Podcast: Fleet Farming with Heather Grove

Central Florida’s good food revival is in full swing, and one of the most influential architects is Heather Grove. Her day job is in the coveted role of Community Director at East End Market and she is also the Program Coordinator for the topic of this show, a unique initiative called Fleet Farming.

[Note: Shows starts at 2:22 mark.]

Heather told about the incredible turn-key Fleet Farming Toolkit to starting up a bike-powered urban farming program in other communities, which has already proven to be profitable and successful in just one year. She also let us know about the future of Fleet Farming (hint: fruit, fungi and fixins) and gave us a lot of insight into some new initiatives and opportunities in the good food movement here in Central Florida.


fleetfarmingFleet Farming converts underutilized, gas-guzzling lawns into a distributed community garden, producing food for the community and growing more growers! ‘Fleet Farming’ name refers to ‘Farmers’ on a ‘Fleet’ of bicycles, helping to manage the grow-to-harvest process of urban farming. Anyone can be a ‘Fleet Farmer.’ by attending a biweekly Swarm Ride with their bike, gloves, water and a helmet. Throughout the ride, the Fleet stops at 3-5 farmlettes. Each garden is regularly maintained, including tilling, weeding, and harvesting.

IDEAS For Us, a sustainability NGO and 501c3 nonprofit organization headquartered in Winter Park, is the organization that manages and operates the ‘Fleet Farming’ program, in partnership with East End Market and other community partners and supporters. The revenue generated from the program will go to further community development and sustainability projects, and expand the Fleet Farming program to other districts and cities.

About Heather grove

heatherA nature-lover and locavore, it’s hard to imagine Heather Grove putting down roots in the urban landscape of Orlando; however, she remains close to the land and connected to her community through her work with East End Market and Fleet Farming. After co-founding Stetson’s community garden and focusing her research on food systems, Heather went on to work with organizers of a local food events company.  That put her on the path to co-creating a local food hub in Audubon Park. Her role has changed a lot throughout the development of East End, but she now helps manage programming and marketing to cultivate local businesses, culture, and community. Heather plays a key role in the Fleet Farming initiative through the collaboration between East End and the non-profit IDEAS For Us. Through this volunteer- and bike-powered urban farming initiative, Heather converts lawns to farmlettes to grow food for the community and local chefs.

This program originally aired LIVE on October 7th, 2015 at 4pm EST to WPRK 91.5 FM in Winter Park, FL.

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