Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part blog series from the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council, a Health Care Foundation grant recipient. Read part 2 here.
By Dina Newman, Advocate for Change, Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council
The Grown in Ivanhoe Project is a collaborative effort of residents, friends and supporters coming together to address healthy food access inequities in the Ivanhoe neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. By empowering the residents to grow their own healthy food and supporting those residents who wish to sell produce they have grown in their neighborhood or at the Ivanhoe Small Growers Farmers Market, the Grown in Ivanhoe Project seeks to bring real, grassroots, systemic and sustainable change to a neighborhood that continues to thrive.
Implementing a three-pronged approach to equip Ivanhoe residents and surrounding neighbors with the knowledge and tools they need, the Grown in Ivanhoe Project is as follows:
- “Growing in Ivanhoe” This project piece supports the urban farmers and gardeners by providing educational and technical support in the form of monthly meetings, hands-on workshops, technical assistance, soil testing and help with the purchase of materials. Special attention is given to children in the Boy and Girl Scouts programs, “Scouts Sprouts,” which provides the opportunity for the children to learn and participate in the growing of healthy fruits and vegetables, as well as learning about food systems.
- “Grow in Ivanhoe Certification” Growers who have met the requirements (specific training hours, volunteer hours, soil testing, etc.) are given special recognition as gardening and urban/farming technical assistants. In addition, by supporting certificate holders, we believe that certification will help to make the Grown in Ivanhoe label a recognized and respected brand.
- “Ivanhoe Small Growers Farmers Market and Farm Stand Network” The Farmers Market, located at 3700 Woodland, Kansas City, Mo. Is open on Fridays (June 15, 2012 – September 28, 2012 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.) provides the space for the growers to sell their produce. The Farm Stand Network connects and supports those Ivanhoe residents who wish to sell their garden fresh produce from their residences. Growers who qualify receive produce labels, signage, education and training and marketing materials.
The Grown in Ivanhoe Project continues to be a working model of an urban food “micro-oasis” within the “macro-realities” of an urban food desert.
View more photos of the Grown in Ivanhoe Project on our Facebook page.