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North Park deeds land to Kinloch farmers

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KINLOCH, MO (KTVI) – For 20 years this stretch of Hanley near 170 and the airport has been great ground for growing fresh greens.

'Like sweet potato, peas, okra, corn, tomato, squash, cucumber,' says Armstead Ford, an urban farmer.

But the fertile piece of urban farmland used by many is about to become a giant industrial complex.

'Phase two is all the area in front of you here,' says Larry Chapman, a Partner with North Park Partners.  'It's almost entirely in Kinloch and it includes the area where these farmers are.'

Today crews were working on new gas lines for the upcoming industrial park development.

But North Park Partners and Clayco, the developers, came up with a plan that would please any seed sower.

'They say they're going to find us another spot,' says Ford.

For many retirees like Ford, the oversized gardens are something to do in the summertime.

In North County an old Ford tractor sat ready and waiting for spring, and the signs of a new garden sprouting up.

'These farmers have been here for so long and such a historic part of the community that to just sweep them under the rug just doesn't seem right,' says Chapman.  'So after a lot of discussion we said we'll just figure this out and we did.  If you want to do something you decide to do something and that's what's happening here.'

North Park Partners and Clayco will take an eight acre stretch of unused land near 70 and 170 and turn it into farm land for future generations of urban farmers.

'Most time they don't do what they say they're going do,' says Ford.  'But he says they're going to do it so I believe him.'

The plan is for perpetuity that this eight acre stretch of land, which will include irrigation and a building with restrooms, will continue as an urban farm, thus, planting seeds and goodwill for future generations.