Virginia Fundraiser Builds Support for New Petersburg Farm
Thursday, June 23, 2022
A fundraising effort is underway for a new community farm in Petersburg.
The Central Virginia Agrarian Commons aims to raise about $137,000 to purchase the roughly five-acre plot, which it will then lease out to a Black-owned farming enterprise for the next 99 years.
Tyrone Cherry III, project co-leader on the Petersburg Oasis CommUNITY Farm, has spent years building and supporting community gardens around the city with the Petersburg League of Urban Growers. He said the new farm would help address the city's issues with food access, but is also an important symbol of growth for the area.
"Petersburg is growing, and this community farm is a testament to that," Cherry asserted. "That's why we're calling it the Petersburg Oasis. We want to remind the community that, yes, we are in a situation that's called a 'food desert,' but we can grow an oasis here in the food desert together."
The farm will be located next to an elementary school where Cherry used to teach. According to the fundraiser's website, the project aims to provide education programs for those students and serve as an incubator and educational resource for early-career farmers.
Duron Chavis, the project's other co-leader, contends the operation will also create numerous environmental benefits for Petersburg. He said farms in urban areas help control stormwater runoff by laying down soil and plant life to capture water, something concrete-based cityscapes cannot do.
"These spaces act like a sponge," Chavis explained. "And are able to keep the water and any pollutants that might come from the streetscape from getting into our rivers and lakes."
Chavis noted the operation will help new farmers access land, one of the biggest hurdles for those looking to enter agriculture. He added they are hoping to split up the property into multiple plots to support early-career farmers.
"How can you develop a customer base and hone your practice and your system of farming if you don't have land that you can reliably be able to farm on for at least a year, two years, three years?" Chavis pointed out.
The organization has raised nearly $63,000 so far. Including the cost of the land and a farm endowment, setting up the Petersburg Oasis CommUNITY Farm will cost about $200,000.
get more stories like this via email
Programs intended to reduce the chances that someone will end up back behind bars are working, according to a new analysis of California state data…
Arizona is gearing up for its presidential preference election that takes place in less than a month, and registered Democrats and Republicans were …
You might say "every day is 'bring your child to college day'" at New Hampshire's Manchester Community College. On-campus childcare programs are …
By Elizabeth Ouzts for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Shanteya Hudson for North Carolina News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism…
The number of Black mothers in Ohio who die during or following pregnancy continues to climb and health advocates said they hope to shine a light on t…
A cooperative effort has seeded more than 26,000 acres in eastern Nevada. It's all in an effort to increase desirable grasses, forbs and shrubs while …
Texas postal customers, especially in rural areas, are experiencing delays in mail delivery, and some letter carriers feel it could get worse…
A new tool is examining child care availability in Connecticut. United Way of Connecticut's tool shows the actual number of offered child care …