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Urban food farm breaks ground in Indianapolis neighborhood food desert

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Edna Martin Christian Center and the Brandywine Creek Farms have broken ground on a new project to feed people in the Martindale-Brightwood community on the near-northeast and east sides.

The two nonprofits have joined together in an attempt to produce 120,000 pounds of free produce for a neighborhood that’s considered a food desert.

“We’re really excited. It’s been a long time coming,” said Maggie Goeglein, vice president of development at Edna Martin Christian Center. “For us to have a partner like Brandywine Creek Farms that we know, knows what they’re doing and is gonna hit the ground running, it’s super exciting.”

The new urban farm will be behind the Kipp Indy Legacy High School, 2255 Ralston Ave., and the operators hope to use the space to give families some healthy choices for food.

“Everything from tomatoes, to greens, to watermelon and all of the good stuff in between,” Goeglein said. “In light of COVID-19 right now, we’re not really sure what this is going to do as far as shaking up the food supply. We’re seeing a lot of places like meat-packing plants and places closing, so whatever we can do for a neighborhood that’s already struggling with a lot of economic disadvantage prior to COVID, to make sure that we keep food in people’s hands is really important.”

The new urban farm will be named in honor of Henry Blair, who invented a corn planter in 1834, and became only the second African-American inventor to receive a U.S. patent.

Dale Crabtree, who also works with the Edna Martin Christian Center, talks more about what the launching of this project could mean to the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood. “We want people to realize that things are happening here in Martindale-Brightwood because it’s been kind of this neglected corner of the city for a long time. So, we’re hoping that our immediate neighbors and the city at-large sees this as a very hopeful thing to happen. Things are growing here where there was once nothing.”

Henry Blair Farm at Edna Martin Christian Center

120,000 lbs of produce for the food insecure to be grown on this land.

Posted by Brandywine Creek Farms on Monday, May 25, 2020

Watch a Facebook video of the groundbreaking of the new farm.

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