Greene’s Acre Gardens

Greene’s Acre Gardens
Steve Greene
8012 1/2 W. 55th Terr

Greene's Acre began as a 'food not lawns' project in 2010, and evolved over the years to become a model of sustainable urban (suburban neighborhood) farming. Every aspect of what we do is geared toward optimizing stewardship of soil, water and seed.

The farm property is unique in Merriam with two residences on site- a main house in front, and a cottage in back. The cottage is roughly 130 years old, and the original farm house on what was once a 40 acre homestead in the late 1800s, and a 10 acre chicken farm in the 1950s. Whittled down to an acre as the neighborhood developed, this property has been in my family since 1976.

My siblings and I grew up in the main house for 10 years of my childhood, and our parents- the original 'Mother Earth News' couple, attempted micro-homesteading with perennial crops such as raspberries and asparagus, raising rabbits, even a crop of winter wheat one year. We moved in 1986 to Shawnee, but the property- both main house and cottage- was kept for rental.

Flash forward 20 years, and I moved into the cottage. By 2009, I was pretty tired of mowing the same grass (weeds) I mowed as a child, and stumbled upon the 'food not lawns' concept. In an instant, I knew what I needed to be doing. Funny thing, all the things my parents tried to show me by example suddenly made sense. I even began to fondly recall the garden my grandfather kept every year.  As a child, I never really 'got it' in terms of what he was doing, or why... but now I do. He knew growing and eating as close to home was important.

Today, Greene's Acre has more than 1/3 of the property cultivated and productive with raised beds, sectioned plots, berry trees and small livestock. We have a dedicated composting process and utilize biomass directly from our 'yard waste'. We have more than 1500 gallons of rainwater collection for irrigation, and two hoop houses for extended season growing . As we continue to reclaim more of the overgrown acre, we will be planting an orchard with apple, pear, peach and cherry trees as well as additional berries.

And maybe most importantly, we continue to establish relationships with our community. We have several lawn and tree services who provide ridiculous amounts of wood chips, grass and shredded leaves, providing excellent biomass material for amending our plots and making compost. We sell to local groceries and restaurants. We offer weekly 'harvest bags', on a first-come, first-served basis, to friends and family in sort of an 'ad-hoc' CSA format. And we allocate a fair share of our harvest to Shawnee Community Services food pantry and thrift shop.

Annually, we like to grow crops such as corn, beans. squash, melons, cucumber, beets, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, carrots, greens (spinach, lettuce, kale), onions, garlic, radish and various herbs such as dill, parsley, basil and sage. 2016 will be the year we add a bee hive, and oh, and we have eggs 😉

We are smack-dab in the middle of old suburban Johnson County, on the remains of a 40 acre homestead. We are a residence and... a farm. Everything we are doing replicable at any scale, at any location... we just happen to be able to do it all in one spot.

And beginning in 2017, we are excited to offer airbnb accommodations at the cottage! Rooms will be available for overnights, weekends, and extended stays. All guests will have 'work/stay' options to participate in any given day's 'chores', including tending to the hens, planting, pruning, harvesting... and just about anything else we need to get done! Check our facebook page for updates, but bookings will begin in the spring 2017.
vegetables and specialty herbs
We proudly offer produce through engagements with Renee Kelly's Harvest, The Sundry, Heirloom Bakery, Unbakey and Juciery, Howard's Grocery, Cafe and Catering, Plate... and more to come. Looking forward to offering a formal CSA in the future.
  • Greene’s Acre Gardens
  • Greene’s Acre Gardens
  • Greene’s Acre Gardens
  • Greene’s Acre Gardens

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Greene’s Acre Gardens