Final report for FNC21-1312

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2021: $1,640.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2023
Grant Recipient: Lula B's Community Farm
Region: North Central
State: Missouri
Project Coordinator:
Julia Thompson
Lula B's Community Farm
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Project Information

Description of operation:

I have been practicing sustainability for at least 3 years now. This year I grew peppers, tomatoes, brassicas, garlic, potatoes and a select few culinary and medicinal herbs.


The goal of this project is to involve the community in the growing of fresh vegetables and to make them affordable to families. According to the 2019 Environmental racism report, the city of Saint Louis has limited access to fresh and local foods. (See: I plan to document my growing process, ask the community for help and create a small CSA for families that are interested. I plan to use the sustainable farming methods to show my community where our food comes from. Many residents rely on fast food establishments or use liquor stores to buy food. I want to be as socially responsible as possible and my focus is on improving the quality of life for the community I grew up in.

To solve this problem I want to try a subsidized CSA program and a farmers market. 

Project Objectives:
  1. Survey 50 households with the community needs food security assessment.
  2. Establish a program to include the community in the production of vegetables.
  3. Establish a 10-12 week CSA that serves 5-10 families between June and October.
  4. Host a block "party" with workshops that educate families
  5. Create a tool kit for other urban farms/organizations to us that includes how-to's and resources for families


Materials and methods:
  • I will start conducting surveys. The goal is to get 10 families to complete a survey. The survey will measure interests in farmers markets or CSA. The goal is to have relations with the community prior to the growing season. I will go to homes and ask if children can come after school and during summer.

By May I plan to have everything up and running for CSA and pop up Markets in the area. I will take orders 48 hours prior to pickup.

Research results and discussion:

Things changed a bit for my project. Instead of surveying 10 families. I was able to survey 25 families. Instead of setting up small markets and a CSA, I set up a farm stand and gave away veggies to the community. I didn’t have to go to homes, the community came to me. The conclusion of this entire project is that fresh vegetables are not accessible to inner city residents. The community was very thankful that I took the time out to bring fresh home grown veggies. It is important to get out in the community! It would have been easy to make a few dollars, it meant more to me give it away. I am going to do this every year. I hope to expand to more areas in the inner city areas. 

Participation Summary
1 Farmers participating in research

Educational & Outreach Activities

5 Consultations
1 Journal articles

Participation Summary:

1 Farmers participated
1 Ag professionals participated
Education/outreach description:

I made one post on social media, I did not want to rely on the internet. I wanted to get out into the community and show my face. That is all it took. My presence and word of mouth really added to the success of the free giveaway. The community was waiting on me. What was suppose to be a 2 hr give away, turned out to be 15 min. I serviced 50 families with free veggies. 
I changed my approach from a CSA to a giveaway because it did not feel right to sell to a community that could not afford it. I already had the seeds and space to grow. I grew okra, tomatoes, peppers, collards, kale, eggplants, lettuce mix, squash and sweet potatoes. Everything went well, there wasn’t a crop that was left behind. 
I encourage everyone to read the 2019 Environmental Racism Report. Washington university did a study, and I reference this article all the time. See:

Learning Outcomes

1 Farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness as a result of their participation

Project Outcomes

2 Farmers changed or adopted a practice
1 Grant received that built upon this project
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.