Less than 2 percent of farmers in the United States are Black, according to figures from the US Department of Agriculture released in 2019. But it hasn’t always been this way. In 1920, there were 949,889 Black farmers in America. Today, that total comes to only 45,508 out of 3.4 million farms nationwide. In Indiana, we are lucky to have Black farmers who are helping to improve food access by growing it right in the neighborhoods that need it the most.
Read more about some of Indiana’s Black-owned farms and how you can support them.
Solful Gardens, LLC. is an Indiana State Department of Agriculture recognized Indiana Grown natural produce provider in Central Indiana. Their mission is to make fresh, natural, and healthy produce available to all with an emphasis on those where food options are a challenge with the goal of disrupting the current industrialized food system. Solful Gardens brings quality food access to urban areas that are underserved with an overall focus on food equity.
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Lawrence Community Gardens is growing food to be donated to the pantries, senior homes, and community organizations on 7.5 acres of land donated to us by Monarch Beverage. Their 6-acre garden is located in Lawrence and our vision is to provide fresh, affordable produce to their community and support local food pantries.
DONATE to Lawrence Community Gardens.
The Elephant Gardens is a family-owned and operated urban farm. They grow all organic produce in an Indy food desert. Their purpose is to promote healthy diets, engage and train the youth of the community to grow organic vegetables and fruit, and foster a positive community environment in which to raise families.
SHOP their produce and other goods.
Legacy Taste of The Garden is a family farm operation that was created to pass on generational knowledge of sustainable and entrepreneurial living. Legacy Taste of The Garden desires to help bring back the knowledge of growing and using fresh produce, and teaching how to obtain a lifestyle in agriculture, entrepreneurship, and self-sustainability. Their aim is to close the gap between local producers and the local community; this will help support the community’s economic vitality. They want help to empower individuals and communities to become self-sustaining and economically sound through education, networking, and providing information on a healthy, sustainable, empowered life.
SHOP their produce.
The Felege Hiywot Center’s mission is to serve urban youth of Indianapolis through teaching urban farming and environmental preservation. Specifically, the center offers a Youth Farming Initiative, in which students work side by side cultivating crops, growing friendships, and developing life skills. Students gain the knowledge and skills of growing sustainable food, as the initiative combines language arts, math, science, and social studies with horticulture lessons.
DONATE to the center.
The Indiana Black Farmers Co-Op works to educate their community on how to grow and preserve their own food and to improve soil and crop health. They also work to engage our youth in activities and programs that foster cooperative community farming and money management. They collaborate with urban farmers to increase the quality and quantity of nutrient-rich, wholesome, and natural produce in food deserts.
Farms that work with the Co-Op include:
Mother Love’s Garden’s goal is to help their community sustain itself for years to come. Mother Love’s Garden provides healthy produce to low-income neighborhoods at affordable prices. They also sell produce in other areas at market rate. They focus on teaching others to garden, maintain healthy soil, and preserve produce.
Three Sisters Garden is a half-acre plot that lies within the northwest corner of the 7.6 acres of Lawrence Community Garden. Cheri Hood, a homestead gardener of ten years is the manager. She took on this project to better serve her community, by offering organic produce at affordable prices to her neighbors. She also wanted to put into action the use of her Urban Agricultural Certificate from Purdue Extensions. By engaging her neighbors and youth in this community, she hopes to share her knowledge of the benefits of a plant-based diet and to introduce other fruits and vegetables that many of us are reluctant to try.
DONATE to the Indiana Black Farmers Co-Op.
This article was republished with the permission of www.growingplacesindy.org.