Urban farms growing jobs, produce in downtown Greenville - FOX Carolina 21

Urban farms growing jobs, produce in downtown Greenville

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Mill Village Farms' Sullivan Street farm is one of three urban farms. (June 11, 2013/FOX Carolina) Mill Village Farms' Sullivan Street farm is one of three urban farms. (June 11, 2013/FOX Carolina)

With Tupelo Honey Cafe opening in less than a week, it's announcing a community partnership with an urban farm organization that's growing in downtown Greenville.

In the middle of a former Greenville mill village sits the Sullivan Street Farm, one of three farms started by Mill Village Farms.

"This was just a great avenue to be able to work with youth in this community as well as also providing fresh and healthy produce for neighbors," said Dan Weidenbenner, director of MVF.

MVF brings in local youth to spend the summer weeding, growing vegetables and learning what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Jimmy Thompson is headed into the 11th grade and is in his second season with MVF. He said working with MVF has changed his outlook on farming and finding work you enjoy.

"People think of farms, they think animals and hard work and it really wasn't that hard if you just put your mind to it and your heart to it," said Thompson. "You can get a lot done and you can see right here."

MVF's vision is to teach young people while reaching out the community, giving them the chance to reap the benefits of what is grown in their own neighborhood.

"They'll learn what it's like to have their first job, job skills, also learn a little about sustainable agriculture and also they'll learn about what it's like to be an entrepreneur," Weidenbenner said.

Together the teens know they are creating something that goes beyond fresh fruits and vegetables.

"This is a piece of my heart just being out here... and doing agriculture and it's really helped me a lot," Thompson said.

MVF's partnership with Tupelo Honey includes the use of some of the farm's fresh produce in the restaurant's dishes and employing some graduates of MVF.

In addition to its work with Tupelo Honey, MVF is launching a new truck called Good To Go with the help of Loaves and Fishes, to sell fresh produce at reasonable prices in several local neighborhoods.

Good To Go mobile market will launch on Saturday, June 22 at Long Branch Baptist Church in the Sullivan Community from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

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