Rid-All Green Partnership

David Hester, Keynah Durdan, Damian Forshe, Randy McShepard and Marc White, Rid-All Green Partnership. Credit: Gary Yasaki.

A year ago, we had this polar vortex, when it was minus 40 degrees for a week and a half straight. Then, this year we’re in late November and it’s 60 degrees. Early this year, it rained almost all spring and all early summer. It’s so unpredictable. So we have to be very adaptable to extreme weather changes and, excuse me, it’s sad to say, but we know it’s not going to get any better, it’s going to continue to get worse.

Marc White, Keymah Durdan & David Hester

Rid-All Green Partnership

Midwest Region | Cleveland, OH

Main Product: Vegetables

Scale: 15 acres under management

Featured Resilience Behaviors:

Urban soil/community restoration, 20 social enterprises, improve recovery reserves, growers’ network, carbon farming.

From the Public Square in downtown Cleveland, the trip out to the farm is an easy ten minutes by car on a Saturday morning. Head southeast on Ontario St. and continue onto Orange Avenue, then take a slight left onto Woodland Ave. and head due east out of town. Take a right on Kinsman Road, a left onto 81st St., then a right on Otter Ave and you’ve arrived at the Rid-All Green Partnership’s city farm. Although just a short drive from downtown Cleveland, decades of disinvestment have left the Kinsman area so isolated that it was nicknamed The Forgotten Triangle. It’s a problem faced by many post-industrial cities in the Midwest. Factories closed and when the white middle class took flight into the suburbs, they took investment capital, new industries and jobs with them.

The Rid-All farm began as a vision shared by three men who grew up together nearby, left home to find their fortunes in other places and returned to give back to the community that raised them. They came home to transform the land and people that they loved while sharing a gospel of soil: heal the soil, heal the people, heal the community, heal the planet.

“Our thing has been to see how far we can push this,” says Marc White, a founding partner and project manager. “To see how much we can do as urban farmers to help our community. It’s profound to see the effects of what we have created grow and change on a daily basis, year after year, season after season.” Marc’s many years in fashion design inform his work as the farm’s general manager and lead value-added product developer. He uses his design experience to create beautiful landscapes on the farm that produce healthy foods designed to promote the health and beauty of the people that enjoy his Urban Farm Doctor’s line of regenerative superfoods juice and food products.

Want to read more? You can find the full version of this story in the Second Edition of Resilient Agriculture, available for purchase here.