Growing Spaces 2021 Urban Farming Grant Winners

Growing Spaces is Honored & Excited to Announce our First Place Grant Winners for 2021!

One of Growing Spaces goals has always been to give back whenever possible. In the past, we have given grants for Growing Domes to non-profits and communities in need. In 2020, we decided to focus on urban areas in need for healthy affordable organic produce, so we created the Urban Farming Grant program. The purpose of the grant is to bring people together to successfully learn how to grow fresh, organic, nutritious food year-round in a Growing Dome Greenhouse.

As a team, we put a lot of thought and consideration into the grant applicants’ mission and vision when awarding our in-kind grants. We considered the history of the nonprofit, stability, legitimacy, impact and reach of the proposed project, support network, and other resources for funding. We looked at their geographical location regarding their access to local and sustainable food sources and the impact the Growing Dome will have on growing healthy food year-round. Finally, we look for leadership. It is important to have someone that will take charge and use our gift to its fullest potential.

Grant Winner – Black Nickel – Washington, D.C.

The first recipient of our urban farming grant is Black Nickel (Hustlaz 2 Harvesters, and Garfield Terrace) in Washington, D.C. Black Nickel’s mission is to redevelop and revive neglected community farms and gardens in DC, and throughout the nation, and create a prototype of local farmer’s markets owned by minorities and people of color. Their goal is to implement training and education programs for children and young adults, helping foster their relationship with STEM and agriculture. 

black nickel - 2021 urban farming grant winners working in the gardens
black nickel non profit logo

This grant will positively impact many, bringing over 1,000 lbs. of produce to the Washington, D.C. farmer’s market known as Dix Street Garden in Ward 7.  This area has been severely impacted by COVID-19 and is widely known as a food desert. They hope to organize the first successful Black Farmer’s Market in Washington, D.C. in over 50 years. The Seeds To Nickel program plans to host a Black Nickel Market at redeveloped farms and gardens to create exposure for local farmers and entrepreneurs.

Black Nickel is still in need of funding for multiple projects:

black nickel - more 2021 urban farming grant winners working in the gardens

Black Nickel and Hustlaz 2 Harvesters found out about Growing Spaces when looking for different greenhouse options on the market to grow year-round for their applied research community garden. They also saw one of our Growing Domes on YouTube.

“We found the opportunity to bring this idea to our garden in the middle of Ward 7, Washington, D.C.  The Growing Spaces Urban Farming Grant is giving Black Nickel and Hustlaz 2 Harvesters a chance to bring back the appreciation of agriculture in communities of color,”

Caleb Ross, Co-Founder of Black Nickel.

“When we found out about this extraordinary opportunity, the first thought we had was how many kids would look at this structure and be excited about coming into the community garden. This isn’t just a win for Ward 7. It’s a win for Washington, D.C., to have a structure like this being donated to help the community all year long.  Our organization’s plan on creating solutions for food disparities, workforce development, and lack of knowledge in agriculture that can help in every aspect of your life. Receiving this grant from Growing Spaces means that we can work to achieve our goals all year long with a structure built to endure various weather conditions. The greenhouse dome will add beautification and a tourism aspect to the neighborhood that we believe residents will be very excited to support.” added Caleb.

Grant Winner – Peace Tree Parks – Detroit, MI

Our second grant recipient is Peace Tree Parks, located in Detroit, MI. Peace Tree Parks is a nonprofit, 501c3, established in 2015. Their mission is to positively impact the communities of their youth by increasing access that low-income families and communities have to organic and non-GMO produce.

Detroit is considered a food desert, and this donation will provide fresh organic produce to many families that otherwise do not have access to locally sourced food. Another facet of their mission is to be the #1 free, organic produce provider to the local community and help heal and increase resident’s health. Since the conception of this foundation, they have established residential and commercial gardens. These garden beds are used directly by residents growing bananas, peppers, tomatoes, herbs of different varieties, among other fruits and vegetables. They hope to provide hundreds of more pounds of local, organic, non-GMO food to adjacent communities. 

To learn more about this organization or make a contribution to their valiant efforts:

Peace Tree Parks - 2021 urban farming grant winners working in the community gardens
Grant Winner Peace Tree Parks Non-Profit Organization

Peace Tree Parks found Growing Spaces and our grant program through our website on our grants page. When they found out one of the grants had been awarded to them, they said,

“We are truly appreciative of the opportunity to house a Growing Spaces geodesic dome greenhouse at one of our community garden locations. We plan to grow all of our leafy green products in the greenhouse to take advantage of the longer growing season, which will increase knowledge. This will be the only geodesic greenhouse of this magnitude in the city of Detroit.” 

Peace Tree Parks

When we spoke to the team members of both Black Nickel and Peace Tree Parks, they were excited not only about having a Growing Dome to provide healthy organic food for their communities but also excited about creating a place for kids and adults to come together. Revitalizing the neighborhoods into a place where people connect outside to participate in activities that help make the community stronger was a shared goal of these outstanding organizations. 

Peace Tree Parks - more 2021 urban farming grant winners working in the community garden

Growing Spaces Grant 2022

Thank you to all our grant applicants for making a positive difference in your communities! There is still a great need to create access to affordable, healthy, organic produce in urban areas, so, Growing Spaces has decided to announce another year of the Urban Farming Grant program. As of May 1st, 2021-2022 applications are open. Visit our grants page for more information and to download the application.

You might also be interested in 5 Charities Fighting Food Insecurity, our Blog on Growing Spaces 2020 Food Security Grant Winner: Tyrone Thompson and Chi’Shie Farms in Navajo Nation, or our Blog on Urban Greenhouse Gardening in Golden, Colorado.

Growing Spaces offers a 5% discount to schools, veterans, and registered 501(c)(3) non-profits. Please use the form below to claim your discount. We have also created a new fundraising page to provide information to our community on garden projects and greenhouse fundraisers. Contact us if you would like your fundraiser to be included on this page.

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