Fleet Farming is a program of IDEAS For Us. IDEAS For Us (IDEAS) is an Orlando-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and accredited NGO of the United Nations. IDEAS creates global environmental solutions through local action. Our mission is to develop, fund, and scale solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental and social challenges. Our vision is to contribute to a future where humanity thrives in harmony with nature and in peace with one another. Our urban farmers are comprised of local residents, just like you. Whether you are one of our community urban farmers, a local business owner, farmer’s market goer, or financial supporter, you become a vital member in growing food, not lawns for a healthier, more connected world.
We need local food now. Cities all around the world are facing the global challenge of food security. In America, communities are striving to come together for something larger than themselves. If we as a society can join together to rethink an underutilized resource right in own front lawns, then we can be a part of the mission to feed our communities without harming our environment in the process. We are passionate about reducing water consumption, CO2 emissions, and gasoline reliance. We strive to empower local residents with the tools and the knowledge to create and maintain a shareable hyper-local produce for neighborhoods to thrive on.
Currently based and operating in neighborhoods around Orlando, Florida, Fleet Farming is built on locality. Our produce is hyper-local and does not travel the typical 1,500-mile route from farm to plate. Everything we grow is sold at local farmers markets and restaurants within a 5-mile radius! Where do we grow our produce? Fleet Farming transforms neighborhood lawns into community-driven urban farm plots. This means front, back, and side lawns on residential, business, or communal land. We pride ourselves on increasing food accessibility and reducing the environmental impact of food production.
Our current food system is full of inefficiencies, many of which stem from fossil fuel use during production and transportation. The typical American meal travels an average of 1,500 miles from farm to table. In the US, we expend ten calories of fossil fuel energy in the atmosphere for every calorie of food we consume due to the transportation of the produce. Meanwhile, lawns are one of the largest sources of U.S. pollution. 40-million acres of grass lawns absorb three million tons of chemical fertilizers and 30-thousand tons of pesticides each year while requiring 800 million gallons of gasoline for mowing. Fleet Farming transforms these unproductive, wasteful lawns into community-driven urban farm plots. Rather than traveling 1,500 miles from farm to plate, our produce is hyper-local. Everything we grow is sold at local farmers markets and restaurants within a 5-mile radius!
Each branch hosts biweekly Swarm Rides, which are free community events within the vicinity of the local farmlettes. These events lead dozens of volunteers on bicycles through the neighborhood to farm the donated lawns along the way. During these events local residents can ask the Fleet Farming team any questions they might have in regards to their own gardens at home and can obtain free advice if they would like to farm their own lawns. In conjunction with Swarm Rides, the branch runs with the help of interns who help maintain the farmlettes in exchange for school credit that can be applied towards their degree. The skills obtained from our free Swarm Rides and the linked internship programs provide important educational tools imperative for social change and national food security. People must preserve the knowledge of how to feed themselves while providing healthy produce to their communities. Fleet Farming believes that every neighborhood deserves the right to have healthy options in abundance right outside their front doors.
Urban agriculture stimulates the local economy by providing interest to businesses that are joining in the local food movement. Whether it’s restaurants that are cycling in local food into their menus, or small businesses at farmers’ markets that are a part of bringing interest to communal shopping, our communities are catching on to the taste of organically grown food that is good for both ourselves and our environment. With the average age of a U.S. farmer at 58 years old (USDA 2012 Census), Fleet Farming is training the next-generation farmers through our Swarm Rides and our internship program, ensuring a future of food producers.
W. Orlando Branch Manager
E. Orlando Branch Manager
Orlando Install Coordinator