EarthDance Organic Farm School, “Parking Grove”, Ferguson, Missouri

  • Location: Ferguson, Missouri, USA.
  • Site: Historic farmland, 16 acres.
  • Status: Initiated Fall 2017, completed Fall 2018.
  • Scope: Design of lower half of property for increasing farm productivity, social capacity, and watershed restoration.

An ever-growing peri-urban agriculture organization, EarthDance Organic Farm School required greater capacity for accommodating people on the farm and demonstrating their work in the lower half of the 16 acre property. Traffic 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 outstanding agroecological work that happens here was made evident upon first step through this design.

Real Earth Design completed the design and served as project manager for the build out. We not only added parking, we simultaneously restored the original farm watershed for ecological productivity using zuni bowls, check dams, large swales, and culverts. A u-pick field, farm stand, bike parking, innovative green infrastructure, and edible forest gardens are woven throughout, maximizing farm school productivity and aesthetics on the farm.