By Executive Director, Delphine Sellars
As we approach our 1 Year Anniversary of having the Catawba Trail Farm, we acknowledge our accomplishments, and lessons learned. Look for the release of our 2018 SeedMoney.org Campaign in November 2018. Our focus this year will be the restoration of our beautiful Corn Crib. Help us continue to grow communities one seed at a time by helping us raise $3000. Durham Merchants Association, a local Charitable Organization has partially funded this $6500 project.
Since November 2016 Urban Community AgriNomics (UCAN) has connected with the community, near and far, through our SeedMoney.org campaigns. During our initial campaign, UCAN announced it’s vision to the community, and began to set in motion the work to achieve it! The 2017 campaign focused on connectivity to the community; our commitment to creating access to healthy foods, and securing a food system. That campaign supported the purchasing and construction of raised beds, and related preparation for planting in the Spring of 2018.
Through the Catawba Trail Farm, UCAN has created a place where the community can grow or have access to fresh and nutritious produce and herbs. Furthermore, because UCAN believes strongly in hands-on learning, various members of the board teach botanical and agricultural practices. These include, but are not limited to, raised bed gardening, soil science, food preparation, and preservation.
While we are committed to producing our own harvests, we are equally committed to collaboration with local farmers and organizations to provide additional support to fight food insecurities. This connectivity allows us access to a large amount of produce at once. But the downside is, this massive amount of produce needs to be properly refrigerated to ensure it doesn’t spoil prior to being distributed.
Since January 1, 2017, UCAN has distributed thousands of pounds of produce to various food pantries, and individuals in the area.
From sweet corn and sweet potatoes to strawberries and muscadines, our efforts helped to supplement the grocery budget of those we serve.
UCAN’s 2017 campaign aimed to raise funds to purchase an 8×40 Solar shipping container because of our need for proper storage; a space to sort, prepare and store this beautiful produce. The container will be solar powered. This will provide adequate space to create a cool storage area in addition to a secure place to keep tools and supplies. Initially, two donated refrigerators will be installed for cool storage until we are able to retrofit the container with a cold storage area.