LINC has helped
people into the
community since 2002.
Roberts says 92 percent
have remained out
of prison. The farm is
a big part of that
Michael Van Hout, a local sculptor,
manages the farm.
“I’ve been an artist for 40 years,” he
says. “I have my artist self and my gar-den
self. I get to be here four hours a
day. I love it. It’s pretty amazing.”
Although Van Hout did not have any
previous farm experience, he enthusi-astically
embraced his managerial role.
Most days, he gets in the dirt himself,
planting, weeding, and aiding the resi-dents
in their own work.
“I’m learning,” he says. “It’s been two
years this July. I learn something new every year.”
One thing he learned was how to make compost, which
is needed to enrich the sandy soil. The primary ingredi-ent
is manure shoveled from the farm’s chicken coop. It’s
used to grow an array of fruit and vegetables, including
blackberries, watermelon, cantaloupes, carrots, kale, beets,
tomatoes, and cucumbers.
Van Hout also learned how to tap into the farm-to-table
movement. Roberts credits him with getting food from the
urban farm onto the plates in some of the best restaurants
in town, including Pembroke’s, Rx and Spoonfed Kitchen
and Bake Shop.
“I can go to almost any restaurant, and they’re excited
to take it,” Van Hout says. “They place an order, and I bring
it. It has been picked that day, and it’s on their menu that
It is possible for individuals to buy eggs or honey from
the farm’s chickens and bees as well. Michelle Gunn, opera-tions
director of LINC, Inc., says fresh food is just a phone