Knoxville, TN – Knoxville philanthropists Randy & Jenny Boyd are joining forces with Abbey Fields Farm to create a nearly one acre community garden right in the heart of Knoxville’s Old City.
The Old City Gardens will be located at 300 Depot Avenue just steps away from Knoxville’s Historic Old City. For a yearly subscription fee of $100, residents will be able to rent one of thirty 4X25 ft. raised beds for growing vegetables or flowers. The site, operated by Brenna Wright and farm manager Daniel Aisenbrey, will include storage sheds, allowing members to avoid hauling around heavy tools, and promoting walking and biking to and from the gardens. The site will also have a washing station, a pavilion for shade and community gatherings and full access to water.
Part community garden part urban farm, Abbey Fields Farm will provide land upkeep and general maintenance and in return will have access to a portion of the land to grow crops which will be sold to local area restaurants. In addition, the gardens will offer a “farm share” program following the model of Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, for people who don’t have the time to grow their own food, but still want to support the project and buy fresh clean produce. Abbey Fields Farm already operates a similar urban garden in Knoxville’s Park Ridge neighborhood.
"There's so much unused land in and around our cities,” says Brenna Wright, “reclaiming these lots for garden space is a creative and economical way to enhance our neighborhoods. So much of our food production happens beyond our site, we hope this will give urbanites the opportunity to produce their own food while still enjoying all the amenities of downtown living."
The community farm is made possible, in part, by a generous donation of land from Randy & Jenny Boyd who were inspired by Urban Gardens around the country and have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to Knoxville’s Downtown redevelopment.
“The idea was inspired by the Fenways in Boston where local urban residents are able to rent small garden plots to grow flowers or vegetables” Boyd explains. “Often you see people just sitting in their folding chair reading and enjoying being in their garden. They provide a nice respite from urban life and the one thing better than farm to table is from your own garden to your own table. Knoxville has too many blighted, underused lots downtown, and so the idea is to convert them to gardens. We will start with this one site and see how well it is received. Having Brenna Wright, who already runs the successful Abby Fields, managing the project insures that we will have the right leadership to be successful.”
The Old City Gardens is tentatively scheduled to open mid spring of 2016. Anyone interested in finding out more can contact Brenna through her website, www.abbey-fields.com
For press inquiries, please contact Chad Youngblood at (865) 219-3773 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abbey Fields Farm sells produce to seasonal CSA members, local restaurants and grocers, and at an on-site farm stand. Their mission is to grow good food by way of thoughtful stewardship and patient reclamation, beautifying our places one empty lot at a time. More information on Abbey Fields Farm, including opportunities to learn more about their CSA or Community Supported Agricultural programs, can be found at www.abbey-fields.com.