Urban Shepherds began with a Cleveland grazing project in 2011 with a request from St. Clair Superior Development Corporation to The Spicy Lamb Farm to mow vacant land in Cleveland. The idea behind the venture was to save money by grazing instead of mowing, reduce environmental impacts, and provide urban farming education while entertaining the public. With Ohio being the number one sheep producing state east of the Mississippi, Cleveland made the perfect test site, strategically located to expand with service regionally. Using sheep and goats for land management has and is practice being used worldwide. Urban Shepherds developed a model to identify appropriate lots for sheep, make sure zoning and permitting is in place, prepare the sites for flocks, train the volunteer shepherds, and secure the flocks and local shepherds to oversee each urban site area.
In 2016, the number of Cleveland sites has grown with The Foundry Project at 2469 East 71st as our new Cleveland office and training site. This Sustainable Farm in the City will include a variety of agricultural ventures from fish farming to sheep. The Foundry project will also host the Northcoast Sheep Farm in a 10,000 square foot renovated industrial building so a flock will be on site all year. The project rejuvenates an abandoned foundry in a distressed part of Cleveland, creating jobs, and making a place for children and families to gather. It blends private for-profit businesses with complimentary non-profit ventures like Urban Shepherds. The Foundry will also be home to the Northcoast Farmers Market and the Northcoast Lamb Co-op.
Let Urban Shepherds help you start a project in your city!