fortunate to work with clients and co-workers who are passionate about both sustainability and agriculture. Last summer, Standing employees spent a Saturday volunteering at one of Gateway Greening’s community gardens, and many of us will be going back this May.

At the meeting, Gateway Greening also introduced its new FarmWorks project on the north St. Louis riverfront. Plans include indoor and outdoor garden areas to enable year-round production and job training programs. Moving beyond urban agriculture, FarmWorks will provide supportive low-income housing and an opportunity for renewable energy harvesting.

As someone who also mixes my love for my family’s farm and St. Louis, I was energized to hear how Gateway Greening will be taking sustainability and urban agriculture even further to benefit our city. I have fond memories of summer evenings spent collecting vegetables from my grandma’s garden, and I love the idea of community gardens as a source of therapy and training for people in need.

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