Toledo’s urban farmer looking for agricultural designation

Urban farming may get a boost in Toledo
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 11:01 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - There’s a new potential boost to urban farming in Toledo.

One man has made it his mission and now he’s looking to have his farming operation officially classified as just that. It’s work that’s come with a learning curve.

Every garden starts somewhere. For Thomas Jackson his gardens and all of his urban farming plans started with learning.

“No one knew what I was doing. It was something new to me, I was starting. I didn’t think I’d be doing this, but I’m happy, I am,” said Jackson.

Jackson started his organic urban farming about 5 years ago. It hit some bumps, which included fines from the city of Toledo. Neighbors were caught off guard, as well.

“It takes time. I could never get mad at my neighbors for not wanting wood chips next door to them, but once they see what the wood chips became, they’re happy now,” said Jackson.

His work has now turned into 3 completed beds with numbers 4, 5, and 6 in the works. The goal is to get to 10 beds with the potential of producing 15,000 to 20,000 pounds of fresh produce in each bed.

It’s not just lots and gardens; in fact, Jackson has put together a green house.

He’s now asking Toledo City Council to designate three of his lots (on Macomber, Swiler and Milburn) an agricultural district so they’re treated like farmland you see throughout the state. A dream Jackson says wasn’t always his plan but has become his mission.

“Be careful what you pray for ‘cause it’s going to happen. You just don’t know how it’s going to happen,” said Jackson.

Toledo city council held a public hearing on the designation Tuesday. They decided it should move forward. Council may see legislation to vote on at the May 10th meeting.

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