Cultivating Growth and Legacy: A Journey from Seedling to Success
As we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it's more than fitting to share a narrative of growth, unity, and achievement within our own community. This isn't just a story about cultivating land; it's about nurturing dreams and harvesting opportunity - specifically reflecting on the power and significance of representation as a Black grower.
Meet Derek and Nina, the driving force behind Da Backyard Farms. They are the face of the business, with an amazingly supportive wife, Nina, who ensures that paperwork and operations are solid. Derek's journey from an enthusiastic follower to a prosperous farmer is nothing short of inspiring. Inspired by creators such as myself and Malcolm "Big Steele" Steele, who owns bigsteelefarm.com and can be found at Big Steele Urban Farms on social media, he decided to embark on his own journey in farming. In that time of farming, he's lost about 200 pounds as well as bonded with his young son and brilliant teen daughter.
Derek's journey truly began to flourish when he sourced his seeds from my company, Plant and Heal Co., found at plantandheal.com as well as our plant storefront in Midway, GA. He'll tell you all day long that those seeds are amazing and that's how he got these blessings but it’s actually all their hard work not my seeds.
When Derek achieved organic certification, presented a proposal to the city for free land, crafted an enduring brand identity with our help, and created merchandise that resonates - he did more than just cultivate crops; he sowed the seeds of a thriving enterprise. The hearty organic produce now sells by the pound, not just to neighbors, but across the entire community, illustrating the profound impact of perseverance, creativity, and strategic guidance.
In six short months, Derek's collaboration with our GrowFluencer organization has borne fruit - both literally and financially. The additional $3,000 per month earned was merely the beginning. As demand surged, each harvested field represented a successful business model that is changing lives, creating jobs, and diversifying income streams for those willing to get their hands dirty.
Why does this matter, especially for a Black grower? In America, owning land and possessing the means to cultivate it have historically been challenging for people of color. However, this dynamic is shifting. As Derek's remarkable story demonstrates, we're here to contend that with dedication and support, financial success in farming is attainable. Money may indeed not sprout from branches, but when nurtured correctly, cash crops and savvy entrepreneurship can turn a thriving garden into a flourishing financial future.
Moreover, receiving this heartening news on MLK Day deepens its significance. It's a poignant reminder that Dr. King's dream transcended civil rights—it was also about economic empowerment and eradicating the barriers to financial freedom. It's a testament to what is possible when we cultivate our knowledge, share resources, and foster community spirit. We are not just planting crops; we are planting ideas, cultivating resilience, and growing wealth in soils that were once thought barren for us.
This is more than agricultural success; it's a symbol of hope and movement. It's a celebration of the fruits of labor and intellect, and a reflection of what can be accomplished when we work together. Every farmer, every acre, and every harvest helps to reclaim our narrative as Black growers and reshape the fabric of our community.
You can find more about Derek's journey on TikTok @dabackyardfarms, and as soon as their website is available, I will update the blog to direct you there.
Every Sunday, we invite you to the weekly Growfluencers Accountability Check in from 7:15 pm EST to 8:15 pm EST, where all are welcome to participate, come to the stage, and share their questions, wins, and challenges as we rotate guests to accommodate.
Let's foster a community where we grow not only gardens but also lives and legacies.