They will lease 50 acres of the Zoo’s 528 acre property, EcOhio in Warren County, to harvest fresh and local produce that will be delivered to people in the Greater Cincinnati area. Green B.E.A.N. Delivery’s members are located in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and Muncie, Ind., Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio, and Louisville, Ky.
The crops, like cabbage, squash, broccoli and pumpkins, will mostly be sold to the company’s customers, but some of the harvest will be featured in a new farmer’s market
near the Zoo, be donated to local charities like Gabriel’s Place, sold to local retail retail outlets, and feed the animals in the Zoo.
Cincinnati Zoo, considered to be the Greenest Zoo in America, has been committed to sustainability. With this partnership, they hope to achieve a sustainable local food system for the community.
The Zoo has also added 10 bee hives to the leased property, which will be used in the pollination of crops. Both parts also hope that in the future the farm can become an educational tool for young people and give them a chance to experience agriculture first-hand. The farm was willed to the Zoo in 1995 by Dallas Boyer.
“Education about the management of biologically based farming systems helps people understand how responsible farming practices are critical to saving wildlife and conserving wild places,” said Matt Ewer, president and co-founder of Green BEAN Delivery.