Maurice Small is an urban strategist specializing in food access. In 2012 the Interfaith Food Shuttle, an organization working to reduce hunger in the Triangle Area of North Carolina, invited him to Southeast Raleigh to start an urban agriculture program (Urban Ag). The Interfaith Food Shuttle secured funding for four acres of vacant land that Small is transforming into community gardens.

To help with his work, Small relies on volunteers and only two employees, Travis Taylor and Fred Jeter. Not only are Taylor and Jeter helping to build the community gardens, but the Urban Ag program has also secured 3/4 of an acre for the two of them to develop as well. Dubbed F&T Farms, this land provides the young farmers with a chance to engage and educate their community, while providing much needed neighborhood access to fresh food. F&T Farms is also a source of additional income for the duo, who have been able to sell their organic produce to local restaurants and at farmer’s markets.

In this short film by Patrick Mustain, we see how the people of Southeast Raleigh struggle with a number of issues, many related to poverty.  The Urban Ag Program is young, but sometimes big changes start with the planting of tiny seeds…

Cultivating Community from Patrick Mustain on Vimeo.

This video was produced for a UNC medical journalism master’s thesis. For more, visit Patrick Mustain’s website. 

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Rose Hoban is the founder and editor of NC Health News, as well as being the state government reporter. Hoban has been a registered nurse since 1992, but transitioned to journalism after earning degrees...