2024 Annual Farmers & Friends Meeting
Cultivate KC’s Get Farming Mini Grants are an annual small grant opportunity for urban farmers within the KC Metro area. Farmers are encouraged to apply for projects that will expand or enhance their ability to grow food within our local food system. These projects can range from cold-storage vegetable refrigeration to solar panels on a greenhouse. Each year we work hard to expand our pool of grant funds to help as many farmers as possible, and in the 2022-2023 grant cycle, Cultivate KC was proud to fully award 8 projects, totaling over $26,000!
Though these projects were awarded in late 2022, they were primarily completed by farmers in the 2023 season. We are now seeing the results of the finished projects and are excited to share some of the improvements local farmers have made to their operations.
Global One Urban Farming – Expanding Capacity
Global One is an urban farm near the Vineyard and South Roundtop neighborhoods run by Staroyce Nealy. They donate the produce their farm grows to seniors, veterans, youth, and low-income families throughout their community. They used their Mini Grant award to invest in tools, sprinklers, seed-starting materials, and growing equipment all with the goal of expanding their fruit, flower, and vegetable production. This investment also allowed them to increase their capacity to partner with local organizations and teach students at nearby high schools and colleges how to start seeds, transplant into the field, and take care of those plants. Learn more about the impactful work they are doing in their community HERE.
Fresh Green Farm – Cold Storage
Fresh Green Farm is the farm of New Roots graduate, Ca Saw. He farms on three different plots throughout the Kansas City, KS area and is often working overtime to make sure the fruits and vegetables he harvests stay fresh for market. Not only does he have a palpable passion for growing food, he is also dedicated to sharing his produce with his community. His Mini Grant project was to create a cold storage cooler within his garage, and he recently did just that! This infrastructure improvement will allow him to be able to preserve his harvests for longer and minimize overall drive time.
Congolese Family Farm & Muchicha Farm – Water Access
Congolese Family Farm is run by Gasaya Musekura, and the produce he grows here feeds his Congolese community in KCK. As a dedicated farmer, he had to carry water from a nearby farm a few blocks away back to his farm to ensure that his crops were irrigated. Even still, he described limited planting abilities and thwarted growth.
Mediatrice Niyonkuru owns and operates Muchicha farm and prioritizes growing crops important to her community, like the farm’s namesake: muchicha, or amaranth. She enjoys teaching Americans about African food through the produce she grows but described similar problems with a lack of access to water. She mentioned that her vegetables do not grow as well in the hot summers without water.
Congolese Family Farm and Muchicha Farm were awarded funds to enhance the water access on their farms. Getting water onto their farms has allowed them to not only increase their vegetable production and improve the overall quality of their produce, but it will also allow them to grow and strengthen their farm businesses.