What A Beautiful Day!

Oy Everyone!!!🙂

Emanuel Tyus and myself harvested 50lbs of Kale today! It was Emanuel’s very first time harvesting food and I must say he did a great job! Thanks Emanuel! Good job sir!…I see farming in your future!🙂👨🏽‍🌾. While harvesting Sarah Teare, Community Dir for Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley stopped by so that we can begin ironing a collaborative project where they will work with WTPGA to build a tool shed as a result of a generous donation by the Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation!❤️

We then delivered this delicious Kale to one of our valued buyers, Zingerman’s Roadhouse where Emanuel met Marcy Harris and a couple other wonderful folks that are part of the “Zing Family”. After we left Emanuel says to me, “Thank you for that experience”.

And while we were there we were met by a journalist/interviewer from WEMU radio, Ms Lisa Berry. Lisa interviewed both Emanuel and myself and I believe We the People Growers Association will be a feature piece written by by her coming up soon!🙂👍🏾. Lisa came back out to the farm to finish our interview and to take a look-see.

Later I stopped by i got a call from a lady I’d given some collard greens to for her and her husband to try out…well she called me to thank me and tell me how wonderful they were and that her husband says they were the best collard greens he’s ever eaten!!!👍🏾….now by both of these wonderful folks having Tennessee roots, that speaks volumes!!!🙂. And since I had to still harvest some collard greens to drop off at another valued buyer, Miss Kim. I told her that I would bring her and her husband some more along with some scallions and onions.🙂❤️…I hope they enjoy them!👨🏾‍🌾

And even later in the evening I met up with Alex Goldsmith, owner of Wild Thing Accounting & Tax and Advisory Team member of WTPGA so that we could go and look at potential future homes for WTPGA. In our travels we stop and spoke with several residents in the Sugarbrook community asking them how they felt about a World Class URBAN farm being built in their neighborhood…all responses were positive and I got a pleasant surprise in our travels when I knocked on the door of a home and the person who answered was a friend & former classmate of mine who happens to be doing really great work for the Washtenaw County Sheriffs Office Street Outreach program… Julia Hordge!!! Julia is a new homer owner AND she has a garden which she was proud to show us!🙂👍🏾. Thanks Julia and thanks for your support and willingness to help in any way possible to move WTPGA forward.❤️

Well I’ll sign off here. Thanks everyone for being part of this amazing journey. Hope your day was as good as mine!❤️



We are Ann Arbor Awesome!

The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation‘s monthly $1,000 mini-grant was awarded to We the People Growers Association (WTPGA) on July 9, 2017 to create a tool shed and employee rest and rehydration station.

We The People Growers Association (WTPGA) recently signed a land lease agreement to create a 1.5-acre community-based farm in Ypsilanti with the goal of employing men and women returning home from incarceration. Currently, WTPGA has tilled 8,000 square feet and created 12 vegetable beds. As WTPGA develops, one of its immediate needs is infrastructure development. WTPGA will partner with Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley (HHHV) to meet the critical infrastructural need of constructing a tool shed for secure on-site storage, as well as a place for employees and volunteers to rest and rehydrate.

Read more here.

Zingerman’s loves WTPGA! (and we love them)

From Zingermans Roadhouse:

If you had told Farmer Melvin Parson a few years ago that he would be impacting his community though farming, he might have looked at you like you were turning into a turnip. But here he is in Ypsilanti, with rows and rows of vegetables filling up almost an acre. The farm is We the People Growers Association, and Melvin started it to help cultivate his community.

His plot is in the back of Grace Fellowship Church on Harris Road, and I when I go to visit him in the early morning hours, he is hard at work loading up his truck with Swiss chard that he will drive over to the Roadhouse. Currently, we are using his chard, collard greens, and Russian kale on our menu to supplement what we bring in from the Roadhouse Farm in Dexter.

The plants are gorgeous, big and leafy. It takes every ounce of self-control not to start plucking purple-veined Russian kale out the WTPGA garden and chomp away like a “wascally wabbit.” Fortunately, Melvin’s story is quite distracting, and I am able to contain myself.

WTPGA is part of a healing forest

Derek Wolfe just published a series of articles about Ann Arbor as a healing forest for people seeking recovery. The series features WRPGA:

At the Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea on Liberty Street, Melvin Parson sipped from his own thermos and slowly ate his peanut butter and jelly sandwich wrapped in tin foil.

“I don’t want to treat the individual and help the individual get better and then put them back in the same soil that got them sick in the first place,” he explained. “I want to do something with the soil.”

Parson is quite literally doing something with the soil. Last year, he started We The People Growers Association, a farming nonprofit organization that he hopes will one day “create a sustainable system that can support a workforce” in places that lack resources.

Read the rest here.