Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »

US (MI): How Muskegon is banding together to fight food insecurity

Tameka Smith is known as the okra whisperer at McLaughlin Grows Urban Farm, but spend any time with her and it’s clear she can charm pretty much any plant that comes her way.

Smith, 42, was born and raised in Muskegon; for a while, she lived not far from McLaughlin Grows Urban Farm, an expanse of green space the nonprofit Community enCompass opened in 2009 and which began operating at its current site at Mercy Health Muskegon’s Hackley Campus in 2012. Mercy Health rents the land to the farm for free.

“I lived right down the street from here. I’d ride my bike by the farm, and I was like, ‘What the hell are those people doing?’ Now, I’m addicted to farming. I love the peace; I love that I’m growing something that feeds people,” says Smith, who’s about to end a one-year sentence at the Muskegon Correctional Facility. As part of the prison’s “Pay It Back” program, Smith and other inmates can apply to work at various places throughout the city, including at the farm.

“This is what I do now—I’m a black farmer. I have a black thumb and a green thumb,” Smith says, smiling. 

Working at the farm, she explains, has changed her life, and, when her prison sentence is over, she’s planning to open her own community garden in Muskegon where people can access everything from fresh produce to nutritional information. Additionally, she’s hoping to open a facility that provides affordable healthcare or can connect individuals with healthcare.

Read more at Rapid Growth (Anna Gustafson)

Publication date: 10/12/2017



Other news in this sector:

12/14/2017 Growers say border policies a factor in Texas labor crisis
12/14/2017 CAN (ON): Greenbelt Microgreens receives top honour of Premier's Award
12/14/2017 "With unemployment at record lows, labor is our biggest challenge"
12/13/2017 BrightFarms ranks in top 10 of most successful Food Startups
12/13/2017 Turkish tomato exporter looks to hot springs to lead world market
12/12/2017 Egypt: Aquaponics grower focuses on social responsibility
12/12/2017 CAN (AB): Thiel’s Greenhouse surpasses crowdfunding goal
12/11/2017 Italy: PiantaNatura promotes microgreens
12/11/2017 US (CA): Growers set out to fully assess wildfire damage
12/8/2017 US (ME): Aquaponic grower secures $1.6M to expand greenhouse
12/8/2017 Growing Forward 2 helps Ontario greenhouse veggies go global
12/8/2017 Happy birthday, Jan Ingenhousz!
12/8/2017 Canada: 60 million dollars for lettuce
12/7/2017 How to farm fish in the Egyptian desert
12/6/2017 South Africa: From novice farmer to successful tunnel producer
12/6/2017 US: Water runoff from strawberry farms a big issue for artichokes
12/5/2017 “Everyone benefits from real winters”
12/5/2017 Romanian producer grows plant which gives aubergine and potato
12/5/2017 "EU-China exchange programme a success"
12/5/2017 US (NY): Hop growers face challenges to meet rising brewery demands