East End Market and IDEAS For Us (Website | Facebook)  are partnering to help start FLEET farming in Orlando.

The idea is that you can use your front-yard to grow vegetables that would be sold direct to consumers.

Right now the lawns would be rented by John Rife, owner of East End and the vegetables gown by Rife, students, volunteers and members of IDEAS.

Land owners would get a portion of the vegetables as they are harvested.

The produce is then sold at the Audubon Park Community market and direct to consumer.

At this point Rife says it’s just a pilot that they hope to turn into a sustainable business.

“The next step would be a direct-to-consumer community-supported agriculture,” he said.

In that model people  would pay at the beginning of the growing season and get a basket of produce each week.

Instead of relying on semi-trucks to transport from farm to store and then cars to get from store to home FLEET framing will rely on bicycles.

John Rife with East End Market tells Bungalower that 70 percent of carbon emissions from the farm to plate are created not by the semi-trucks carting produce cross-country but from the millions of consumers driving to pick it up at their local grocery store.

“The closer we grow vegetables to the end consumer the shorter these trips become.  When we have multiple veggie plots in a neighborhood within cycling and walking distance to the consumer, we can significantly reduce the impact of consumers driving to the store,” he said.

He says reducing the environmental footprint isn’t just about transportation.

“Since most lawns get watered by irrigation already, watering the vegetable garden doesn’t increase the impact on our water consumption.  Plus with major droughts affecting our food supply across the country, having food grown in our backyards provides a degree of food security of our local community,” he said.

East End will be helping people learn how to become growers using organic and pesticide free methods.

“I’m also so excited about the prospect of “growing growers”.  Farming is such an honorable profession and thanks to the interest in local produce, farmers, young and old, can make a handsome wage providing specialty crops to area restaurant and foodie consumers,” Rife said.

This Saturday East End is hosting Planing for a Market Garden where you can learn how to get your garden up and running and next Wednesday they are having Fleet Farming: A Day in the Life, where you can ride the Fleet Farming route.

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  1. Is it possible to skip renting out your yard and having volunteers work in it and just sell or trade what I grow in my garden?

  2. olivierlacan Without pose able thumbs, what separates me from animals?! Don’t say reason because I lack that too.