Our Urban Garden programs are focused on building food security in areas plagued by food deserts. Through innovative programs, we encourage the community to think about what truly is a “sustainable” model of urban agriculture in both Raleigh and Durham.
As a society, we have become a culture that is used to instant gratification. If you want food, you go to the grocery store. It’s simple enough, right? But what if there is no grocery store near you? What if you don’t have a car? What if you don’t have enough money? When you make a decision to grow your own food, you are taking control of your own food security and your health. You can grow the kind of food that has the highest price tag at the grocery store, and you can do it on a limited budget, without using chemicals. There is nothing quite like growing what you eat!
Growing food in urban spaces is one way to combat inequities in the food system, including food deserts. The goal of these sites is to model sustainable urban gardening practices, and enhance access to fresh produce while encouraging healthy outdoor activity.
Raleigh Urban Agriculture
Through a grant from the Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation, we are working with the Southeast Raleigh community to develop an integrated urban agriculture plan that can serve as a model for communities statewide and beyond. This includes training families to grow their own fresh food, as a means of reducing food budgets and increasing nutrients in their diets.
Camden Street Learning Garden
• In the news: WRAL TV
• Blog: Building community through food
• Blog: Community unites to dedicate new Camden Street Learning Garden classroom to Jamie Kirk Hahn
Located at 315 Camden Street in the Southeast Raleigh food desert, our Camden Street Learning Garden is a new model for Raleigh run by Katie Murray, IFFS Raleigh Urban Agriculture Programs Manager. It is a green space in the middle of a city where kids, families, and individuals can be in nature. The Learning Garden features a large community growing area to increase access to fresh food in the neighborhood. In addition, there are other areas for learning and experimentation with different growing methods, such as keyhole beds, herb spirals, and hugelkultur.
The Learning Garden is open to anyone in the neighborhood, as well as nearby schools and universities that would like to take field trips or do research about public health and urban food production. People in the community are given access to land, seeds, water, tools, and gardening experts who will teach them how to produce a lot of food in a small amount of space.
The obvious goal in a food desert is to increase food access. And we are working to accomplish that. But our larger goal is give the people who come to The Camden Street Learning Garden the ability to be a part of experiences that will change their lives forever. So in the end, they aren’t just growing food. They are growing people. They are growing community. And that is what it is all about.
Seed to Supper Urban Gardening Training
Seed to Supper is a comprehensive, 6-week beginning gardening course taught by NC State Master Gardeners. The course gives novice, adult gardeners the tools they need to successfully grow a portion of their own food on a limited budget.
The inaugural course in spring 2015 was held at Alliance Medical Ministry, attended by a mix of AMM patients and members of the surrounding Southeast Raleigh community. Participants attend the course for free and build their own personal low-cost garden as they progress through the class.
Durham Urban Agriculture
Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is also working in Durham, with gardens managed by Eliza Bordley, IFFS Durham Urban Agriculture Programs Manager. Volunteers are welcome at our Bull City Cool urban garden – with no experience necessary! All volunteers are asked to coordinate their workdays ahead of time, so that we can provide enough tools and gloves for everyone. Please visit our Volunteers Page to fill out an interest form.
Geer Street Learning Garden
• In the news: Food: It’s Complicated
IFFS joins Bull City Cool Food Hub by relocating Durham’s Urban Agricultural programs from Langley Community Garden to a new growing space at 110 Geer Street (just half a block down the road from the Food Hub warehouse.
Eliza is in the early phases of working with community volunteers and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina employees to turn the new, larger green space into an urban garden – supported by the accessible resources in the warehouse. Now the gardening program can benefit from the close proximity of warehouse amenities such as parking, water, and bathrooms. Furthermore, the food grown in the garden will be donated to Sunrise Recovery Resource Center – located just half a block further down Geer Street (at the intersection with N Roxboro Street).
VOLUNTEER AT BULL CITY COOL:
Interested in getting your hands dirty? Visit our Volunteers Page to fill out an interest form!