In the horticulture program: “We would problem-solve about the logic behind growing plants: what they need to survive; common diseases; landscape design; botany and the structural make-up of the plant.”
By Jimmy Sherfey
Nov 3, 2016
Fleet Farming recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with matching funds from City of Orlando and Orlando City Soccer, totaling $250,000. With the money, Fleet Farming will bring its ‘Food, not lawns’ model to the Parramore neighborhood, setting up a Farmers’ Market at Orlando City soccer stadium that will distribute Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes filled with “hyper-local” produce. These boxes will include seasonal produce harvested by Fleet Farmers on 10-15 neighborhood “farmlettes” and sold at a flat rate through memberships held by market attendees.
Fleet Farming will enter the Parramore neighborhood at a time when UCF and Valencia prepare to anchor the Creative Village with a joint Downtown Campus. As Valencia’s culinary program will be relocating to this complex adjacent to Parramore, Orlando’s newest urban agriculture experiment could further open the door for the kind of service-learning opportunities in which Valencia students are already engaged. Though Fleet Farming plans to hire a resident of Parramore to manage the expansion, it will continue to rely heavily on volunteer work and student internships as it enters the next chapter. For now, Caroline feels fortunate to have current Valencia students Mike Clevenger, Sigourney Salusso, and Bradley Holcomb working as interns in this transformative time for the small, but powerful nonprofit.