By Rae Miller & Chris Wimmer

This summer Known and Grown has used BRIC (Building Resilient and Inclusive Communities) Grant funds to mentor and assist A Red Circle and Be Well Cafe in their mission to build a more equitable and inclusive food system in North St. Louis City and County.

At A Red Circle we have worked with Erica Williams and her group of volunteers to make her community garden more sustainable and self-sufficient. Catching and utilizing rainwater in irrigating their garden supplies fertility, and makes them less dependent on the church from which they lease the land. We cleaned out, repaired and installed gutter guards on the gutters on their pavillion. This fall we will build a platform for a 250 gallon tote that will catch the rainwater off of the pavillion roof and pipe it to the garden. 

At Fatimah Muhammad’s Be Well Cafe we have managed a table at the Be Well Market where we sell produce and value added products from other farmers who otherwise would  not be able to attend the market. This helps Fatimah have more farmers represented at the market and helps the farmers who are otherwise occupied. We also have installed a donated walk in cooler that will be used by local farmers who do not have access to refrigeration. This will help ensure that the highest quality produce is available to market shoppers.

We have also used CFM funds to mentor Raina Schlueter at School House Acres SSP. Senior Services Plus is a dynamic source of support for seniors in their area. We have been working with Raina to overcome problems with water runoff and erosion, and an infestation of quack grass in her high tunnel and gardens.