How does the program work?
Growing Together is a collective of farmers supported by The Nashville Food Project. These men and women, who arrived in the US as refugees from Bhutan and Burma, have extensive agricultural backgrounds but face significant barriers to farming. Through Growing Together, farmers gain access to land, inputs, seeds and training. The farmers earn personal income through the sale of their produce and build community food security along the way.
The Growing Together Program works by providing tools and pathways to economic empowerment and skill development. Growing Together utilizes a skills-centered, participant-driven approach in our program’s design, incorporating and building upon the experience and personal backgrounds of each farmer. We support each farmer in setting and reaching his or her individual goals by providing key activities and opportunities including:
Providing urban agricultural training & technical assistance
Offering market support for different outlets including: farmers markets, selling to restaurants, and a fall CSA
Providing trainings on production and market-based skill building and management of farmer records and finances
Who farms with Growing Together? How do they get connected?
Since 2014, we have developed relationships with farmers within the Burmese and Bhutanese communities in Nashville. Many were farmers in their country of origin and participate in Growing Together as a way to utilize their extensive farming knowledge and skill sets to earn personal income.
Where is the farm?
The farmers grow on 1.5 acres that we lease from Christ Lutheran Church on Haywood Lane in South Nashville.
Where does the money go?
Money earned through Growing Together sales go directly to the farmers themselves. The Nashville Food Project charges a small fee to farmers to participate in the program and to utilize TNFP-sponsored market outlets, and every other penny earned goes back to the farmer that grew the food. Each farmer manages his or her own micro-enterprise to earn personal income from what he or she grows.
What kind of vegetables do farmers grow?
We are often asked about the kind of vegetables that farmers grow. In addition to commonly grown crops in Nashville, like tomatoes, corn, okra, pumpkins and eggplant, farmers grow vegetables that are unique to their culture’s food.