The Food is Free project, which started in a central Austin neighborhood, recently fell victim to the rampant gentrification and redevelopment that’s overtaking the city. That is, this pioneering project, which had inspired similar groups around the world, lost its lease on its urban farm.
The group has been crowdfunding to buy a new piece of land where they could set up a permanent urban food education center and continue to farm and make sure that food is free!
Today, they got good news. They’ve been invited to decamp to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where they’ll have a for-sure 5-year lease on a rural piece of property (see it in the video).
The Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign (at $33K or more now) continues, and the money will be used to set up the farm infrastructure, though Food is Free will be relieved of having to purchase land, for now. (For all the background, read our previous story about FiF.)
Here’s their announcement from this morning:
We found the land! We just got faxed the signed lease and wanted to tell y’all right away! Like a seed being carried by the wind, we are beginning the next chapter of this project. We are so excited to announce that the Food is Free Project has been offered an incredible opportunity to grow on an amazing piece of land in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
We’ll have a 5 year renewable lease with the option to purchase so that we don’t ever have to dig up our roots and fruit trees again! Now, all of the funds from our Indiegogo campaign will go directly towards building the new farm infrastructure. While the headquarters of Food is Free has found a new home, we have leaders in place to continue the Austin chapter.
On the new FiF property, we will be able to grow more food than we’ve ever dreamed of and share it with the community. This space will additionally host workshops, educate youth, and train leaders to engage their communities back home. We will open source all knowledge to empower and inspire others to start their own Food is Free Project. To find out more about the kind of teaching center we will be building, visit or contribute at http://kickstartfif.org/
We are so grateful for all of your support during this time of transition and know that sometimes when things seem to take a turn for the worse, an amazing opportunity lies ahead. We want to know the best ways we can help you get growing and sharing. We have so many ideas but we’d love to hear your thoughts as we grow together. Thank you for sharing the vision and we look forward to taking this next step together.