USDA Conservation Innovation Grant

Project Completed October 2013

The Conservation Innovation Grant concluded on October 31, 2013. The $100,000 project (50% match) accomplished a variety of projects to safeguard our local water resources. The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks administered the grant, and also produced a rainwater harvesting manual for Southwest Missouri, and a dynamic web-based resource called “How to Farm in the City” as part of the project. Urban Roots Farm and Millsap Farm were the two producers involved in the Conservation Innovation Grant.

Urban Roots grant projects included:

Installation of high tunnels (match)
Constructing a 600 sq. ft. packaging and washing house for washing and storing produce prior to distribution. The project utilized innovative building design, rain water harvesting, highly efficient insulation, passive heating/cooling, and re-claimed construction materials and equipment.
Installing a rain garden to catch parking lot runoff and water from the pack/wash shed (a.k.a., draingarden).

Millsap farms grant projects included:

Testing bio-strip Intercropping
Constructing a Chinese high tunnel (a innovative, bermed in greenhouse that is proving to be warmer with less energy/cost inputs that conventional designs)
Planting an organically-controlled disease resistant orchard
Implementing water and energy demonstration practices
Starting a vermicomposting unit
Installing raised bed gardens/impervious parking removal


Additionally, this project provided a good connection to the burgeoning local food movement. As local agricultural production grows to meet the goal of 20% local by 2020, demonstrations of water wise micro-farming practices are important.
Education opportunities for the public will come in the form of workshops, field days and two publications:

1) How to Farm in the City
2) Rain Water Harvesting Manual for Southwest Missouri. PDF HERE