about us

Who We Are:
We are a group of urban growers passionate about cultivating food, working collectively and collaboratively, and sharing our skills with others. Our main goal is to create a new source of naturally-grown produce and herbs in Omaha, as well as foraged wild edibles and encourage others to grow their own food by offering opportunities for skill building and volunteers. We all reside in Midtown and near-North Omaha. Our growing spaces are throughout North Omaha.

In Winter 2011 we met, formed our collective, wrote and signed our Partnership Agreement and started Big Muddy Urban Farm. For our first season, we offered a 24-share CSA and enjoyed participating in several local markets. We explored relationships with various locally-focused restaurants and other organizations. We partnered with two community gardens and worked with many young folks to share skills on food cultivation and self-sufficiency. And we survived the worst drought in many years! A huge thank you to all of those who have supported us and enabled us to get to this point.

Guiding Principles:
Naturally-grown produce:
While we are not a "certified organic" operation everything we grow is done by using organic methods. We begin with non-GMO and organic seed, care for our crops without the use of pesticides or other synthetic chemicals, and implement soil and land-nurturing methods. If you'd like to know more ask us!

Food security:
Food security is very important, especially today when so many people are food insecure or struggling with their health and well-being due to foods that are detrimental to our health. We think small-scale urban farming operations are a very important piece of the food security puzzle. As things continue to change (climate, economies, etc.) we will need to rely more on food grown closer to home, or even at home. We are trying to help by growing intensively in small spaces, taking good care of our soil and land, and selling our produce to our surrounding community. We also want to encourage and inspire others to grow and produce their own!

Farming in an urban area allows us to interact a lot with our community, and relationships are very important to us. We want people to feel empowered while being a part of our CSA, volunteering with us, learning new skills at a workshop, and then potentially starting their own projects (maybe a backyard garden, maybe building a chicken coop... keeping bees...).

Food is a great way to bring people together. Even more, we think it is really important to collaborate with and partner with groups in our community. We partner with the Gifford Park Community Garden and No More Empty Pots, among other local groups. Please consider supporting them and any of our friends (listed on the "Things We Love" page).

"The process is as important as the outcome." As important as growing delicious produce in the city is to us, working with others on this project in a horizontal method is also equally important. Decisions at and about Big Muddy Urban Farm are decided collectively and in good faith by all members of the collective. Members are defined by those that demonstrate a willingness to participate in collective meetings, volunteer on the farm, and engage in events hosted by Big Muddy Urban Farm.

Growing your own food is really important in today's world. We will host volunteers on our farm regularly and offer workshops throughout the growing season. Workshops will be based on the skills of the collective members. Is there a particular urban farm-related skill you'd like to learn? By sharing knowledge we strengthen our communities and give each other a sense of our own collective power.

We highly value creative people and creative ideas. Growing food in an urban setting requires a lot of creativity and flexibility. We are constantly adapting our methods and harvesting input from others.

Meet the Collective:

Matt Cronin

Howdy everyone, I grew up in the Cathedral neighborhood for the first eighteen years of my life and have now moved north to the Orchard Hills community. In May I moved back from Minneapolis after graduating from the University of Minnesota and am excited to get to work. My passion for Omaha is based in developing a dynamic urban ecosystem by localizing our food and energy supply. A little about me is that I love to hear/tell stories, make music, and learn new skills.  What can I say, the good life has been good to me. 

Ali Clark

Hello Omaha! I am new to this city, recently transplanting myself here from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where I studied at Marquette University. While in Milwaukee, I was so lucky to be surrounded by beautiful friends and community; with whom I cultivated my love for growing things, cooking, and sharing meals. It seems only logical then, that I put my energy towards growing food (even more logical to do so with friends). Since being here in Omaha, I have been so happy to cross paths with more beautiful people and beautiful communities, with whom I plan to continue channeling my energy towards growing food. Hope to see you in the fields and at the table!

Dan Egan

I'm a Omaha native, native and proud of it. I grew up in the Dundee and Benson neighborhoods so my roots have grown deep here. Growing up in the Midwest gave me the opportunity to be in an environment that encouraged gardening, especially growing your own food. During my youth I helped family members with their gardens and worked with City Sprouts Community Garden. In 2009 I spent a growing season in Hawaii working on organic farms. From my experience during that time, I became aware of the importance of getting quality food from the fields to your table. The most direct path is vital for quality assurance, and for creating a relationship with the people that grow your food. 

Tyler Magnuson

I am a 2011 graduate of Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA with a degree in sustainable agriculture. Currently I pass the time by listening to folk-punk bands from the west coast, watching post-apocalyptic reality t.v. shows, and getting ready to be a dad. Contact me if you're interested in sponsoring my permanent vacation to the highlands of Guatemala.

Caitie Caughey

Eventually I'd like to leave the city and intervene very little with my natural environment, but for now I am very excited about urban farming and what can happen here in Omaha. It is important that we can increase food sources in urban environments and help restore the land. What else about me... I'm becoming a mama for the first time, I like homemade projects of all sorts, and I make music. This season I'd like to improve on many skills, but a few are .... 1. growing brussels (why is it so hard for me!)  2. canning and 3. multi-tasking ... (insert farm chore) and breastfeeding! 

Brent Lubbert

I grew up as a hunter-gatherer many years ago and lost touch with my connection to food as I became an urban street dweller. This past summer I worked on the production of the feature length documentary Growing Cities, which took a dynamic trio on a transcontinental journey interviewing a lot of beautiful people who get their hands dirty in the city. Coming off of such an experience, I realized the sense of empowerment and community that comes along with growing food and hope that everyone has access to such a right.