This week, learn more about the North Memphis Farmers Collective, made up of Kevin Woods & Danielle Salton (In Season Produce), Adam Guerrero and Stephanie Ford (SmartMule Urban Farms) and Nathaniel Davis Jr. (Ronin Leo Organics).
CYCFM: Where are you from?
DS: I was born in Atlanta, moved to Memphis in 1998.
KW: I am originally from Nashville, TN.
SF: I'm originally from the DC/MD area
AG: I was born in Oklahoma and spent my early childhood in Hawaii but I'm a military brat so I consider myself to be from all over.
ND: I am home grown. Born and raised in Memphis.
CYCFM: When/where/why did you begin farming?
DS: I, with Kevin, began backyard gardening in 2012. We were in Knoxville, TN, in our last year at UT. Kevin took a few courses in which the current state of food was discussed which sparked interest in both of us. From there we watched many documentaries about food and the way it is prepared and we saw the need for change within our food system. .
SF: I am new to Urban Farming but was introduced to the movement when I became serious about buying local produce and pastured meats for health and dietary reasons.
AG: Almost a decade. I've been urban farming for 4 years and did community gardening 5 years before that.
ND: I've been farming all my life. We had a kitchen garden growing up and many family and friends were farmers.
CYCFM: What is your favorite part about farming?
DS: My Favorite part about farming is watching the plants grow. It's amazing to see such a small seed turn into such a large plant that is a food source!
KW: The change and the beauty. As a farmer you are constantly bringing life into our world. You can turn a empty backyard into beautiful beds of tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, flowers, peppers, and more.
SF: Witnessing the transformation from seed to fruit is always magical.
AG: I like digging in the earth it's very satisfying knowing I'm contributing to the ecosystem.
ND: Seeing the flowers bloom and plants grow. Really the whole process.
CYCFM: What is your favorite dish to eat/cook?
DS: I am a fan of eggplant and making various dishes with the different varieties of eggplant. I believe eggplant is an overlooked vegetable and it really deserves more credit!
KW: I am a creative when it comes to cooking. I like to go to my kitchen/garden, see what I have to use and then begin a masterpiece!
SF: I enjoy all types of cuisine. It's hard for me to pick favorites
ND: BBQ chicken of course!
CYCFM: What do you do to relax from all the physical work of farming?
DS: Kevin handles most of the physical labor involved with our farm, I deal with a lot of behind the scene work. If I am not helping Kevin with details of the farm, I am working, volunteering, or at school. I stay busy!
KW: Farming is pretty much my life! If I am not on my farm working I am researching different farming techniques, ways to naturally prevent pests, and ways to grow as much as I can in the small urban space I have.
SF: I'm into film and food.
AG: I like to read and kickback listening to music in my downtown appartment. Of course I experiment with different recipes using produce from the farm.
ND: I like to listen to jazz music to wind down from the day.
CYCFM: What is your favorite part about the Cooper Young Market?
DS: There are so many different types of vendors at the markets, from various areas surrounding West Tennessee. It is nice to be able to meet other farmers and to interact with customers and to share with them the importance of eating naturally grown and locally grown produce.
KW: The people. You get to meet so many interesting people, all passionate about good food!
SF: Adam I discussed how the neighborhood support for the market is amazing and makes it the perfect location to sell our products. Cooper Young shoppers just get it.
ND: I grow a lot of rare and unusual varieties that most people have never seen before. I love how open to try new things and accepting the customers are of my products.