The Wyoming Business Council awarded 13 Farm Wall grants in seven Wyoming communities in early April.
Farm walls are small, vertical growing systems that don’t require soil. These living walls date back to the ancient hanging gardens of Babylon. Their small footprint allows food to be grown and harvested within city limits and crowded urban areas, offering another option for bringing fresh produce to more people. The lush greenery also adds aesthetic value to otherwise bare, unused space.
The communities and organizations that will receive Farm Wall grants are:
Grant recipients will partner with local venues to showcase the farm walls as living art and engage with visitors and residents to educate them about growing food in town. Participants must also work to build enough community support and capacity to carry the project on after the two-year grant cycle is complete.
Rooted in Wyoming’s farm wall will be located in Smith Alley in Sheridan, which has been repurposed into a pedestrian walkway with outdoor dining. The produce will be used by Smith Alley Brewing Company and for local non-profit functions.
“We hope the farm wall project will create awareness about different ways to grow food beyond traditional methods and get people thinking about growing their own food,” said Lise Foy, executive director of Rooted in Wyoming. “It is also a beautiful piece of living, edible art for our community to enjoy.”
As part of the grant agreement, Wyoming company Bio-Logic Designs will install and maintain the walls, as well as teach the communities how to continue the project and build community engagement.
“It’s exciting to see the unique character that each community program will have,” said Travis Hines from Bio-Logic Designs. “I think this collective will create great opportunities for education, experience and community building through food in our state. I look forward to working on these awesome projects.”
The Farm Wall grants are funded through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop grant and administered by the Wyoming Department of Agriculture.