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BUSINESS: Non-profit farm aims to spread agricultural awareness 

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Reno Food System’s five-acre urban farm is a work in progress. The farm’s manager, Lyndsey Langsdale, said that unlike her previous farm – Lost City Farm on Center Street, which closed in 2015 – Reno Food Systems is a nonprofit that aims to grow fruits and vegetables for local restaurants and customers. 

It also serves to spread awareness about how such a property can serve as a model for growing elsewhere. The farm was originally intended to be one of many similar operations around the county, but Langsdale said five acres keeps her and the Reno Food System’s team plenty busy. 

“Our original vision for the future was that this would be the first one,” she said. “I feel like that was maybe super ambitious because this one is very hard, just the one. Just the one is enough. It’s hard when you’re a big-picture thinker to just be satisfied with the thing that you’re doing currently.”

Reno Food Systems is also trying to spread agricultural knowledge and awareness to the Truckee Meadows community.

“Our focus isn’t selling the produce,” Langsdale said. “Our biggest intention is to show a good use for public land, and a good partnership with the county or municipality that has access to lots of open space.

“We tend to think that having open space that’s supporting the land, the creatures on the land [and] recognizing the original peoples of the land and the agrarian heritage of it … honoring all of the things that land can be beneficial for, for everybody – that’s what we like to do,” she added.

The five-acre farm on Mayberry Drive, near McCarran Boulevard, is on Washoe County property, but is managed by the nonprofit. 

Langsdale said the farm relies on volunteers, donations and grants. It gets funding from the state department of agriculture and foundations, and Patagonia helps the farm with volunteers.

Local restaurants and the Great Basin Food Co-op purchase the farm’s produce. The Reno Public House uses farm products in craft cocktails, Langsdale said.

“Mostly we sell at our farm stand here,” she added. 

A large solar panel powers the farm, including charging two electric bikes, which were also donated. Langsdale said the e-bikes are invaluable in getting people, and produce, around the property. 

“I don’t even know how, for three years, I walked this five-acre property every day,” Langsdale said. “We can attach our wagon to it and move stuff around. They’re just really fun.”

Learn more: https://www.renofoodsystems.org/

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Bob Conrad
Bob Conradhttp://thisisreno.com
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. He is also a part time instructor at UNR.

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