About Living City Farms
Living City Farms is a small no-till farm in Northeast Ohio that uses agro-ecological and permaculture-inspired practices to care for the land and our community. We got our start by growing produce for the Akron-based vegan restaurant, Good Roots Ohio, and now offer our harvest publicly from our farm in Tallmadge and from farmers markets across Akron and Tallmadge. Living City Farms currently grows vegetables—everything from kale and lettuce to tomatoes and peppers and perennial fruit like elderberries and pawpaws.
Regenerative farming practices
Living City Farms grows local fresh produce regeneratively using methods that heal the land, soils, natural cycles, and our ecosystems. This includes no-till and permaculture farming principles, such as growing vegetables between rows of young fruit trees to make good use of our small acreage and ensure nutrient-rich food for our local community.
Meet our farm team:
FARMER RICH JOHNSON
Farmer Rich Johnson was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. The land, community, and experiences he encountered here have inspired him to dive deep into agriculture. Over the past 14 years, he’s studied and practiced aquaponics, permaculture, hydroponics, mushroom growing, microgreen production, growing medicinal herbs, and much more.
Before he joined Living City Farms in the spring of 2022, he spent the past decade working at a local non-profit farm in Summit Lake, Ohio; teaching 2nd & 3rd graders at Kentucky Gardens in Cleveland, Ohio; growing mushrooms in Eugene, OR and growing microgreens at Vigeo Gardens in Akron, Ohio to name a few places.
Farmer Rich has also worked with/for the Summit County Public Health Department in their Creating Healthy Communities Initiative. Through this program, he installed several gardens on the West side of Akron, and while teaching he grew meaningful relationships with the community members throughout the neighborhood.
Azella Markgraf’s (she/her) love of local food began as a child growing up in rural Central Ohio. She attended school in North Carolina, where she fell in love with sustainable agriculture while volunteering on the campus farm and in community gardens. Azella relocated to the Northeast Ohio region after her graduation to serve as an Americorps VISTA at a food justice nonprofit in Stark County. There, Azella worked to increase food access for residents living under food apartheid as the coordinator of a Mobile Grocery Market program. She then deepened her relationship to the Northeast Ohio farming community as the farmers’ market manager at Countryside before joining us at Living City Farms.
Azella describes herself as a passionate lover of all things fresh and delicious and spends much of her time working to build a more just and sustainable food system that respects, nourishes, and celebrates the land and all people. She sees growing and sharing food as an opportunity to foster moments of connection between people, food, and land, and she hopes to use her role at Living City Farms to build community around food and a collective ethic of care for the planet we share.
Living City Farms is owned and supported by Good Place Holdings, a purpose-driven holding company that values people, community, and creation. This unique relationship allows the farm to benefit from the business mentorship and resources of Good Place Holdings while focusing the farm team's energy on the work and ongoing study of regenerative farming. Learn more about Good Place Holdings.