Agriculture is a cornerstone of any culture; however, there are communities throughout the country that lack easy access to fresh produce.These communities are known as food deserts.
Located at 233 S Dade Ave, Earth Dance Organic Farm School of Ferguson, MO works to combat this issue by providing organic ally grown fruits and vegetables while preserving the art of sustainable farming for future generations. Earth Dance Farm School was founded in 2008. It stands as one of the largest organic farms in the Mid-West. While the farm was originally started as an initiative to help preserve farmland in the city of Ferguson, Earth Dance Farm School expanded its priorities beyond sustainable food production by starting a part-time apprenticeship program through which individuals could learn the art of farming and gardening.
In regards to the mission of Earth Dance Farm School, volunteer coordinator Nickolas Speed said, “We grow 135 different fruits veggies and herbs here on the farm. We believe it’s extremely important to be involved with our community. Because of this, we have a junior farm crew. The junior farm crew consists of teens we work with. We pay them to help on the farm and learn more specific skills about farming and gardening. In addition, the junior farm crew helps us out at the Ferguson farmer’s market where we sell produce. This initiative not only gives the youth access to our produce but gives them an educational experience."
"It is important to realize that many areas do not have access to fresh healthy food. Earth Dance has made efforts to address this problem that I have been fortunate to be a part of. One of these efforts is the community food assessment; we have people who go door to door to grocery stores, gas stations, and wherever people in these communities buy their food. We do price checks at various stores and compare the cost of food in different places. The community food assessment is a very comprehensive initiative; it’s unique because it actually gets input from the communities it was designed to help.”
Organizations like Earth Dance Farm School improve communities by introducing a healthier, for wholesome way of living while also teaching them to sustainability through the use their own resources. Through such efforts the city of Ferguson, MO can positively impact its surroundings through the positive changes taking place in it every day.