Urban Farm Searching For New Home

Nov 11, 2015

Toni Ortega, co-founder of Lost City Farms, collects material from their urban garden on Center Street on Nov. 11. The farm's lease is not being renewed due to rising property values in the area. The owners of the plot plan to develop the land.
Credit Julia Ritchey

  A nearly one-acre urban farm in downtown Reno is looking for a new home after its lease expired. Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey has more.

For the last three years, Lost City Farm has become a landmark in downtown Reno – a surprising sea of green on south Center Street overlooked by a mural of a big blue whale.

Lyndsey Langsdale and her business partner, Toni Ortega, started the farm after working with the planning commission to craft an urban farming ordinance.

“I think it benefits everyone who drives by it, whether they’re buying the food from there or not, just to be able to drive by it or be on the bus,” says Langsdale. “To have an open and green space in the middle of the city is really important I think.”

The owners of the plot have decided to develop the property now that land values have rebounded.

“It’s really frustrating,” says Langsdale. “It’s something we were aware of from the very beginning, but we didn’t quite think that the economy and the real estate values were going to go up so fast.”

The pair are looking for a half acre or more parcel within the city, but are finding few options right now thanks to an improving economy.

Langsdale says they’ll need to find a place by March in order to get seeds in the ground in time for next season.