Freedom Gardens

We are “Freedom Gardeners” growing food for liberation and resilience!

Freedom Gardens is a gardening initiative unlike any in the history of the Buffalo. It is a groundbreaking approach to strengthening community, building self-reliance, and increasing food security that is supported by a coalition of black-led organizations along with allies that believe in growing your own food. By using a network of Freedom Gardens to provide food security in areas that lack grocery stores and access to healthy foods, we are honoring the integral role Buffalo played in the Underground Railroad network. We “grow” to support ourselves, control our destinies, and provide for our families while building a healing community that is healthy and well.

The first freedom garden was planted at the Jesse Clipper Park, located in the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor, as a memorial to honor Jesse Clipper, the first black WNY soldier to die during WW1. That initiative was supported by the Jesse Clipper Post, the Jesse Clipper Post Women’s Auxiliary, Buffalo in Bloom and the Buffalo Botanical Gardens. The garden is currently maintained by the CopperTown Block Club with support from Food for the Spirit and Grassroots Gardens.

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Image of Rebekah Williams and Gail V. Wells at Jesse Clipper Park. Photo Credit: Peter H. O’Biso (May 25, 2020)

Starting in June 2020, the Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo and Food for the Spirit will begin a series of gardening, health and cooking programs to support Freedom Gardeners in growing, preserving, harvesting and cooking food that they grow.

Details on programming will be in The Challenger Community News, on POWER 96.5, and on the following websites: buffalofreedomgardens.com, foodforthespirt.org, juneteenthofbuffalo.com and grassrootsgardens.org. All questions and concerns can be answered at yourfreedomgarden@gmail.com, Rebekah@foodforthespirit.org, or eme@grassrootsgardens.org.

A Freedom Garden is an opportunity to eradicate the inequities that exist in our current food system, to organize and mobilize for new solutions and change and to do for self and not wait upon others to save us.

To get connected, visit our Facebook event page at http://bit.ly/freedomgardens.

Copy-content written by Gail V. Wells of Food for the Spirit and Freedom Gardens, and President of CopperTown Block Club, May 2020.

Banner image of Bree Hassan and Vonyetta Scott, photo credit Gail V. Wells, October 2019.