Sowing Seeds of Change: Inside Wonderful People Farm

It may be surprising to some that areas of our beloved city are in the midst of a food desert. In four areas of Davidson County alone, North, South, East Nashville, and Edgehill, grocery stores and nutritious food options are scarce or entirely unavailable. Fortunately, Wonderful People Farm is working to eliminate this disparity through educating, growing, and building community.

On a 21-acre plot in Goodlettsville, Tennessee lives Wonderful People Farm, a place that harvests an energy of empowerment, learning, and growth. This open pasture is home to forested trails booming with wildlife in hopes of fostering a means to grow healthy foods and support urban communities.

WonderfulPeopleFarm-team
Farm Manager, Maxwell Patterson, Founders Tonya and Chris Lewis

What is Wonderful People Farm? Founded in 2021 by Tonya and Chris Lewis, Wonderful People Farm operates as a teaching farm where youth, women, BIPOC, and underserved individuals have the opportunity to get hands-on experience in cultivating and growing their own foods. 

What is a food desert? “A food desert is an area that is devoid of grocery stores or access to healthy, nutritious food options. A food desert within a rural community is when there is no grocery store within a 10-mile radius; in a city, a desert exists if there isn’t a grocery store within a mile of you,” explains Tonya. 

This judgment-free zone welcomes any person, particularly those experiencing a food desert, to attain knowledge and resources to grow their food: “A big part of addressing the food desert situation is empowering those people that live in those areas to get into micro-farming and have an opportunity to control how they eat,” Maxwell says.

Here at Wonderful People Farm, the opportunity to learn is endless. In their offered workshops, folks can work side-by-side with skilled farmers, gardeners, and specialty crop producers to learn how to grow their food and help restore natural resources, plants, and wildlife: “It’s all hands-on experiential learning where you put your hands in the dirt and you learn from seasoned and professional experts,” says Tonya.

There is power in knowledge and using the resources provided to us by the earth. By educating people about how to utilize natural resources, it gives opportunity to groups of people who historically do not always have them; “It is important for people to know how to grow food because when you have your basic needs met, you have the opportunity to claim ownership of the things you put in your body.”

Wonderful People Farm offers a variety of farming and gardening workshops, connects small-scale urban farmers, gardeners, and producers to educational programming, technical training and funding opportunities, and partners with local schools for volunteering, interning, and work-based learning opportunities. To learn more about Wonderful People Farm, visit www.wpmicrofarm.com, and follow them on Instagram @wpmicrofarm.

Photographer/Videographer: Elle Danielle

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