Markets on a Mission to Support Veterans
By: Liz Comiskey Posted On: November 11, 2015
This Veterans Day, in an effort to honor the brave men and women who have served our country, FMC is highlighting two farmers market organizations who’s mission it is to support our veterans.
Growing Veterans is a rehabilitation and sustainable agriculture program situated on two farms in Washington state with a mission to empower military veterans to grow food, communities, and each other. Through their mission, they seek to end the isolation that leads to veteran suicide and to make sustainable agriculture the norm. At least one civilian and one veteran bring the program’s produce to market together, providing professional development and community integration. At the VA Puget Sound Medical Center, hospital staff, veterans, and visitors shop at the weekly Growing Veterans Farmers Market, where no one is turned away from receiving fresh food if they lack funds. Growing Veterans also attends the Burlington Farmers Market.
In Atlanta, Markus Gaffney has changed the lives of homeless veterans with the 3×3 Project and Atlanta Veteran Farmers Market. The 3×3 Project is a multi-faceted program that helps homeless veterans and remediates urban landscapes through agriculture. 3×3 Project utilizes a unique mobile, vertical, wheelchair accessible container gardening system. On Sundays, the farm sells their produce on location at the Atlanta Veteran Farmers Market. The Jamal Addison Farm, formerly a vandalized vacant lot in Atlanta and the site of 292 emergency 9-1-1 calls has not had a single crime reported since 3×3 installed a farm on the lot. In roughly one year, 3×3 will move on to a new location, and the land will become the Jamal Addison Park, honoring the soldier who was killed in Iraq. The 3×3 system features at least two layers of stacked milk crates; the top layer is filled with soil and plants, the bottom crate holds a bucket and wicking water system, and underneath it all is mycoremediation (bioremediation with fungi) in the soil. Three rows of crates, by three rows of crates, line up to create a lasting impact in the lives of individuals, the land, and the community.
To thank Growing Veterans and 3×3 Project for bringing their work with veterans into the farmers market sector, we have gifted them with FMC memberships. We would be happy to extend this offer to three other farmers markets that have veteran support in their mission. Please contact Liz Comiskey at firstname.lastname@example.org with interest.