671: Eric Andrews on Peace Tree Parks and Community.
Engineering a growing community.
This week we have a very special series of five daily episodes of the Urban Farm Podcast sharing the work of Growing Spaces, a company whose vision is to provide year-round growing solutions for your own food, no matter the weather. We start the week by hearing from the founders of the company, then we have three episodes from people just like you that are using Growing Domes to grow food for their community, and we wrap up the week hearing the vision of the new owners. We really encourage you to listen to this incredible content, then check out their website at GrowingSpaces.com/urbanfarm.
In This Podcast:
In the second of five episodes, we hear from Eric Andrews, who is using a forty-two-foot Growing Spaces growing dome to educate and inspire the members of his Detroit community. Eric’s excitement is contagious as he shares the incredible story behind the nonprofit he cofounded and tells us how the dome will contribute to its mission in a new way. He describes the buzz created in the community as the dome was being built and talks about the challenges encountered along the way, both frustrating and amusing.
Eric Andrews was born and raised in Detroit, MI. He is the current Executive Director and co-founder of Peace Tree Parks a 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organization. Eric is a Ferris State University Alumnus that majored in Mechanical Engineering Technology. He is currently employed as a Sr. Product Engineer at American Axle Manufacturing, and he is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.
Peace Tree Parks was founded in 2015 with the mission to increase the access that Metro Detroit residents have to fresh organic produce by converting vacant land into community gardens. They reach their community through a residential and community garden program. These programs work together and are designed to reach those in need regardless of race, age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.
This is episode 2 of a 5 part series. Listen to part 1 HERE, and don’t miss episode 3 tomorrow!
Listen in and learn about:
- Learning to write grant proposals
- Partnering with the city of Detroit to purchase land
- Defining the mission of Peacetree Parks: awareness, education, participation
- Connecting directly to the community at each site
- Using strategies learned at the fraternity
- Describing what a site looks like
- Distributing the harvest
- Receiving a grant for a 42’ dome from Growing Spaces
- Building the dome, building excitement in the community
- Planning to use the dome – year round!
- Understanding and communicating the scope of the project
- Dropping a watermelon
- Forgetting that food is free
- Interacting with more different types of people
- Being fluid
As well as:
His failure – Making contacts and a lot of plans, but not getting the funding
His success – Obtaining a large grant from the state of Michigan
His drive – “The engineer in me.”
His advice – “Just don’t quit.”
Eric’s Book recommendations:
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith
How to reach Eric:
Join us tomorrow for the third episode in this special series, where we talk to Andrew Trujillo on Hobby Gardening in a green house.
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