Freedom Farms is a series of Black community gardens designed to be both gathering spaces and a spaces for increased food access. Freedom Farms is a joint endeavour between Family Freedom Center and Lincoln Park Resource Center. We currently have two locations in the Central Hillside and Lincoln Park Neighborhood, with plans for a third (coming soon) and many more to follow. Freedom Farms was created by the Black Community for the whole community, and was founded on the principles of social equity and food sovereignty. At all Freedom Farms locations we offer free produce pick up, gardening & food preparation classes, community events, skills-building workshops, and environmentally conscious workshops for community members of all ages.
Freedom Farms: Hillside
Freedom Farms Hillside grows produce in Elder accessible raised garden beds and has a large gathering area, making it perfect for social events, classes, and food production. Since October 2021 Freedom Farms Hillside has also been the location of the annual Big Tent Event, which is an resource exchange event created by Family Freedom Center, American Indian Community Housing Organization, and Duluth Aging Support. The Big Tent Event purpose is to prepare the marginalized communities for winter by connecting them with resources/other non-profits, providing free coats and weather gear, and distributing produce and other food. This is also the location for FFC's weekly Conversations & Coffee, a Black Elder lead cross-generational event for all community members. Additionally, AICHO, Outside-the Box, and Neighborhood Youth Center use this space for youth gardening programs. Freedom Farms Hillside has a large selection of easily accessible fruit trees, as well as a beautiful pollination habitat that is a home for many types of butterflies and bumble bees.
Freedom Farms : Lincoln Park
Freedom Farms Lincoln Park is a large plot that was established as a food production site by the Lincoln Park Resource Center. At this location we grow the most produce, and therefore need the most labor to harvest and distribute the food. As we expand food production into the now empty space we will also create a small gathering space for food preparation and distribution. Classes here include washing and preparing food, workshops on constructing garden boxes and other skills. Freedom Farms Lincoln Park is the main location youth work to plant, tend, and harvest the plants.
Family Freedom Center and the Lincoln Park Resource Center maintain both Freedom Farms locations collaboratively, with the potential to expand into more locations. In addition to our partnership, other organizations have an active role in land stewardship. At Freedom Farms: Hillside the American Indian Housing Organization conducts youth programming during summer months. Family Freedom Center also employs youth through the city-ran YES Duluth program, ensuring BIPOC youth can get paid to learn, grow, and harvest produce. Through this new collaboration between FFC and LPRC we work with youth at both garden locations moving forward, ensuring all produce gets picked and youth have the opportunity to learn about culturally relevant produce. Duluth Aging Support, also partners with FFC for the Conversations & Coffee program which takes place in the garden during summer months. From the Elders to the little ones, Freedom Farms is a inclusive gathering space for all generations to learn and grow together.
Like the rest of Duluth, our gardens are located on ancestral and contemporary lands of Indigenous people--the Ojibwe people, and before them the Dakota and Northern Cheyenne people, and other Native peoples from time immemorial. We live in a city that experiences zip-code based health disparities that disproportionately impact people of color. This includes disparities in access to fresh, affordable, culturally-relevant foods. We live in a country whose agricultural system was built on the stolen labor of enslaved African peoples, where migrant farmworkers still contribute much of the labor that feeds us all, yet they are not guaranteed basic rights. Through centuries of policies built to uphold systemic racism and white supremacy, people of color do not have equal access to land, housing, or economic opportunities. We have witnessed police brutality against and mass incarceration of Black, Brown, immigrant and Indigenous people in our state and across our nation. We acknowledge that these systemic injustices shape urban agriculture in our community today, and we are committed to being a part of the solution in building a more just and equitable world.