Aug. 18 2010 12:00 AM

Urbandale Farm Project, Hayford Street, Lansing


Hear “urban farming” and think “oxymoron?” The reality is that farming has an incredibly urban tradition. In fact, the first cities in human history occurred as a direct result of the simultaneous agricultural revolution of the Neolithic period. One of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, the hanging gardens of Babylon, was urban agriculture at its finest. The breathtakingly beautiful city of Machu Picchu incorporated farming directly into the urban landscape with stepped terraces built with astonishing precision. Lansing too is lush with urban gardens that allow the urban dweller to partake in this great tradition.

Nestled between the charming houses of South Hayford Street, the Urbandale Farm Project’s lush array of vegetables makes the city more lovely by mitigating heat island effect, reducing blight and enriching lives in numerous ways. “Wed like the farm to inspire people artistically as well as socially and nutritionally,” Laura DeLind, co-founder of the Urban Farm Project, said via e-mail. Urban farming may be of the moment, but it is not some new fangled trend. It is rooted in a rich history of urbanism. “There is something mysteriously compelling and rewarding about watching things grow and taking part in the process,” she added.

Do you have a green thumb for growing veggies and love urban living? Farm without giving up the benefits of the city by joining one of the Lansing area’s numerous community gardens:

The Lansing Urban Farm Project
Urbandale Farm Project: Contact Eric at 267-5221

The Garden Project Gardens

  • Airport Community Garden

  • Armory Community Garden

  • Clifford Park Community Garden

  • ELF Community Garden

  • Foster Community Garden

  • Jolly Grove Community Garden

  • Letts Community Garden

  • Lilac Community Garden

  • North School Community Garden 

  • Otto School Community Garden

  • Paradise Community Garden

  • Risdale Park Community Garden

  • Slater Park Community Garden

  • Spartan Village Community Garden

  • Towar Community Garden

Click here to sign up for a plot at one of the gardens listed above.

Gardens offering plots to the general public (Contact the garden directly or inquire for more information at the Greater Lansing Food Bank)

  • The Corner Garden: Contact MC at 203-8937 or

  • Der Happy Hollow: Contact Ron at

  • Eden Church's Gardens of Eden: Contact Kathy at 517-676-2145 or

  • Hunter Park GardenHouse: Call 517-999-3910 or

  • Ingham County Land Bank: Contact Eric at 267-5221 or Many locations available.

  • Mason Community Garden: Call 517-676-9155 or

  • Old Town Commercial Association Garden: Call 517-485-4283 or

  • St. Casimir / MPNO: Contact Paul at 517-214-3931 or