Farmer and community visionary Germaine Jenkins revels in a harvest of healthy greens from her North Charleston nonprofit, Fresh Future Farm.
In the formerly vacant lot beside the old Chicora Elementary School, Jenkins and her team have created an urban oasis, where neighbors can buy freshly harvested vegetables and fruits and learn about growing and preparing nutritious food.
Green Thumb: Jenkins enjoys the hands-on, and nonstop, work of urban farming, from composting to planting to weeding and harvesting, but mostly she enjoys sharing her passion for a regenerative movement—one that breaks the cycle of poverty through growing health, jobs, and wealth.
All Hands on Deck: The farm’s core team gets lots of help from volunteers, such as these employees from Stantec, pictured with Jenkins next to the farm store. The mural, which special projects manager Anik Hall researched, organized, and painted, depicts 500 years of the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood’s history.
School kids come to Fresh Future Farm to get their hands dirty...
...and learn about growing and eating healthy foods at day camps.
The onsite grocery store promotes healthy eating, offering freshly harvested organic vegetables, kombucha, and other local and health-oriented products—as well as “neck bones and potato chips,” adds Jenkins, “we don’t judge people based on their food choices.”
Farm manager Adrian Mack Jr.
Volunteers help planting and tending at the farm during workdays held every third Saturday.
The farm also regularly hosts classes, such as “Intro to Gardening.”
Fresh Future: Summer’s successful “Claim Our Roots” Kickstarter campaign will fund expansion at the current site, including a new open-air teaching pavilion with solar panels and a mobile incubator kitchen. Jenkins plans to offer the FFF model as a free template for others to use in underserved areas across the Lowcountry and beyond.
From celebrating cultural roots to baking and breaking bread together (the farm’s bread oven)
Jenkins and her team have cultivated a healthy community hub for all ages—including her grandbaby, Sierra
Anik Hall refreshes the painting on a compost tumbler.
“Germaine is definitely a local trailblazer in this field.” —Jennet Alterman
Meet the farmer and visionary who founded Fresh Future Farm, a nonprofit farm and grocery store, to serve a food desert in North Charleston’s Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood