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Black Yield Institute To Run Community Farm At Cherry Hill Homes Through 2021

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Residents of Cherry Hill Homes will continue to have access to fresh produce from the Black Yield Institute's community farm on-site for the remainder of the year after the organization and the Housing Authority reached an agreement, according to a HABC statement Wednesday.

The half-acre farm and the acre of land around it are open seven days a week. BY can sell the produce at the site and off-site but must donate excess produce to Cherry Hill Homes residents. BYI also will set up times and days for volunteers to help with the work and for Cherry Hill Homes residents and other community members to tend plots.

BYI also will provide residents educational activities, including classes about cooking the farm's vegetables and workshops about gardening practices and operations.

The HABC and the Cherry Hill Community Development Corp. established a formal agreement to use the site as a farm in 2010, but when Cherry Hill resident Juanita Ewell died, the CHCDC determined it no longer had the partnership to operate the farm, according to the statement. BYI took over operations in 2018.

"Using fertile land in the city to farm and grow fresh produce is a virtuous and necessary undertaking, and we applaud the mission," HABC President and CEO Janet Abrahams said in the statement. "With this agreement, we have responded to our residents' needs. They will now receive produce from the farm and be offered the opportunity to volunteer there. We look forward to having the Black Yield Institute view our residents as partners for the remainder of the year, as the group looks for a permanent location."

Mayor Brandon Scott's administration is working on a solution for a long-term site for BYI to run their farm, Abrahams said in the statement.

BYI Director Eric Jackson said he was grateful for both the opportunity to be at Cherry Hill Homes and to have Scott's commitment to a permanent site.

The HABC also will announce development plans for Cherry Hill Homes at a later date, according to the statement.


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