KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Cultivate KC and volunteers are happy the sun is out on Earth Day.
"We’re just trenching out the rows for the future garden," said Jamel Monger with Henderson Engineers.
Monger spent his Friday volunteering with the company at Westport Commons Farm as part of Cultivate KC's day of service for Earth Day 2022.
"I think it’s amazing. I think what they have going here is a beautiful thing," he said.
In the heart of Midtown, volunteers worked hard preparing precious ground.
"We grow food on this field so that it is a resource for the community, we grow food on this field so it can be educational for folks in the community and we do it in a way that respects the environment," said Brien Darby, Cultivate KC executive director.
It’s a communal effort to open doors to the food that will grow there.
"There’s a lot of food deserts in this area that people just don’t have that easy access to healthy, fresh local food," said Andrea Andrews, volunteering on behalf of Accenture.
Recent supply chain issues paired with the existing challenges of food deserts have increased the need for local food assistance.
"I think that the need for local food production is essential when supply chain logistics and things like that are an issue, and so Cultivate is really integral in that work to bring people the food that’s right at their doorstep already," said Eli O'Sullivan Kurtz, Cultivate KC food access program associate.
And it will be at their doorstep for a long time.
"The really unique thing about this land is that we have a 25-year lease with our landowner that says this property, regardless of whether it’s us or another farmer here, will remain urban agriculture for at least 25 years, and that’s pretty unheard of," Darby said.
Guaranteed years of tending to the Earth is something Andrews hopes to see more of.
"It shouldn’t just be one day, it really should be things we practice every day as well," Andrews said.
Information about Cultivate KC's food access program, regarding eligibility and participation, can be found here.