Urbane Apartments Launching 5 Week CSA Training Program

Urbane Apartments Launching 5 Week CSA Training Program

(Crystal A Proxmire, Jan. 25, 2020)

Royal Oak, MI – Urbane Apartments already tend to stand out, with their spring green color scheme, modern and artistic features, and emphasis on creating community with common areas and a welcoming pet policy. But supporting the environment and giving residents the pride of gardening is also part of the Urbane way.

This year they’re taking community gardening to the next level, with a five week CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) training program this is open to residents and non-residents.

By attending each of classes, participants will be eligible for grow space, seed, water, supplies, and ongoing mentorship to run their own growing program at Urbane properties.

Urbane proprietor Eric Brown teamed up with Rachel Engel of the Ferndale Farmstead to lead the inaugural program. Engel uses her own home in Ferndale as a demonstration of what sustainable living looks like. Oakland County Times interviewed Engel last year about the features of her earth-friendly home. She often invites people over to tour the yard, and is looking forward to bringing her knowledge to a larger audience, and works collaboratively with other gardeners to share produce and sell the excess.

“We met last summer,”  Brown said of Engel.  “We shared with Rachel and she harvested some of our vegetables we grew for her CSA Ferndale Farmstead, Rachel is wicked smart, and is ‘walking the talk,’ living the hyper-local sustainable lifestyle. We support that in every way.

The class is limited to 25 people.  Participants will learn basic permaculture design, plant selection for zone 6, soil-plant-human health, companion planting, water conservation, food basket design, avoiding burnout and ensuring success by starting small and awesome, marketing with love and recipes, zero-waste, and community involvement.

The vision is to create a collaboration between Urbane, new growers, and their community to form a food producing alliance while healing the Earth and earning extra income by growing fresh nutritious foods using zero-waste and ecological practices. This is a model of green economy and community building.

Thanks to the contribution of learning space, land, water, materials, and seed by Urbane, participants only need to bring the desire to learn, grow (even with zero experience), and run a CSA.

“We have Urban Gardens producing vegetables and Flowers at seven Urbane Apartment Communities,” Brown said.  “We are creating Monarch Butterfly Stations at 6-Urbane Apartment Communities this spring, that will be registered. This is a 5-Week Training Class to teach participants how to conduct and run a CSA Side Business. Urbane will provide the land/planters/seeds/promotion for each student to get started, The classes are free. We want to connect land owners with new gardeners/sustainable food growers.”

Urbane’s biggest efforts are the UrbaneFarm at 4031 Crooks, which is also the location of their main office, and the lavender garden at their 249 Crooks location.  “We partnered with Michelle Lutz for the 2019 growing season, a very experienced Urban Farmer who planted and over saw 22,000 seedlings that she grew and harvested Flowers and Vegetables at multiple Urbane Communities for anyone in the local neighborhoods to use, and eat. Michelle is on board to help run things in 2020 too, We love her!”

“Without sounding over dramatic, I feel it is the only way out of the social economic quandary,” Brown said of the various sustainable gardening efforts.  ‘Rachel is heading up the Butterfly Stations for us, in conjunction with Michelle Lutz’s efforts of growing the Flowers and Vegetables. All is an effort to match landowners with new growers, and provide healthy food at a hyper-local level”

The classes take place at The Office Coffee Shop, 402 S Lafayette Ave., Royal Oak, MI 48067.  For more info or to register visit www.urbaneapts.com.


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