Fresh Future Farm raising money to buy used van

Germaine Jenkins picks lime balm from the Chicora Place Community Garden that she helped build off of Spruill Avenue. Grace Beahm/Staff

The winner of last year’s “Feeding Innovation” grant – an SC Community Loan Fund initiative designed to improve food access in underserved areas – is holding a Jan. 24 fundraiser for its first major capital expense.

Fresh Future Farm, a planned urban farm and market in the Chicora-Cherokee community, is looking to purchase a van to transport inventory and give rides to customers who spend at least $50 and live more than two miles from the store.

“For grassroots efforts like Fresh Future Farm to be effective, there has to be an upfront commitment to tackling the hard work of gaining a neighborhood’s trust and support,” farm founder Germaine Jenkins told CharlestonGood, speaking about efforts to engage the surrounding area. In addition to providing rides, the farm is looking to create employment opportunities and conduct cooking demonstrations.

Jenkins studied agricultural activism with Will Allen of Growing Power, a national non-profit dedicated to developing community food systems. Jenkins told CharlestonGood that the group’s experience informed Fresh Future Farm’s design.

BJ Dennis, who’s cooking up the fundraising pig roast with Jenkins, calls Fresh Future Farm “a wonderful organization.”

Tickets to the event are priced at $8; the dinner includes a serving of pork and three sides, or a vegetarian plate. Planned side dishes are pasta salad; collards; chicken rice; soup bunch and sweet potato bread. The 12 noon- 4 p.m. party will also feature live music and a karaoke station.

For more information about Fresh Future Farm, which aims to open at the end of the year, visit facebook.com/freshfuturefarm. Pig roast tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com/event/985917.