The Dream: Our Urban Farm Initiative

When we first embarked on our Urban Farm journey, we had no idea what kind of adventure it would be. We were full of ideas, and imbued with passion. A year later, we have met countless amazing people, have access to five acres of land from the Metro Nashville Government, and are slowly cultivating a community around our farm. We are in our first year, and we have a long way to go. We’ve learned innumerable lessons, and are still learning a lot about urban agriculture.

We are sisters. We survived the Rwandan Genocide together, and are working on this massive project together. We moved to the United States, and settled in Nashville together as young kids. Our first home was in an urban neighborhood, in one of Nashville’s food deserts. Our settlement in Nashville brought our many firsts. Coming from tropical weather, we experienced our first snow in Nashville, had our first apple pie in Nashville, built our first gingerbread houses in Nashville, and made our first tie-dye shirts in Nashville. We were truly blessed to have Nashville as our new home.

Through the years, with our small non-profit, FASHA, we have helped refugees and immigrants living in Nashville in various capacities. We have fund raised and provided aid and resources to victims of international disasters around the world, including the earthquake in Haiti, and the recent drought in Somalia, the Horn of Africa. After going to separate colleges out of state, we have resettled back to Nashville.

We have since sought ways to expand our reach within the international community in Nashville, while connecting with the local Nashville community.  Inspired by our friends and trusted advisers, we set out to found an ambitious and idealistic plan. We discussed issues of food security, the lack of access to fresh produce in urban setting, and the impeding global food shortage in 50 years. Equipped with a desire to give back, the idea for our urban farm was born.

We want to create a farm that provides healthy, locally grown, organic food, while providing space for outdoor activities for the community. We seek to employ urban farming methods including hydroponics growing towers among others. Through the venture, we plan to bring together Nashville’s diverse local and international communities in a productive and community building manner. Essentially, we intend to grow a garden and grow community.

Our dream is to cultivate and mentor a community of entrepreneurs in urban agriculture. We will provide classes and workshops to the farmers and the greater community. Our focus ranges from food, nutrition, food preparation, and food health in general. We envision providing training on business planning, management, and marketing. We are striving to give more to our urban farm participants. We want them to not only have access to fresh and locally grown produce, but to gain skills, and potentially use those skills to expand and earn a little extra income from their own urban farming ventures.

We have made some progress towards our dream. Through the Metro Nashville Mayor’s Office, and Metro Water, we acquired land to pursue our urban farm. The property is located in the Paragon Mills area, a neglected yet abundantly diverse neighborhood in South Nashville. The land is in a flood zone, and sits unoccupied. In 2008, Mayor Karl Dean set a goal of making Nashville “the greenest city in the Southeast”. And in recent years, his office embarked on a quest to finding productive use of the flood properties. Our urban farm happens to be one of the first few pilot projects used as a trial for farming and gardening projects on these flood-recovered properties. While the flood devastated Nashville communities, our plan is to use such flooded land to bring people together.

We are still a long way from our cherished dream. So far, we are building a diverse community around the project. We have met a lot of amazing people in Nashville’s Urban Agriculture, and extremely supportive community members. Our journey continues as we work on getting the farm off the ground. We continue to encounter plenty of obstacles but remain optimistic. We invite you to remain with us on this thrilling adventure.

Advertisements

3 responses to this post.

  1. This is a message to the admin. I discovered your “The Dream: Our Urban Farm Initiative Fasha's Urban Garden” page via Google but it was hard to find as you were not on the first page of search results. I see you could have more visitors because there are not many comments on your website yet. I have found a website which offers to dramatically increase your rankings and traffic to your site: http://www.linklegends.com/7-day-free-trial I managed to get close to 1000 visitors/day using their services, you could also get lot more targeted traffic from search engines than you have now. Their free trial and brought significantly more traffic to my website. Hope this helps 🙂 Take care.

    Reply

  2. […] fruition. Without much funds, and with only our undying determination to create a (former) refugee driven enterprise for other (current) refugees and immigrants. We have a vision for what our Paragon Urban Farm can […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: