Village Family Farms, Inc. is a minority-owned urban garden that cultivates produce sold to farmers markets within the neighborhoods of Cleveland. Jamel Rahkeera in 2018 expanded his urban garden operations onto a fourth plot near the intersection of Harkness and Crawford Roads. Village Family Farms sells their produce on-site as well as utilizing the urban farm to train local neighborhood children to plant, germinate, care for and harvest produce.
Jamel Rahkeera used the grant funds to purchase irrigation & gardening equipment, bee hive equipment, signage, wood for raised beds, gardening tools, storage container/tool shed, fencing, soil, display tables, construction materials, rain barrels, and other items needed for the development of an expanding urban garden. The Gardening for Greenbacks program requires grantees to operate for now less than two years, but Village Family Farms has been farming since 2014.
Jamel Rahkeera is also part of the “Produce Perks” program which doubles the value of SNAP (food stamps) when spent on fruits and vegetables. Previously Jamel Rahkeera hosted, along with the Cleveland Foundation, a Meet-n-Greet focused around urban farming in Cleveland to build a network for food retailers, producers, and communities to increase access to locally grown, healthy food for all Cleveland-ers
In 2018, Department of Economic Development further supported his urban farming efforts by providing a Gardening for Greenbacks grant up to $5,000 to help the garden increase yields and assist with the mission to increase access to locally grown, health food for neighborhood residents in Hough and other parts of the City. The urban farm continues to operate at this location and Jamel Rahkeera has met all of the Gardening for Greenback’s program requirements.