LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Squash is about to be harvested.
“This is just squash, but we’ve had zucchini, just a few of them that are about this long and probably thicker than the span of my hand. But they go good at the markets,” said T’Von Terry, a crew member with the Youth Community Agriculture Program.
Terry is currently collecting the vegetables which will be used for dinner.
He is one of several young adults who takes care of an urban garden while learning how to nourish the crops and their selves.
The group are sharing their skills with the public during what they call “Healing Week.”
“It’s supposed to be us showing the importance of the space, bringing youth out to share what they see, how they feel about this space, what do they want out of their lives and community, like particularly the west, ‘cause most of us on the crew, we from here,” said Terry.
Terry said the urban farm in Shawnee Park is in jeopardy. Currently, the nonprofit is seeking a forever home.
“This is our way of showing how important this space is and keeping the community involved so they know we’re here, we’re here for them. I mean, I’m part of the community. I don’t want to just sit by [while] being messed up. I’m trying to do something too,” Terry said.
The farm is on five acres of public land in Louisville’s West End, which is dealing with what’s known as “food apartheid” according to the Food Literacy Project.
“Where certain people in certain neighborhoods have less access to fresh and healthy food. And so this space is really an oasis here in the West End, for urban agriculture,” said Alix Davidson, the Executive Director of the Food Literacy Project.
Davidson said the project also allows youth to learn more about what they eat.
“Our work is really centered around connecting people with where their food comes from. It’s that process of learning by discovery and finding the joy in vegetables and the outdoors,” she said.
Terry works in the garden with four of his siblings and says this opportunity has allowed him to cultivate an interest in agriculture with the goal of owning a flower farm.
“It has kept me more than just occupied. I found a passion. I found a life path I could actually pursue, and it’s keeping me out of the other parts of our community,” Terry said.
The public can volunteer with the Food Literacy Project and learn more about the project on their website.