In the wake of the city’s Super Tuesday tornado, one effort to fight gentrification is also bringing fresh produce to the community.
The idea for a new community garden came to resident Sara Green after the storm ripped through homes and nearby businesses.
“I was there the morning after, and there was so much destruction,” says Green. “It was so much … debris.”
In a few months, she says the small, unnamed farm will be filled with kale, chard and a handful of other leafy green vegetables. The goal is to have freshly grown produce for the entire neighborhood.
She created a garden bed and planted a batch of colorful flowers, too.
“At the very least, if nothing that we plant grows, it will be beautiful,” she says.
Green used to live in the neighborhood. She says it’s being gentrified, and she built the garden to deter developers from trying to buy the once empty lot.
Residents of North Nashville say predatory developers have been trying to cash in on proprieties that were damaged by the tornado.
Joshua Mundy, a local business owner who manages the lot where the garden was planted, says the project was a pleasant surprise.
“I saw some people digging [up] dirt in my lot and I’m like, ‘Man, what’s going on?’
“I walked up like ‘Hey, y’all can do what you’re doing. But who’s over this?’ And that’s when I met Sara.”
Mundy says the garden brought him relief after the tornado wiped out three of his businesses. He says it was refreshing to see neighbors rebuilding in an effort to bring equity to the community.
“Once every thing grows … I think it’s going to be a tremendous asset to the community,” says Mundy. “I can’t wait to see it flourish and see what comes of it.”
Initially, Green wanted to bring together neighbors to help build the farm. But things changed because of the coronavirus.
“Now we’re figuring out how to gather safely. But hopefully in the summer time. It’s a wild world,” says Green. “Once it’s established, we’ll hopefully have some bigger workdays.”