“Parking-Grove” — EarthDance Organic Farm School, Ferguson, MO, USA

An ever-growing peri-urban agriculture organization, EarthDance Organic Farm School required greater capacity for accommodating people. Car parking volume was an integral part of that. Through this design, new parking areas were integrated into the ecological function of the farm watershed in addition to its social capacity. Roads, fields, and buildings that were once subject to erratic storm water runoff and flooding are now part of an immense rain garden that absorbs, channels, and utilizes the flow for potable uses, irrigation of crops, growth of shade trees for parking areas, flood protection, and local water quality. As new visitors meander along with farm roads, paths, and runoff, the agroecological work that happens here was made evident upon first step through this design.

Hired in 2017 to design additional parking capacity, Real Earth Design not only added parking, we simultaneously transformed the farm watershed for socio-ecological productivity. A u-pick field, farm stand, bike parking, innovative green infrastructure, and edible forest gardens throughout, all contribute to maximizing farm school productivity. Real Earth Design’s interconnected approach to ecological design is evident through this project.