The Levi J. Hartong Farmstead is a 20 acre farmstead nestled within city-owned Southgate Park. Since acquiring the parkland in 2006, the city has strategically planned for the rehabilitation of the farmstead structures which include an 1883 farmhouse and barn, a summer kitchen, chicken coop, well house, equipment shed and approximately 15 acres of tillable pasture.
In 2019, the city issued a Request for Proposals to lease the Levi J. Hartong Farmstead, listed on the National Register of Historic Places to a farmer who would restore the property to its original use, a small-scale working farm. The city was looking for candidates to implement sustainable farming methods, become a source of local food, improve the property’s soil health and engage with Southgate Park visitors about sustainability, history and good food.
In April, 2020 Rachel Bellis and Justin Turner moved into the historic property and opened Southgate Farm. Rachel, the primary farmer, manages a large market garden, a flock of chickens, several pigs and some noisy goats. For more information about the work of Southgate Farm, follow Rachel on facebook and Instagram.