Three farms in need of rehabilitation located inside of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio are available for lease in 2015 to individuals interested in sustainable farming. The parcels will join an existing 10-farm program that operates under the National Park Service's Countryside Initiative nonprofit, whose mission is "to preserve the agricultural heritage of the Valley," according to the park's website.
The farms "are suitable for culturally intensive fruit and vegetable production, small intensive grazing operations, or small integrated crop-livestock enterprises," described a previous Request for Proposals (RFP) issued by the Countryside Initiative.
The upcoming RFP is expected to be released in either late May or early June. Those interested in applying should follow announcements posted on the Countryside Initiative website.
Existing farms located inside of the park currently produce everything from fruits and vegetables to sheep, goats and heritage turkeys to herbs, honey and hickory bark syrup.
The Initiative also helps facilitate farm tours, farmer's markets and farm stands for all of its participating homesteaders to generate interest and drive sales of local food.