Fresh Future Farm leased land from the City of North Charleston in 2014. Before they planted their first tree, FFF CEO Germaine Jenkins hoped that FFF would be much more than a place that simply grows fruit and vegetables – a community food operation, with a grocery store, tours, classes and food culture.
Jenkins wanted to invest in residents and give them the skills they needed to work on the farm or start businesses of their own. She wanted to use discarded materials to grow the best tasting produce and eggs and create profits in an urban environment. Chicora/Cherokee was not only a food desert, but because an employment-and place-desert, too. Five years later, the farm has accomplished most of the Chief Farm Officer’s goals.
Now, FFF has the opportunity to purchase the 0.8 acre portion of the land they manage next to the Gussie Green Community Center. The Farm is launching a Kickstarter campaign on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, the same day as Juneteenth. Juneteenth is the annual celebration that “commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement (www.juneteenth.com).” Owning the land would be freeing for FFF, and their capital campaign has a $60,000 goal to purchase the land and complete infrastructure plans.
The campaign will last until August 19, 2019 and feature rewards that include names added to the farm’s mural, naming rights of farm structures, autographed copies of “Farming While Black,” and private dinner events with local chefs, and Germaine’s mentors, Will and Erika Allen. Kickstarter campaigns are an all or nothing proposition.
Fresh Future Farm must raise at least $60,000 in 60 days or forfeit all collected funds. Links to the FFF Claim our Soil: Help Us Buy the Land campaign will be available through their website and social media channels on June 19.
This article originally appeared in the Charleston Chronicle.