After breaking ground on a vacant city owned lot in the fall of 2014, the nonprofit urban farm celebrated Lowcountry Giving Day by opening its neighborhood store to the public.
On Tuesday, May 3, Germaine Jenkins, Fresh Future Farm founder and CEO started accepting cash, credit and SNAP (food stamp) benefits for an assortment of basic groceries and fresh produce grown onsite at 2008 Success Street. The Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood has been without a full-service grocery store since Winn-Dixie closed in 2005. The new store will be open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-7pm.
Located in the Chicora-Cherokee area, a certified ‘food desert’, Fresh Future Farm’s mission is to cultivate fresh food, nutritional know-how and community involvement in a way that brings dignity to its customers. FFF’s primary goal is to open a small grocery store onsite that sells its own produce along with a mix of locally procured produce, fresh eggs, dairy, and basic grocery staples at fair prices where they are needed most. The farm store will accept SNAP (food stamp) benefits for food, seeds and plants. As the farm grows, it will: offer farm tours, cooking demonstrations, and gardening classes; hire residents to help run the operation; and offer customers who spend $50 a free ride home.
Fresh Future Farm is a non-profit social venture developed with Growing Power Inc., the national nonprofit and land trust created by Will Allen, as its model. The timing is right to launch this new venture. SC commissioned a report (Making Small Farms into Big Business) that quantifies the need and economic potential that small farms have on building the state’s economy.
Mrs. Germaine Jenkins, (aka the Veggie Whisperer) is a working-class North Charleston resident and the recipient of Charleston Magazine’s 2015 Community Catalyst award and Slow Food Charleston’s inaugural Snailblazer Award.
Thanks to support from the South Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations, Metanoia CDC and other local businesses, Germaine completed Growing Power’s Commercial Urban Agriculture training in May 2014. She has also invested in Online Permaculture Design training and earned her certification in August 2014.
Fresh Future Farm plans to diversify its agricultural revenue streams and become a grassroots nonprofit that is self-sustaining, which will allow staff members to focus their time and energy on achieving their mission.
Fresh Future Farm will grow food and the economy in the Charleston Heights area of North Charleston through the following products and services:
- Farm Store and Farm Tours
- Educational farm tours and activities for school youth, families and out-of-town visitors
- Workshops on innovative/urban farming techniques
- Collaborative community development projects with strategic partners
- Micro-entrepreneurial and employment opportunities for local residents