Ideas Into Action: Environmental Justice

by Jessica Boylston-Fagonde


While preparing for our last meeting, Omar Muhammad’s name came up several times as a groundbreaking leader working to improve our community. He’s the President, and soon to be Executive Director, of Lowcountry Alliance of Model Communities, located in North Charleston.

After speaking to him recently, I knew he needed to be our next guest presenter — because his work takes Asset Based Community Development to the next level, which he defines as “Environmental Justice.”

In a nutshell, Environmental Justice addresses environmental and public health concerns within a community — issues affecting everyday quality of life (like access to fresh, healthy food)– while recognizing the value of community members’ voices in creating solutions to these complex issues.

Then Germaine Jenkins, our second speaker, will share her work – which is an amazing example of Environmental Justice in action . . .
Germaine is the founder and executive director of Fresh Future Farm in North Charleston, and her work epitomizes Omar’s approach to community development. Since 2014, Germaine has worked to create a farm in the heart of a ‘food desert’ — an impoverished community that previously had little or no access to affordable, nutritious food.

Her mission there is to leverage food justice — a community’s right to grow and sell affordable, healthy food that’s grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers, and animals. Her work addresses food, health, economic, and environmental disparities in the southern portion of North Charleston.

I’m excited to have these two share their stories, knowledge, and mission — and to hear about the important work they’re doing in our community.

Gather for Good: We’ll be collecting supplies and donations for Fresh Future Farm. Here’s a list of supplies that are useful to keep their farm equipped and running. Cash/check donations are always helpful too!
• Children and adult garden gloves
• Towels
• Pruners
• Hand tillers


Tuesday, June 6, 2017
9:30 AM – 11:00 AM EDT


Center for Jewish LIfe
477 Mathis Ferry Road
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

2016 Annual Report – What Have We Done in Chicora-Cherokee Lately?

2016 Annual Report – What Have We Done in Chicora-Cherokee Lately?

In the season of Janet Jackson music references we are proud, determined and dare I say giddy to share what we have accomplished in the last two years.

With your support, we have S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D dollars by leveraging in-kind donations – North Charleston property, a modular building, shelving, iPads, a Square POS system and more – to transform a grassy field into a farm and retail grocery store in less than two years. By reclaiming every possible item from  vacant land to wood chips to store furniture we are able to channel your dollars into a great variety of fresh new food and jobs for less than the annual salary of a manager at a traditional grocery store.

Ending the cycle of poverty in communities like ours requires a shift from solely human service work to getting commerce dollars and entrepreneurial opportunities flowing again the way they do everyday in the suburbs. The cool thing about our urban farming model is that it provides much needed services, you don’t need an expensive college degree to do it and it can be replicated in almost any community. We need your help to keep growing our product, service, training and job offerings.

Please check out our progress, share with friends and family and consider making a tax-deductible gift to ‘turnip’ for food justice and food access in North Charleston, SC.


Being Brave When You Encounter the Unexpected

Although Fresh Future Farm is a labor of love, it is extremely HARD to bootstrap an inner-city farm from the ground up (pun intended). If it was all up to me, our farm store would be open today but it hasn’t worked out that way. Sometimes there is discouragement when our carefully laid plans don’t unfold as we hoped. Those ‘blah’ feelings were occurring on a regular basis UNTIL I was chosen as one of a handful of brave Lowcountry women by the Center for Women. Sharing a table with these strong ladies who are surviving huge challenges was therapeutic because it put FFF’s temporary situation into perspective. We’ll continue to harvest summer crops, work on our fall crops and donate our hyperlocal organic produce to seniors, individuals and organizations in North Charleston – Destiny Community Cafe is one of our favorites. As we master the bureaucratic side of community economic development, we’ll share best practices so that urban farming will be easier for the next SC community.

Now when I start to feel overwhelmed, I play this video. Hopefully it will benefit someone else today.

Happy Sunday y’all! And yes, I really do laugh that much.


Help Raise Some Green for FFF’s “Raisin’ Fresh Futures Campaign”

Fresh Future Farm needs your support to match the $25,000 we earned through winning the SC Community Loan Fund Healthy Retail Business Plan Challenge! Please visit our Raisin’ Fresh Futures! Campaign page and get in where you fit in so we can add some Lowcountry flavor to Growing Power’s international Good Food Revolution by bringing an urban farm and store to a food desert!

We’re pounding the pavement every day to make our vision a reality.  If you subscribe to our blog posts, you can watch as the details of our vision unfold over the course of this 60-day fundraiser.  Through those updates, you’ll find other ways to show your love for our Charleston Heights urban agriculture plan.

FRESH FUTURE FARM: Fresh Food, Fresh Farm, Fresh Perspective on Economic Development

FRESH FUTURE FARM: Fresh Food, Fresh Farm, Fresh Perspective on Economic Development

Fresh Future Farm is a budding start-up farm and market that will be located in the heart of Charleston Heights in North Charleston.
Our working motto is simple. Fresh Food, Fresh Farm, Fresh Perspective on Economic Development: Fresh Future Farm.

South Carolina Community Loan Fund’s Healthy Food Retail Business Plan Challenge was the catalyst for turning Germaine Jenkin’s small edible landscaping business, Urban Veggucation, into a broader reaching urban farm and market project that seeks to produce healthy food and job opportunities in the middle of a food desert.

Growing Power’s Commercial Urban Agriculture staff gave her the hands-on training and confidence to manage a profitable farming business. Having Growing Power’s support has been a huge help in building momentum for Fresh Future Farm.

Germaine has also won support from Mayor Summey and North Charleston District 10 City Councilman Michael Brown.  Mayor Summey’s team has even identified a suitable location for the farm. Our next step is to get North Charleston City Council approval and the zoning changes needed to turn this idea into a bona fide urban farm.

We invite you to visit our new website,
like us on Facebook,
follow us on Twitter,
and get involved with Fresh Future Farm.

Our first presentation to City Council is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 8th at 7 pm.

Please come out and support our efforts!