The focus of the Green Leaf Learning Farm Phase 2 Expansion was to develop a model for urban revitalization. The vision of the Green Leaf Learning Farm is to expand the opportunities for social and urban renewal of the South Memphis neighborhood through agriculture. This study developed a green Master Plan that would allow Knowledge Quest, a community based non-profit organization, to market and implement their neighborhood-based program of urban farming practices and implement strategies for sustainable growth.
The final master plan reflects the research, analysis and extensive community engagement which helped shape the study. The plan provides a strategy for the access to healthy, affordable food by the surrounding communities, expands services to a larger network of local farmers’ markets, offers Community Supported Agriculture, and raise awareness of the importance of healthy eating and food preparation. The Green Leaf Learning Farm also broadens the learning environment where adults and children participate in hands-on projects related to urban agriculture, water conservation, and farming skills.
The major objectives of this project are to:
- Provide access to healthy, affordable food to the surrounding neighborhood residents and retailers by expanding the existing demonstration farm and establishing new farms in the surrounding neighborhood.
- Offer a Community Supported Agriculture program.
- Raise awareness of the importance of healthy food by promoting and supplying local restaurants and extending the Culinary Classes to all ages.
- Create a learning environment where adults and youth can benefit from hands-on projects involving urban agriculture, recycling and water conservation; educate the community about the importance of healthy eating.
- Provide residential opportunities for those who are involved with South Memphis agritourism, agritainment and urban agriculture. (Future Phase 3: Residences of Green Leaf)
- Provide the surrounding area with opportunities for farm training and maintenance, healthy meal and food education, and lifetime benefits of urban farming skills. (Residences of Green Leaf; “farmpreneur”; job training)
- Improve the recycling of materials in the community by establishing a point of collection where residents can deposit their recyclables.
- Formalize the connections between existing green spaces and the newly planned green urban opportunities, such as eco-friendly Splash Parks and Community Fruit Orchards.
- Improve the aesthetics of the surrounding neighborhoods and communities by turning blighted and neglected areas into useful and productive green assets.
- Incorporate the KQ urban farming program into Shelby County Schools. (Growing and serving USDA-organic fruits and vegetables.)