Open Space Council STL

Save Small Farms

The Open Space Council is partnering with EarthDance, a budding not-for-profit whose mission is to grow and inspire local FARMS: food, art, relationships, and music, sustainably; on a new initiative to save small farms in the St. Louis area. In May of 2012, Open Space Council, along with a few donors, provided funds to EarthDance so that they could purchase Mueller Farm, a 14-acre farm in Ferguson, Missouri, that has been producing organic food in North St. Louis County since 1883. As of December 2012, 11 acres of the farm will be placed under a conservation easement to ensure that the farm remains an organic farm into the future.

If farms are to continue growing food, they must be kept affordable for farmers.  In many real estate markets today, farms are being sold to non-farmers for prices that are out of the reach of farmers.  This is a problem not only for current and aspiring farmers who are unable to purchase farms, but for local communities that have an interest in preserving access to locally produced food.

The goals of the program:

  • To explore alternative approaches to land ownership;
  • To preserve the affordability of farms for farmers;
  • To increase community access to locally produced food.

The founder of EarthDance, Molly Rockamann, states, "Food has a powerful, emotional, sensual pull that gets people motivated to action."

Over the past year, there has been an increased need and demand for locally grown, sustainable agriculture, and with this comes the need for more agricultural land.  America is losing 1.2 million acres of farmland annually, according to the Farmland Trust.  OSC is joining EarthDance in the "Save Small Farms Program," as another part of the OSC land trust program.  OSC understands the important role agriculture land plays in our everyday lives and how quickly this land is changing uses.

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P.O. Box 220011, St. Louis, MO 63122  |  314.835.9225
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