Empowering the Community with Education to Restore Balance to Life with Regenerative Urban Farming and the Ma’at Urban Farm Network™

Project Overview

FNC24-1427
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2024: $14,995.00
Projected End Date: 02/15/2026
Grant Recipient: MA'AT URBAN AGRICULTURE & INDUSTRIES LLC
Region: North Central
State: Indiana
Project Coordinator:
STEBO MA'AT
MA'AT URBAN AGRICULTURE & INDUSTRIES LLC

Commodities

No commodities identified

Practices

No practices identified

Proposal summary:

Mua & I
Sustainable
Saturday

MUA & I addresses critical challenges in the realms of food
security, sustainable agriculture, and community well-being. Our
primary focus is on regenerative agriculture, a holistic approach
that's furthering sustainability by actively restoring ecosystems
and prioritizing soil health, biodiversity, and community
engagement.

The core issue we're addressing is the conventional, centralized
food production model that often leads to environmental
degradation, loss of biodiversity, and limited community access
to fresh, nutritious food. Additionally, the lack of inclusivity
in traditional farming practices excludes disabled individuals
and veterans from participating in meaningful agricultural
activities.

Our mission involves research and education to revolutionize the
current farming paradigm. We're introducing Urban Regenerative
Farming, employing innovative methods that require fewer
resources, and less labor, and yet yield high-quality,
nutrient-dense crops. Through educational programs, workshops,
and partnerships with schools, we aim to empower individuals,
especially the next generation, the knowledge and skills to
implement regenerative agriculture.

Furthermore, our commitment extends to community well-being,
incorporating wheelchair-accessible gardens, providing
opportunities for those with disabilities, and fostering a sense
of environmental stewardship. MUA & I is pioneering a
sustainable, regenerative future that not only ensures food
security but also nurtures thriving communities and ecosystems.

Project objectives from proposal:

 

MUA & I's visionary initiative, Urban Regenerative Farming, is a
holistic solution to critical challenges in black urban
communities, focusing on reshaping the conventional food
production model into a decentralized and community-centric
approach with the Ma'at Urban Farm Network. This groundbreaking
project seeks to replace the outdated centralized food production
model with a dynamic, sustainable, and inclusive system,
fostering abundant food sources in black communities.

The trial component of this initiative involves the establishment
of research plots in diverse urban settings, strategically
employing Regenerative Urban Farming practices. Central to this
is the implementation of Hugelkultur High Rise Gardens (HHRG), an
innovative technique that optimizes growing space, cultivates
fresh and healthy soil, and eliminates traditional practices like
tilling and weeding. These plots will integrate food forest
guilds, high-density spacing, and intercropping, mirroring
natural ecosystems. The aim is to create an urban farming system
that demands less labor while promoting biodiversity, soil
health, and long-term sustainability.

A key element of this sustainable approach is the incorporation
of mushrooms into the urban farming system. The symbiotic
relationship between mushrooms and crops will be explored,
enhancing soil health, nutrient cycling, and overall system
resilience. This innovative integration aims to create a diverse
range of nutrient-dense, high-calorie food sources, ensuring food
security and resilience within the urban environment.

For the demonstration and education aspect of the project, MUA &
I will develop an online Regenerative Urban Farming Course. This
course will utilize cutting-edge teaching methods, multimedia
elements, and real-world case studies to convey sustainable
agriculture practices. To complement the online component, an
outdoor classroom will be constructed at the feature garden,
providing a hands-on training environment for participants where
they will have access to come and work in the garden applying the
learned techniques. This dynamic learning space will facilitate
practical experiences, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of
sustainable farming practices.

The objectives of this solution are not only to conduct research
on the viability and productivity of Regenerative Urban Farming
practices but also to disseminate this knowledge widely. By
creating an online course, conducting workshops, and
collaborating with schools, Ma'at 9 aims to inspire and educate
the next generation of farmers. Furthermore, the project seeks to
create work-study materials, present findings at the Black LOAM
conference, and develop a replicable model that can be adopted
across urban communities, fostering a regenerative and
sustainable future.

Objectives:

  1. Establish research plots in urban settings to evaluate the
    effectiveness of Regenerative Urban Farming practices,
    including HHRG and integrated food forest guilds.

  2. Cultivate staple crops, vegetables, and mushrooms in the
    research plots to assess the viability and productivity of
    this integrated approach.

  3. Develop and implement an online Regenerative Urban Farming
    Course, using innovative teaching methods and real-world case
    studies.

  4. Construct an outdoor classroom with a wheelchair-accessible
    garden at the feature garden for hands-on training,
    reinforcing sustainable practices.

  5. Explore symbiotic relationships between mushrooms and crops
    within the urban farming system for enhanced sustainability
    and food production.

  6. Promote the decentralized community-based farming model
    through community outreach, workshops, and collaboration with
    schools.

  7. Create work-study materials from research, present findings
    at the Black LOAM conference, and develop a replicable model
    for widespread adoption in urban communities.

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.