Co-op Urban Farm

Posted on Friday, September 28th, 2012 in General.

**On Monday October 15, 2012 Roanoke City Council unanimously voted to approve Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op’s proposal to purchase what is now Heritage Point Farm. Heritage Point is a sustainable, cooperatively-owned organic urban farm serving the greater Roanoke area and Southwest Virginia. To find out more about the farm, read below and visit FarmRoanoke.com!**

Heritage Point is a 24.9 acre urban farm in Roanoke City proposed by Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op. For over 35 years the Co-op has served the Roanoke Valley as a natural foods grocery store and a business that supports sustainable environmental practices, local farmers, local businesses, and the community under the guidance of cooperative principles.  The Co-op’s proposed urban farm, Heritage Point, will serve to strengthen the Co-op’s role as a leader in improving the local food infrastructure in Southwest Virginia.

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The Co-op plan calls for a fruit orchard, honey, cut flowers, nursery and bedding plants, and off-season vegetable production. Free-range chickens will supply the Co-op with egg production and fertilizer for the farm.  Since the group utilizes sustainable farming techniques, it will not use harmful commercial fertilizers or pesticides.

We believe the farm would be the largest contiguous urban farm in the United States.

Please visit FarmRoanoke.com to read more about Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op’s plans for the proposed urban farm site as well as the impact Heritage Point will have on the economic, social, and environmental health of the Roanoke Valley. Don’t forget to subscribe to our farm blog to keep up with everything farm related!

Press Release:

Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op Submits Proposal for Urban Farm

Farm to have an on-site farmers’ market & U-Pick operation

Roanoke, Va. (September 27, 2012) – Ten months after withdrawing its proposal to create an urban farm at the former Countryside Golf Course, Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op has submitted a proposal to Roanoke City Council to purchase 17.5 acres of land from the City of Roanoke to serve as the site for its urban farm.

The property – located on Blue Hills Drive off of 460 in Northeast Roanoke – was home to the Roanoke City Police Department’s Mounted Patrol until 2009. Along with a horse barn, a historic cabin sits on the property, which the Co-op intends to restore and highlight with plantings of heritage crops around the structure.

“The land has the look and feel of a country farm just a few miles from our store in the Grandin Village,” says Bruce Phlegar, General Manager of Roanoke Natural Foods Coop.  The Co-op plan calls for a fruit orchard, honey, cut flowers, nursery and bedding plants, and off-season vegetable production using “high tunnel hoop houses”. Freerange chickens will supply the Co-op with some egg production and fertilizer for the farm.  Since the group utilizes sustainable farming techniques, it will not use harmful commercial fertilizers or pesticides. The group is also proposing to lease from the City of Roanoke an additional 7.4 acres of nearby land for planting row crops.

The Co-op believes the 24.9 acres to be the largest contiguous urban farm in the United States. Plans also call for an on-site farmers’ market, group tours as well as classes focusing on food and gardening. “We are excited to present our plans for a vibrant, productive urban farm,” Phlegar says. “Our farm will strengthen the local, sustainable food movement in the Roanoke Valley.” The Co-op has already reviewed the proposal with the surrounding neighbors and has received their enthusiastic support. The Co-op has built a website, www.farmroanoke.com, where you can go to learn more about their proposal.

Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op has served the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia since 1975, providing the community with nutritious food choices and earth-friendly products. The Co-op supports sustainable environmental practices, local organic farmers, local businesses, and its surrounding community. Products at Roanoke Natural Foods contain no artificial colorants, preservatives, or additives. In addition to providing families with high-quality organic and natural products, Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op supports local efforts to preserve the integrity and health of our natural resources and community.

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