Browse Tag

farming

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$20 Million Agriculture and Food Investment Fund Aims to Improve Black Health and Wellness

TPP Capital Holdings (TPP) is a Black owned impact fund manager and healthcare real estate development firm on a mission to change the face of Black health by investing in agribusiness, agriculture, indoor vertical farms/greenhouses, farmland development, health-focused food and beverage enterprises with Black and Brown ownership located in federally qualified opportunity zones throughout the country.

To date, TPP has commitments to provide direct investments through Fund I, including a $2M investment commitment in Vertical Harvest LC3, a Jackson, Wyoming, agri-business that has built a profitable sustainable model for urban hydroponic farms. Other commitments include a $5M equity investment in the construction and operation of a 70,000-square-foot greenhouse that will grow one million pounds of fresh produce annually. The site will be accompanied by 50 affordable units housing for farm workers.

In this interview with founders Anthony Miles and Clinton Bush, we discuss TPP’s plan to reduce food deserts, health disparities, and burdens of chronic medical conditions in the Black community. We also discuss how they can help Black entrepreneurs manufacture healthy food and beverage brands.

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Tony O. Lawson


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From The NFL To The Farm On a Mission To Combat Hunger

At age 26, Jason Brown signed a $37.5 million contract–one of the largest at the time for any NFL lineman. After the St. Louis Rams cut him from the team in 2012, Brown took a long, hard look in the mirror.

“God told me he had something greater in store for me.”

NFL

Instead of fighting for a position on another team, Brown decided to walk away from it all. He moved his family from a mansion to an old farmhouse and he gave up material wealth to go into a hard industry he knew very little about.

That’s how First Fruits Farm had its beginning. First Fruits Farm is also a ministry, donating tons of produce to local food banks and shelters over the years.

“People tell me that I’m crazy, they downright tell me that I’m stupid–OK?–to walk away from millions of dollars. Because if you have the opportunity to play in the NFL, it’s supposed to be a no-brainer,” Brown said on the Tamron Hall Show.

NFL

“A big inspiration from my story comes from my older brother. He was slain in service, serving our country over in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Since 2014, First Fruits Farm has provided more than 1.6 million servings of fresh produce.

Tony O. Lawson


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Black Inventor Creates The World’s First Self Growing Farming System to Combat Food Scarcity and Land Shortage

Darral Addison is a Black inventor with degrees in chemistry and physics. He is also the CEO and founder of Torpedopot™, a company that makes the world’s first self-growing planters.

Torpedopot™ optimizes the conditions in which plants can achieve their full potential and is scientifically designed to grow your plants for you!

In this interview, we discuss how his patented products can address issues such as food scarcity, land shortage, and help individuals grow healthier plants doing less of what we’ve been taught to do.

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Tony O. Lawson


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Chicago Teens Transform Liquor Store Into Fresh Food Market

A liquor store on the West Side of Chicago is being transformed into a pop-up food market after Austin area teens were given the chance to come up with solutions to their neighborhood’s challenges.

Much of Austin is considered to be a food desert. The pop-up market will be opened at 423 N. Laramie Ave., and within a half-mile radius around that site, there are 12 liquor stores but only two markets where people can buy fresh food.

The Austin Harvest food mart pop-up was brought to life by neighborhood teens who recognized the food scarcity in the area and decided to take matters into their own hands.

The market held a soft opening Wednesday where the teens offered produce, fresh-cut flowers, and refreshments.

The market will officially launch Monday and run for 12 weeks. It will be open 3-6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the site of a former liquor store, 423 N. Laramie Ave.

The project was funded by former Chicago Bears linebacker Sam Acho and other Chicago athletes, as well as By the Hand Kids Club. But it was the teens themselves who envisioned the food mart and brought the idea to fruition.

Young West Siders had their hands in every part of development, from designing the space to crafting a business plan to managing the pop-up.

“We’ve been behind the scenes completely, as well,” said Azariah Baker, one of the teens who created Austin Harvest. “We’ve discussed how we want to show our market, where we wanted our market to be, what we sell, what we look like. This is who runs it.”

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Azariah Baker

The teens started working on the pop-up after the protests for George Floyd in June. By the Hand hosted a series of listening circles to give young people a platform to voice their frustrations around the systemic racism they see in their neighborhood, and to talk about how the civil unrest had impacted them.

There, they discussed how the food scarcity in the neighborhood was part of a legacy of city neglect and racism on the West Side that worsened when some of the few grocery stores in the area had to shut their doors temporarily after being looted.

Keith Cankson

“Food is a basic necessity. But it’s also a basic necessity we don’t have access to,” Baker said.

Realizing the young people were serious about creating a plan for addressing the food desert in Austin, the Chicago athletes raised $500,000 to tear down the liquor store so the teens could develop a neighborhood food resource. Meanwhile, By the Hand worked with architects and placemaking firms to help the kids figure out what the store would look like.

The Hatchery Chicago also chipped in to give the teens entrepreneurship training so they could learn how to implement their business plans.

Baker said the Austin Harvest is giving the teens meaningful jobs where they learn about marketing, customer service and management. Their work has resulted in internship offers.

“The amount of opportunities that we are creating for ourselves is incredible,” Baker said.

Keith Cankson said creating Austin Harvest has shown him how much of an impact young people can have on improving the local economy and promoting health in the neighborhood.

“This is my first job,” Cankson said. “And also, all the trainings that we get, it’s really building us so we can be entrepreneurs later on. That means we can do so much more. We don’t have to just be bound to this one thing.”

The teens turned their idea into a reality in just two months, but they see the project as ongoing. After their 12-week pop-up fresh market, their goal is to acquire a brick-and-mortar building and develop it into a full grocery store to satisfy their neighborhood’s dire need for food throughout the year.

Baker said their model is proof that when given adequate resources, residents in under-resourced neighborhoods can create innovative solutions to address their challenges. She hopes to see similar projects across the city following their lead.

“We’re popping up with the question as to why our community doesn’t look as great as everybody else’s,” Baker said. “This took us two months to do. We are the blueprint. So think about how much you can build off of this over time.”

 

Source: Block Club Chicago

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Fund Created to Help Black Farmers in Detroit Purchase Land in the City

On Friday, June 19, in honor of Juneteenth, a coalition of local food activists established a new fund to help Black farmers purchase land in Detroit. The Detroit Black Community Food Security NetworkOakland Avenue Urban Farm in the North End, and Keep Growing Detroit developed the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund, which will help foster more land ownership among black farmers in the city who face greater barriers in purchasing property.

Jerry Hebron, a director for Oakland Avenue Urban Farm, described her farm’s challenges with acquiring the property they grow on in a Facebook live post. “We had a lot of issues with the acquisition process, particularly because we started out on a commercial district and the city of Detroit — although our work was very good — felt like there may be a higher and better use for the land,” she said. “So it took us about 15 years to make the first acquisition.” Since 2015, Hebron says that the farm has been successful in acquiring land by working with the city, but she is aware of other black farmers who have not had as much success.

Many people in the community lack the capital to compete with developers who have increasingly bought up large swaths of property in the city limits. “For several years I’ve found that it’s just easier for white growers to purchase land. It’s easier for them to navigate the system. And I find that it’s really an uneven playing field,” Tepfirah Rushdan, director of Keep Growing Detroit, said in an announcement shared to Youtube. “We all know that things are changing in the city. Development is happening at a quicker pace, and I’m worried that people who are growing on their land and they don’t own it, that they’re going to start to get displaced.”

Applications will be released in July for the funding and will be evaluated through a blind review process using an established rubric. The group plans to announce the winners in September. The project has already received nearly $16,000 since Friday on Gofundme. Donations can be made to the site or via CashApp to $detroitblackfarmer.

The need for more secure agriculture in the city has become even more evident since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has sent shockwaves through the food system and disrupted the supply chain. At the same time, the nation is experiencing an uprising sparked by anger over the killing of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, and other Black people.

 

Source: Detroit Eater

 

Related: The Ultimate List of Black Owned Farms & Food Gardens


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The Ultimate List of Black Owned Farms & Food Gardens

Black owned farms make up less than 2 percent of all farms in the United States.

According to a recent report, Black farmers lost 80 percent of their farmland from 1910 to 2007, often because they lacked access to loans or insurance needed to sustain their businesses.

The report mentions the “long and well-documented history of discrimination against Black farmers by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).”

It goes on to state that “The unequal administration of government farm support programs, crucial to protecting farmers from an inherently risky enterprise, has had a profound impact on rural communities of color.”

It is clear that that Black farmers need help now more than ever. We also need fresh produce they provide. Here is a list of Black owned farms and food gardens that you can support.

Black Owned Farms

Alabama

black owned farms
Darden Bridgeforth & Sons Farms/ Credit: News Courier

Darden Bridgeforth & Sons (Tanner, AL)

Bain Home Garden (Rehoboth, AL)

Binford Farms (Athens, AL)

Datus Henry Industries (Birmingham, AL )

Fountain Heights Farms (Birmingham, AL)

Hawkins Homestead Farm (Kinsey, AL)

Arizona

MillBrook Urban Farms

Millbrook Urban Farms (Phoenix, AZ )

Patagonia Flower Farms (Patagonia, AZ)

Project Rootz Farm (Phoenix, AZ)

California

black owned farms
Will Scott of Scott Family Farms/ Credit: AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka

African American Farmers of California demo farm (Fresno, CA)

Farms to Grow, Inc. (Oakland, CA)

Corky’s Nuts (Northern CA)

Scott Family Farms (Fresno, CA)

Rancho de Rodney (Fresno, CA)

Connecticut

Root Life (New Haven, CT)

The DMV Area (DC, MD, VA)

black owned farms
Soilful City/Facebook

DC

Good Sense Farm

Good Sense Farm (Washington, DC)

Three Part Harmony (Washington, DC)

Soilful City (Washington, DC)

Sylvanaqua Farms (Washington, DC/Norfolk, VA)

MD

Cherry Hill Urban Garden

Cherry Hill Urban Garden (Cherry Hill, MD)

Deep Roots Farm (Brandywine, MD)

Dodo Farms (Brookeville, MD) 

Four Mother’s Farm (Princess Anne, MD)

Jenny’s Market (Friendship, MD)

The Bladensburg Farm (Riverdale, MD)

Tha Flower Factory  (Baltimore, MD)

VA

 

Haynie Farms (Reedville, VA)

Berrily Urban (Northern VA)

Botanical Bites Provisions (Fredericksburg, VA)

Boyd Farms (Nathalie VA)

Broadrock Community Garden (Richmond, VA)

Browntown Farms (Warfield, VA)

Brunswick Agriculture and Cultural Model Homesteading & Equestrian Center (Warfield , VA)

Carter Family Farm (Unionville, VA)

Cusheeba Earth: A Soil Culture Farm (Onley, VA)

Fitrah Farms (Central VA)

Go Greens Farms (Suffolk, VA)

Haynie Farm (Reedville, VA)

Mighty Thundercloud Edible Forest (Birdsnest, VA)

Mor-Cannabis (Scottsburg, VA)

Vanguard Ranch (Gordonsville, VA)

Verde Hemp Farms (Surry County, VA)

Florida

Griffin Organic Poultry

Harvest Blessing Garden (Jacksonville, FL)

Fisher Farms (Jonesville, FL)

Griffin Organic Poultry (Harthorne, FL)

Infinite Zion Roots Farms (Apopka, FL)

Ital Life Farm (Tampa, FL)

Marlow Farms (Kissimmee, FL)

Seed Mail Seed (West Palm Beach, FL)

Smarter By Nature LLC  (Tallahassee, FL)

Georgia

black owned farms
The Metro Atlanta Urban Farm /Facebook

Swanson Family Farm (Hampton, GA)

Southeastern African-American Farmers Organic Network (Atlanta, GA)

The Metro Atlanta Urban Farm (Royston, GA)

Semente Farm (Lithonia, GA)

Patchwork City Farms (Atlanta, GA)

Local Lands (Dublin, GA)

Miller City Farm (Fairburn, GA)

Nature’s Candy Farm (Atlanta, GA)

Noble Honey Company (Atlanta, GA)

Restoration Estates Farms (Haddock, GA)

Semente Farm (Lithonia, GA)

Tea Brew Farm (Central Georgia)

The Green Toad Hemp Farm (Metter, GA)

Truly Living Well (Atlanta, GA)

Illinois

AM Lewis Farms (Matteson, IL )

Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Living (Pembroke Township, IL)

Chi City Foods ( Chicago, IL)

Dusable City Ancestral Winery & Vineyards and Dusable City Botanical Farms

Roots & Vine Produce and Cafe (Chicago, IL)

Salem Hemp Kings (Salem, IL)

Urban Growers Collective (Chicago, IL)

Your Bountiful Harvest (Chicago, IL)

Kentucky

The Russellville Urban Gardening Project (Russellville KY)

Barbour Farm (Canmer, KY)

Ballew Estates (Madison Co, Kentucky)

Cleav’s Family Market Farm (Bonnieville, KY)

Slak Market Farm (Lexington, KY)

Louisiana

black owned farms
Harper Armstrong, owner of Armstrong Farms/ Facebook

Armstrong Farms (Bastrop, LA)

Cryer’s Family Produce (Mount Hermon, LA)

Grow Baton Rouge (Baton Rouge, LA)

Laketilly Acres (New Orleans, LA)

Mama Isis Farm & Market (Baton Rouge, LA)

Oko Vue Produce Co (New Orleans, LA)

Provost Farm (Iberia Parish, LA)

Massachusetts

Agric Organics Urban Farming (Springfield, MA)

Urban Farming Institute of Boston (Mattapan, MA)

Maine

Annabessacook Farm (Winthrop, Maine)

Michigan

D-TownFarm (Detroit, MI)

Mississipi

Earcine (Cine`) Evans, founder of Francis Flowers & Herbs Farm

34th Street Wholistic Gardens & Education Center (Gulfport, MS )

Francis Flowers & Herbs Farm(Pickens, MS)

John H. Moody Farm (Soso, MS)

Morris Farms (Mound Bayou, MS)

RD & S Farm (Brandon, MS)

Field Masters Produce (Tylerton, MS)

Foot Print Farms (Jackson, MS)

Missouri

black owned farm
Will Witherspoon, CEO of Shire Gate Farm

Shire Gate Farm (Owensville, MO)

New Hampshire

New England Sweetwater Farm and Distillery (Winchester, NH)

New Jersey

Free Haven Farms (Lawnside, NJ)

Hawk Mountain Earth Center (Newark, NJ )

Hyah Heights (Newark, NJ )

Jerzey Buzz (Newark, NJ )

Morris Gbolo’s World Crop Farms (Vineland, NJ)

Ward’s Farm (Salem, NJ)

New York

Karen Washington, Co-Owner of Rise & Root Farm./ Twitter

Rise & Root Farm (Chester, NY)

East New York Farms (Brooklyn, NY)

Brooklyn Rescue Mission Urban Harvest (Brooklyn, NY)

Soul Fire Farm (Petersburg, NY)

North Carolina

black owned farms
Mother’s Finest Urban Farms

Mother’s Finest Urban Farms (Winston Salem, NC)

Abanitu Farm (Roxboro, NC)

Fourtee Acres (Enfield, NC)

First Fruits Farm (Louisburg, NC)

Yellow Mountain Garden (Franklin, NC)

Pine Knot Farms (Hillsborough, NC)

Savage Farms (Durham, NC)

Green Heffa Farms (Liberty, NC)

black owned farms
Green Heffa Farms

Ohio

Rid-All Green Partnership (Cleveland, OH)

Oregon

Mudbone Grown (Portland, OR)

Rainshadow Organics (Sisters, OR)

Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Urban Creators /Facebook

Mill Creek Farm (Philadelphia, PA)

The Philadelphia Urban Creators (Philadelphia, PA)

South Carolina

Fresh Future Farms/ Adam Chandler Photography

Fresh Future Farm (North Charleston, SC)

Gullah Farmers Cooperative (St. Helena Island, SC)

Gullah Farmers

Morning Glory Homestead Farm (St. Helena Island, SC) 

Rare Variety Farms (Columbia, SC)

SCF Organic Farms (Sumter, SC)

Texas

We Over Me Farm (Dallas, TX)

Bonton Farms (Dallas, TX)

Berkshire Farms Winery (Wilmer, TX )

Caney Creek Ranch (Oakwood, TX )

Fresh Life Organics (Houston, TX)

Lee Lover’s Clover Honey (Houston,TX)

Lettuce Live Urban Farm (Missouri City, TX)

Long Walk Spring Farm (New Boston, TX)

Uncommon Bees (Jasper, TX)

Vermont

Clemmons Family Farm

Clemmons Family Farm (Charlotteville, VT)

Strafford Creamery (Strafford, VT)

Washington State

black owned farms
Clean Greens Farms/ Camille Dohrn

Sky Island Farm (Humptulips, WA)

Clean Greens (Seattle, WA)

International

Mwanaka Fresh Farm Foods (London)

 

 

-Tony O. Lawson

Special thanks to Ark Republic, who’s  Black Farmers Index was used to update portions of this list!


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(Feature Image: Adam Chandler Photography)