For More Information:
Barbara Mackovic, Media Relations
(502) 587-4230 or (502) 641-5461
South Points Food Collaborative Brings Urban Agriculture to Hazelwood Neighborhood
“Family Jam” planned October 15 to welcome neighbors to the farm"
Louisville, Ky. (September 21, 2016) - Urban agriculture is a growing movement that brings locally sourced, fresh food to cities while making neighborhoods greener, healthier places to live—reconnecting residents with the land and the food they put on their tables. This trend is coming to south Louisville through a unique alliance of government, health care, and non-profit organizations collaborating to convert almost 16 acres in the heart of the Hazelwood neighborhood into an urban farm.
Dubbed the “South Points Food Collaborative,” the effort converts a vacant field—formerly the Iroquois housing project— into an urban farming oasis.
To celebrate, a neighborhood block party called the South Points Family Jam is planned for Saturday, Oct. 15 from 11am-2pm at 4233 Tuscarora Way, located at the corner of Hazelwood and Bicknell avenues. The event will open the farm to neighbors and engage residents in the site’s transformation. The community is invited for “field-to-fork fun,” including hay rides, face painting, pumpkin painting, cider pressing, healthy food cooking demos, and more.
The South Points Food Collaborate has three facets:
Hope Community Farm: Louisville Grows is cultivating about seven acres with resettled refugee and new American neighborhood families and have formed a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program to distribute weekly boxes of produce from the farm to subscribers. In response to the identified need for mental health services for refugees who’ve survived trauma, Gate of Hope provides counseling using nature-based programs that integrate garden education and activity. Future plans call for a tree nursery and a market garden to supply the nearby Save-A-Lot grocery store.
Iroquois Farm: KentuckyOne Health—in partnership with local farmers Andrew Hockenberry and Ivor Chodkowski— is leasing 8.7 acres for a “farm-to-hospital-table” effort. KentuckyOne will purchase fresh food produced on the Iroquois Farm, creating a new institutional market for a small farm operation. Planned property improvements are designed to support a self-sustaining urban farm to serve patients and visitors at neighborhood anchor Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital, while also establishing a replicable model for other KentuckyOne hospitals across the state.
The Food Literacy Project: The Food Literacy Project will offer its hands-on, inquiry-based Field-to-Fork Program at a new outdoor classroom on the Iroquois Farm, located near Hazelwood Elementary and other area schools and community-based organizations. Youth, families, teens and adults will learn by discovery- planting, cultivating, harvesting and cooking with fresh vegetables. As participants discover the joy of real food, they will empower themselves with skills to lead healthy lives and engage as leaders in transforming their community.
According to PolicyLink, a national research and policy institute, urban farming results in many benefits such as improved access to healthy food, workforce training and job development, and neighborhood revitalization. Planting on vacant or underused urban spaces fosters a greater sense of community, creates safer neighborhoods, and connects people of different backgrounds.
The South Points Food Collaborative is located on land owned by the Louisville Metro Housing Authority. The property was the site of the Iroquois Homes public housing project and had been vacant since 2012.
To learn more, find us on Facebook by searching for “South Points Family Jam.”
About The Partners:
The Food Literacy Project inspires a new generation to build healthy relationships with food, farming and the land, fostering wellbeing, leadership, and community engagement among Louisville residents. The organization envisions a community with a just and sustainable food system that cultivates healthy citizens. As the Louisville area’s only farm-based education organization, The Food Literacy Project has unleashed the power of discovering real food more than 30,000 youth and families since 2006. Its hands-on, inquiry-based Field to Fork Program includes experiential education, youth development, family engagement, community outreach and professional development activities that couple fresh food education and access. For more information: www.foodliteracyproject.org or call (502) 491-0072.
Gate of Hope Ministries International is a non-profit organization that exists to create an environment where people are equipped and empowered to live out a more fulfilled life for holistic transformation of their community. Refugees who have come to Louisville from East Africa are victims of much hardship from wars and different forms of violence. This creates an opportunity for Gate of Hope Ministries to provide counseling and create an environment where refugees are able to seek and receive comfort in a safe community. Gate of Hope also work with refugees helping them to adjust to a new culture, providing driving education, tutoring program, job search and interpretation for different services including job interviews, medical and other much-needed help to reduce their struggles to adjust to the new life here in the USA and enable them to positively contribute to the well-being of their community. For more information: www.gateofhope.org or contact Dr. Pauline Mukeshimana at (502) 381-0711, [email protected]
Louisville Grows has a mission is to grow a just and sustainable community in Louisville, Kentucky, through urban agriculture, urban forestry, and environmental education. The organization began in 2009, and currently manages two community gardens (the People's Garden and Shippingport Memorial Garden), one urban farm with 25-member CSA (Hope Community Farm), and three edible orchards that provide access to free seasonal fruit for neighborhood residents (Portland Orchard, Community Food Forest, and Produce Park). Louisville Grows also focuses on increasing the urban tree canopy, and to date has planted over 1,300 trees and provided routine inspections to ensure the trees' survival. Louisville Grows also hosts the Urban Growers Series, a day of educational workshops once a month to instruct participants on growing sustainably in an urban setting.
KentuckyOne Health was formed when two major Kentucky health care organizations came together in early 2012. KentuckyOne Health combines the Jewish and Catholic heritages of the two former systems – Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System. In late 2012, the organization formed a partnership with the University of Louisville Hospital | James Graham Brown Cancer Center. The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has more than 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is the largest health system in Kentucky.
Louisville Metro Housing Authority (LMHA) is a nonprofit agency responsible for the development and management of federally assisted housing in the Louisville Metro area. LMHA's mission is to provide quality, affordable housing for those in need, assist residents in their efforts to achieve financial independence, and work with the community to strengthen neighborhood. LMHA has over 4,000 public housing units, and administers rental assistance to nearly 9,000 families through its Section 8 / Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program.
Andrew Hockenberry is a veteran farmer of several area farms including Barr Farms and Field Day Family Farm. Andrew’s experience includes working with The Food Literacy Project’s Youth Community Agriculture Program and is a board member of Sustainable Agriculture of Louisville, an organization promoting food sovereignty here in Louisville and across the globe. He will run the day-to-day operations of the Iroquois Farm, the “farm-to-hospital table” component of the South Points Food Collaborative, in partnership with KentuckyOne Health.
Ivor Chodkowski is a farmer, entrepreneur, and a consultant on agriculture and food. He has worked on food access issues since 2002 when he was awarded the key to the city of Louisville for his work on farmers markets in limited resource areas. He will serve as Iroquois Farm project manager, overseeing data collection to support a robust evaluation with a goal of forging a new market for small area growers to sell to large, local institutions.