We the People Opportunity Farm
It’s been a couple months since I last checked in with you, but I’m happy to report that our organization, farming operations, community engagement and programming are moving along in a way that has far exceeded my expectations. I have lots to share with you regarding our organization, but before I do let me tell you about my son and my grandson’s first visit to the farm!!...In short, my son took my grandson’s shoes off and shortly after, took his own shoes off!! To behold two generations of me walking around the farm barefooted...my son drinking from his jug of water and my grandson snacking on an organic apple... witnessing them being free and BREATHING was beyond nirvana! And for some reason my grandson who was 21 months old at the time kept walking through a few vegetable beds we had recently filled with very rich soil in preparation for planting. As we were walking out of the farm area he held my finger; I along with my son walked in the pathway while he walked in one of the vegetable beds with the recently filled rich soil..and then out of nowhere he announced to the world one simple word!...he said, “SOIL”!!!
My grandson visited again 3 weeks ago, this time he was brought by his grandmother (GaGa) and by this time he refers to me as “Poppi”. I saw him get out of the car and once he saw me and then realized where he was, the first word I heard him say was...you guessed it! “SOIL”!! :)
Now let me bring you up to speed!...In the month of June one of our interns had to leave us, and we all were sad to see him go. However, very soon after we were able to welcome on board another awesome young man who has been formerly incarcerated. Both of our interns are growing in good soil just as our plants are! They have visited 2 urban farms in Detroit so far (Oakland Avenue Urban Farm and Detroit Black Community Food Security Network). Next week they will be visiting and helping out at Food Gatherers. And the following week they’ll begin spending a day every week helping Habitat For Humanity’s home restoration program in the community.
According to a lot of folks, not only does our produce that we are growing look amazing, it also tastes great! :) In July we began our no cost food distribution initiative thanks in part to United Way of Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and Grace Fellowship Church House of Solutions. We distribute our produce the first & second Saturday of the month and so far we have with joy, distributed over 300lbs to date and have met over 100 new neighbors! Some of our produce makes its way to these awesome local restaurants:
- Zingerman’s Roadhouse
- Detroit Street Filling Station
- Maiz Mexican Cantina
- Frita Batidos
- Juicy Kitchen
- Zingerman’s Delicatessen
Our produce can also be found on the shelves of both Argus Farm Stop locations and also the Ypsilanti Food Co-op along with the People’s Food Co-op. Thanks to The Farm at St. Joes, we are proud to announce that some of our produce now goes to help food insecure patients at Saint Joseph Mercy of Ann Arbor Hospital & Eastern Michigan University’s Bright Futures program families.
Speaking of bright futures! We The People Opportunity Farm’s future is bright because of the friends who have come alongside us in support of our meaningful work.
Since my last newsletter we’ve had a couple of volunteer opportunities and those who answered our call showed up and showed out!!! They were such a huge help in getting a couple projects moving that were of the essence. Thanks y’all!!
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to talk about our organization’s work through several media outlets including Michigan Radio, Ann Arbor Observer (print) and the Ypsilanti District Library. All of these can be found on our website under “Recent News” at wtpof.org.
As some of you may know, on July 1 we launched our 90 day fundraising campaign drive. Our goal is to raise $125,000.00 and thus far with the help of our community and wonderful folks & business owners far & wide we have received over $44,000.00 which means we are over 35% of reaching our goal! Gracias to all who have helped us get this far. Thank you for coming alongside us (Information regarding why we are raising these funds can be found on our website).
Before I begin wrapping this up I want to send a declaration of recognition to one of our community partners, Grace Fellowship House of Solutions and their nonprofit arm, Community Family Life Center! Without their belief in us our farm would not be in the perfect location (on their property) that it is. Thank you for allowing us to lease some of your land and thank you for all the good works that you continue to do in service to the community.
And finally as I bring this to a close, I have two big asks of folks!
- If you’re willing, please send us your favorite collard green, kale, tomato or jalapeno pepper recipe with your permission for our organization to at some point potentially post it on our website
- If our organization has in some small way helped “change the soil” in your life in some way, we would LOVE to hear from you and with your permission, at some point post this on our website as a testimonial
*Email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
We The People Opportunity Farm