By: Sarris Balcerzak ~Staff Writer~
A group of Xavier students called Xavier Urban Farm sold fresh vegatables alongside other local Cincinnati businesses and farmers at a farmers market hosted by Norwood.
The group was started by sustainability department intern, Taylor Roberts, who contacted other students to start a business with the three-fourths acre of fertile land on campus.
“We all had an interest in sustainability, supporting local business and strengthening the community,” junior Redmond Millerick said about working with the Xavier Urban Farm.
On Oct. 18, the group sold peppers, radishes, tomatoes and a variety of greens to Norwood locals alongside local venders.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital sold produce to raise money for children in need.
Williams Avenue Community Garden provided a variety of produce, caramel apples and home-made energy bars. Buona Terra, a new dessert parlor in Mt. Lookout, sold gelato, alongside other fresh natural product stands.
“The market was amazing. We loved getting to be a part of blossoming farmers market like the Norwood Farmers Market and establishing connections within the community with other local groups,” Millerick said.
The Xavier Urban Farm team plans to take its small business to the next step Oct. 25, when it will present to a board of investors to acquire proper funds to officially start the business.
The team constructed a business plan complete with a finance report and established prizes and abated funds in order to attract investors.
“To establish this business, we had to put a lot of effort into developing a presentation for the board of investors, all in the hopes of getting the money we need. We will be the main workers at the farm, planting and harvesting the land,” Millerick said.
Senior business sustainability major Joe McGrath has worked with market research and financial analysis to discover what sells when and to which markets.
“The fact that we have strong community support is huge. The Norwood community has expressed a lot of interest in seeing a local produce stand. North Avondale is considered a ‘food desert’ — zero walkable access to fresh produce. A huge part of our produce stand is to reach out to those communities and develop a relationship,” McGrath said.
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