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Published: Thursday, 9/29/2011

Youngstown group to create urban farm training facility to help fight blight in city


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A Youngstown group plans to create an urban farm training center to help residents learn productive ways to use some of the city's 23,000 vacant lots.

The Vindicator newspaper reports the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. will spend $120,000 or more to turn a 2.5-acre property with a vacant house into an urban farm using funding from several foundations. The agency bought the property for $45,000 this summer.

Deputy Director Ian Beniston says the group will install a green house, plant fruit and vegetable fields and a small orchard and bring in a chiller for storage. The farm is expected to be ready by spring.

Executive director Presley Gillespie says the project is part of the group's efforts to battle blight and decay in the city.

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