In late June, I visited Conception Farm, located in east central downtown at 2701 E. 43rd Street, as part of the 2011 Urban Farm Tour. This farm is connected to the New Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church. The vegetables are grown around the perimeter of an asphalt court. The young farmers utilize what little space they have in effective and innovative ways. Gradually, they are removing asphalt from parking lots to increase growing space, researching ways to grow food in these small spaces and farming using unconventional resources and techniques including solar incubators and reused tires for building planters and garden beds. Bobby Wright, community member and farmer, says “We hope to work alongside our neighbors with a mission of promoting peace, reconciliation, and love.”
The abundance and vitality of the squash, amaranth (an ancient grain with purple leaves), tomatoes, herbs and other produce was impressive and inspiring. Nature is relentless. Given sunshine, water, decent soil and time, plants will grow with or in spite of the efforts of people. Seeing this urban farm reminded me how much can be grown in a small space and in turn feed so many people. The time spent to prepare the soil, plant the vegetables and tend to the garden brings community members together in a meaningful way. This farm is more than conception; it represents good intentions transformed by action into realization.
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