January 5×5 Night
Voting Closes:

January 22, 2024 11:59 pm

About this idea
WJP Urban Farms works in collaboration with the city of Detroit to revitalize its neighborhoods. All WJP Urban Farms are acquired through Detroit's Land Bank Authority as vacant lots. The mission of the Detroit Land Bank Authority is to return the city's blighted and vacant properties to productive use. Following acquisition, all lots undergo rigorous preparation to ensure healthy soil composition free of contaminants. Since most of our lots were once residential spaces, many contain debris from the demolition process. To guarantee our gardens are free of demolition debris, a rock picker is used on all purchased lots. After debris removal, all soil is tested for potential contaminants including lead and other heavy metals. Soil composition is also tested and treated organically to establish the foundation for a productive harvest. WJP Urban Farms is dedicated to strictly organic farming to ensure our produce provides the most nutritional value possible to the children and families we serve. We ensure all materials used for cultivation align with the organic definitions outlined by the U.S Department of Agriculture.
Impact
WJP Urban Farms' educational laboratory engages children in sustainable agriculture. Urban agriculture is a platform used to empower young children to learn through a hands-on multi-disciplinary approach that combines character development, science, art and history. Children are prepared to become good stewards of themselves, their neighbors, their community and the Earth. The creation of a citizenry that builds bridges across many demographics is paramount to making a positive impact on an ever-changing world. Kiddies' Kitchen utilizes produce grown in the Kiddies' Gardens and other WJP Urban Farms to create healthy recipe packages to be donated to metro Detroit schools. Our mission with Kiddies' Kitchen is to combat food insecurity in Detroit's youth and to equip children and their families with the resources and skills to make healthy, cost-effective meals.
What I'll do with $5,000
$5,000 will allow WJP Urban Farms to increase its farmable land by approximately 40%. We acquire all of our land through the Detroit Land Bank Authority. Adjacent lots cost us $100, neighborhood lots cost us $250, while all other lots cost us approximately $1,000. Acquiring these additional lots would allow WJP Urban Farms to increase its social impact in various ways. First, expanding our lots would allow us to partner with additional school districts and educate more children of the benefits of sustainable urban farming. Additionally, WJP Urban Farms would be able to donate more produce to families suffering from food insecurity.
Links
About Willie Patmon

Willie Joe Patmon comes from a lineage of farmers dating back to slavery. Born into slavery, Willie's great grandfather Henry Patmon acquired land in Georgia and continued farming following emancipation. Willie's grandfather, Joseph Patmon, eventually moved to Oklahoma in the 1920's and bought 200 acres of farmland. It was on this family farm where Willie was born to Bose and Mary Patmon in 1934. As the eldest of 17, Willie had significant responsibilities on the family farm growing up. Despite not being able to attend school until the last crops were in each year, Willie still excelled in his coursework graduating at the top of his class from Douglass High School in Crescent, Oklahoma. Following high school, Willie attended Langston University where he majored in Industrial Arts and Machine Design.

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