Back row: Joe Hughes, top left, Clarence Walker, Uma Kaywood, Elysha Ross, Meegan Kressege, David Sodowski,
John Ranally in front of gate.

The Gate at Gather 'round Farm

Gather Round Farm is located in one of the most unlikely spots. This organic farm raises chickens in the heart of Cleveland, snuggled between two businesses. Near-by residents treasure the wild and wonderful farm but the City wanted to dress it up with a fence so it would fit in better with the commercial landscape.

The farm operates on a shoestring and a fancy fence seemed out of the question, until one of the founders, Megan Kresge and Uma Kirkwood, discovered an iron fence that was being discarded. All that was needed was a gate. A local artist, John Ranally offered to teach community members how to construct it from recycled materials.
A group of residents, one as young as 13y/o, got together and brainstormed ideas. They agreed on an amazing design that used things like old shovelheads, metal rakes, cooking utensils and silverware to augment the garden themed design.

Each group member brought a different talent to the project. The teenager had trained with a blacksmith and was able to pass along what he had learned. A young adult had artistic talents to share and a man who had been a scrapper and also worked in a scrapyard, recognized creative uses for found items.

The group worked every Wednesday evenings over several months. As each person became competent enough to work on their own they would drop in and work on the gate, as their schedule would allow.

Friendships were forged along with the metal that was used to attach the pieces together. And as the gate nears completion, John says with confidence that everyone who has worked on the gate has gained enough skills to be hired to work independently on another project such as this.

It is clear that this is not the kind of gate that was constructed to keep people out. Rather, it is the kind of gate that stimulates your imagination and curiosity and beckons you to come in and “Gather Round the Farm.“

Inner Visions of Cleveland provided a stipend that paid the community members for their work.