Orlando will soon be home to a unique urban farm unlike anything seen in the country. And thanks to the support of so many in our community, that vision is one step closer to reality. Over the last several weeks, our collective efforts have helped the 4Roots Farm Campus gain significant momentum. Join us for a look back at some of the steps we have taken as a team to build a better food future in Florida. We look forward to bringing you more exciting news and updates in the coming months as we plant the seeds for food system change in our community.
CEO and Founder
4Roots and 4R Restaurant Group
1. Campus Lease Signed in The Packing District
In July, the City of Orlando approved a lease for the 18-acre 4Roots Farm Campus in The Packing District. The 4Roots Farm Campus will focus on creating a sustainable regional food system to tackle food waste, farmland erosion, farmer declines, and local hunger.
Pictured above is John Rivers, CEO and Founder of 4Roots, along with Ken Robinson, President and CEO of Dr. Phillips Charities.
2. Behind the Scenes with FOX35
Go behind the scenes with John Rivers and FOX35 as we talk the vision for the Farm Campus and what’s next now that the lease is signed.
3. Partner Spotlight: Orlando Science Center
By partnering with leading organizations to create agricultural education initiatives, 4Roots will inspire the next generation of agricultural professionals and generate awareness around the relationship between community health and the food we eat. That’s why we’re excited to beworking with Orlando Science Center to transform its cafe into an entirely new concept. Stay tuned for more exciting details on the plans for this new culinary experience this fall.
4. Transforming Our Princeton Warehouse
We’re growing… Baby plants that is! Thanks to some very special volunteers, the space outside our warehouse in The Packing District is transforming with new raised beds and a shipping freight container where we will start growing leafy greens using vertical farming techniques. In just a few short weeks, we will start to see the “fruits” of our labor.
5. Thirty Seconds With… Sara Elliott, 4Roots Executive Director
- Sunrise OR Sunset? Sunset, especially after a dramatic Florida afternoon rainstorm.
- Veggie of Choice? Anything in the brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower) tossed in olive oil with salt and pepper, and roasted in the oven. Quick, easy and delicious!
- Fave Local Farm? South Street Urban Farm represents the future of community-based food systems – involving the community in growing fresh and nutritious food close to where people live and work.
- Passion Project? Renovating old houses. We just moved into our mid-century modern house in Audubon.
- Little-Known Fact? We have been in Orlando for a year now and we love it, but Washington, D.C., is our original home – both of our kids were born there, we have family still there and we founded a school there called Mundo Verde that continues to grow and expand.
6. Florida Farm Feature: McGregor’s Greens
McGregor’s Greens, established by Bruce Cobb in 1984, is based in sunny Mount Dora, Fla., northwest of Orlando. The farm started out by growing hydroponic lettuce and has since grown microgreens, herbs, and other specialty greens in its multi-acre greenhouse, becoming a prominent and versatile grower ever since. For over 34 years, McGregor’s has been committed to serving the finest food service distributors and supermarket chains, supplying them with sustainable and locally grown produce. They are dedicated to providing quality products to their community with plans to grow and expand more.
Fun Fact: The plants in the raised beds now outside our Princeton warehouse were provided thanks to McGregor’s. We will have more exciting news to share in the coming weeks about a new collaboration with them!