Local Food Action Plan - icon only

Contact The Local Food Team

Karima Samadi
Policy, Research, and Evaluation
Columbus Public Health
[email protected]
Brian Estabrook
Food Systems Planner
Franklin County Economic Development & Planning Department
[email protected]

Civic Agriculture- Growing Food in Columbus

Civic Agriculture- Growing Food in Columbus 

Growing food for personal use or for economic opportunities has many benefits to the health of a community. This web page was designed to provide common definitions for civic agriculture, to list local and national funding opportunities, clarify regulations, promote education and technical assistance opportunities for growers and much more. 

What is Civic Agriculture?

Civic agriculture is defined as “A locally organized system of agriculture and food production characterized by networks of producers who are bound together by place. Civic agriculture embodies a commitment to developing and strengthening an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable system of agriculture and food production that relies of local resources and serves local markets and consumers. The imperative to earn a profit is filtered through a set of cooperative and mutually supporting social relations. Community problem-solving rather than individual competition is the foundation of civic agriculture.”  - Thomas A. Lyson, 1999  

Click  here for a list of more common terms and definitions related to growing food in Columbus. 

Grant Opportunities

The following funding opportunities occur at various times throughout the year. View the websites and join the mailing lists to stay informed. 

Columbus/Local Grant Opportunities

Urban Gardening Grant

Greater Columbus Growing Coalition Mini Grants 

Greater Columbus Arts Council

Columbus SOUP

ComFest Grants Fund 

National Grant Opportunities

USDA Agriculture Marketing Service

USDA Environmental Quality Incentives Program 

North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) Program

USDA Value-Added Producer Grant

American Public Gardens Association

National Garden Bureau

The Grant Helpers

Slow Food USA

USDA Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Search tool: Grants for Nonprofits


Applicable Regulations & Permit Information 

It can be hard to understand what is and is not permitted in a typical urban food production site. View the links below for an explanation of the applicable regulations and permits related to growing food in the City of Columbus. 

Columbus Urban Agriculture Fact Sheet

Columbus Season Extension Structure Guidelines

Ohio Department of Agriculture Food Safety

Education & Technical Assistance Providers

Looking for education about growing food? The websites below will link to organizations that can help you connect with volunteers. 

OSU Extension Franklin County

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association

Franklin Park Conservatory

Local Matters 

Volunteer Resources

Need some additional hands to help with a garden project? The following websites can be used to request volunteers. 


HandsOn Central Ohio


Accessing Land for Growing

The following links provide information about securing land for growing.

City of Columbus Land Bank Community Garden Program

Heartland FarmLink

Additional Resources 

In addition to those above, check out the following opportunities and resources for civic agriculture.

U.S. EPA’s Urban Farm Business Plan Handbook

USDA Urban Agriculture Toolkit

Project Green Teacher

Soil Testing

Greater Columbus Growing Coalition