Alpha Omega Veterans Services Urban Farm and Garden
Memphis Tilth holds a three-year contract, beginning January 2018, to build an urban farm and garden project with Alpha Omega Veterans Services (AOVS). The project will be located at multiple AOVS locations, with the urban farm and garden located at the AOVS Depot, a veterans housing facility in South Memphis. The goal of this project is to increase healthy fruits and vegetables to veteran residents at AOVS facilities, engage AOVS veterans, staff, and volunteers in produce production and marketing, teach AOVS veterans how to grow food and run an urban farm, and develop an AOVS value-added product to sell. Memphis Tilth has hired Chris Peterson as the new farm manager for the project. Chris joins Memphis Tilth from Loch Holland Farm in Saulsbury, Tennessee. Before starting Loch Holland Farm, Chris was the Executive Director of GrowMemphis, which is now a program of Memphis Tilth.
Alpha Omega Veterans Services is based in Memphis, Tennessee with the mission to provide displaced and homeless veterans with the social services needed to totally reintegrate them back into society. This includes food, shelter, clothing, referrals for training in vocational, educational and job placement goals, community service referrals, individual and group counseling and other such services and facilities designed to meet their physical, social and psychological needs and to promote their health, security, happiness and usefulness in society.
In support of this mission, Memphis Tilth will work strategically with AOVS to use the farm and garden as an education and therapeutic resource to connect veterans to the land, and help them create market opportunities for growing and selling produce and value-added products. Community kitchen classes will be offered so that veterans can learn how to cook all the food grown, with the opportunity to also become ServSafe certified by Memphis Tilth.