How St. Pete Youth Farm Got Started

In 2017, a grocery store in the Midtown community in South St. Pete shut down. This would be the second grocery store to close down in a 4-year span.

To this day, there has been no grocery store to take its place and this sparked a series of discussions on how to address this food and nutrition insecurity issue that the community was facing.

One such idea that came to the forefront was the idea to start a youth-led urban farm. Putting this issue in the hands of the young people within the community to take an empty lot owned by the City of St. Petersburg behind the Enoch Davis Center and turning into a farm.

A place where people can access locally grown produce, learn to grow their own food, and also provide programming to teens that would promote leadership skills, entrepreneurship, urban agriculture, and wellness.

Thanks to the City of St. Petersburg, the Pinellas Education Foundation, and the Foundation for a Healthy St. Pete, this idea was pushed towards reality. In 2019, the pilot program for the Youth Farm was established along with the hiring of a Collaboration Manager to implement it.

Fifteen high school-aged students were hired that Summer and many of those same youth would solidify the foundations of the program and work on this project over the next 2 years. To date, the St. Pete Youth Farm has had 80+ youth in the community involved in this program! There is so much to be proud of among the various successes in these short 3.5 years.

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