Frayser Youth Farm has a positive impact on youth, community

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MEMPHIS, Tenn.-- A group in Frayser is fighting food deserts.

TheĀ  farm in Frayser is providing fresh produce to the community while also employing high school girls.

The fairly new farm is part of a program run by Girls Inc.

"We started to see there was a need for this work," said Miles Tamboli.

Tamboli is the Manager of Operations for the Frayser Youth Farm, part of Girls Inc.

Helping Tamboli are six teenage girls ages 16- to 18-years old selected from within the Frayser community.

"Giving them experience and entrepreneurship in business while also healthy living skills," explained Tamboli.

The girls spend the summer growing the produce and then selling it on the weekends.

During the fall they learn the ins and outs of smart business skills.

"Right now we're selling basil, cherry tomatoes," Tamboli explained.

They also have okra, sweet potatoes and honey.

The goal is to promote sustainable living.

"You'll notice we're reusing as much as possible. We're recycling as much as possible," explained Tamboli.

Besides providing opportunities for young women, the farm is also giving back to the community by providing fresh produce in an area that needs it.

"Most would classify this area as a food desert. There aren't a lot of grocery stores within walking distance."

Adreana Carrigan, a Frayser business owner herself, sees the need for the farm.

"Something healthy rather than all the fast food restaurants that are sitting around here. It's so easy for them to get food that way but it's so hard to get fresh fruit," said Carrigan.

Right now the farm is run off private donations but the girls make a salary from the produce they sell right from the farm.

Tamboli said the goal is to eventually grow the program so more people can become involved.

"We see this piece of land as something that takes very little in but produces a lot."

The farm does other outreach programs with area schools.

If you would like to it check out and buy some produce they are open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays at 1179 Dellwood.

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