Cul2vate’s mission is two-fold and targets unemployment and food insecurity in Middle Tennessee.
First, Cul2vate offers a 24-week farm-training program to those in need of a second chance. Many are post-incarceration and in recovery. We call these individuals “Cul2vators.” These individuals cultivate new purpose in their lives through the crops they nurture as well as the farm, job skill, personal finance, and discipleship program to which they commit.
Second, Cul2vate donates half of the fresh produce grown on the farm to neighbors in need, both in Davidson and in Williamson County. But Cul2vate isn’t able to do it alone. Community partners like Graceworks Ministries, One Generation Away, Project Access Nashville, and The Nashville Food Project help distribute the produce throughout Middle Tennessee. Cul2vate was able to donate 85,000 pounds of fresh produce in 2021 alone!
This year, Cul2vate had its first female Cul2vator, Camille. And what a blessing she has been! Camille is a native Tennessean who was between jobs and is working diligently through some mental health concerns. She had been volunteering at The Giving Garden in Franklin and at another local farm but sought something more.
Camille has brought hard work, dedication, authenticity, and a smile with her to the farm. She quickly found her place and has made an indelible mark for both herself and future Cul2vators. One way Camille has been impacted this year was through the overwhelmingly supportive response from local people, organizations, and her fellow Cul2vators after substantial flooding hit the Cul2vate farm in March of 2021.
Finding Community and Purpose
Camille thinks being a part of the rebuilding process has brought her even closer to her teammates. Her work at Cul2vate has proven extremely meaningful to her, especially being able to hand produce to partners like The Nashville Food Project, knowing it will feed people who are facing food insecurity within our own community .
“I was told if I was looking for a community, I would find it here,” Camille said. “And I did.”