Consider This: Urban Farming in Jackson

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 5:43 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - This week we shared an uplifting story about a project in the Belhaven area that has turned into an inspirational space for the community.

With Jackson having so many abandoned, blighted properties that create negative, unsafe environments, here’s an idea that could spread across the city: repurposing those undesirable spots into more appealing spaces.

Over the past decade, Jackson lost nearly 20,000 residents, about 11% of its population.

There are hundreds and hundreds of run-down properties acres and acres of vacant land. Sadly, most of those properties will never be repurposed into homes or businesses, but they could become gardens and farms.

There are literally hundreds of acres in Jackson that could be repurposed into farms.

Jackson leaders should use Jesse Yancy’s garden as an example of what is possible and work with community leaders to replicate that effort.

Imagine if each city councilperson found one champion in their wards to lead this charge. Not only would it improve the aesthetics in each neighborhood, but it could also lead to pop-up farmer’s markets across the city.

It could provide healthier, affordable food options. Farm to table has been a hot trend for years. There’s no reason that farm and table can’t be located in inner-city Jackson.

Agriculture is a top industry in our state. Mississippians know how to work the land.

That land doesn’t have to be in rural areas or in the Delta. Urban farming could create happier, more sustainable neighborhoods, provide food for people in those communities, give young people a positive outlet and even create jobs.

Urban farming has become more popular and accepted in cities across the country that face the same challenges as Jackson. Thanks to Jesse Yancy for showing us how it can happen here.

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